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Kendrick Lamar has become a ubiquitous presence in hip-hop over the past few years, thanks to his Grammy-winning To Pimp A Butterfly album and single Alright, which became a protest anthem in the summer of 2015.
Hype surrounding the Compton MC has gone into overddrive thanks the recent release of his fourth album, DAMN., perhaps his most unabashedly radio- and club-friendly full-length to date.
And at long last, Toronto fans who have patiently waited for K.Dot to headline TDot are being rewarded. Lamar is bringing his DAMN. tour to the Air Canada Centre on July 25, a show that will mark his first headlining arena gig here and his first headlining solo concert in Toronto since August 2013, when he blew the roof off the venue formerly known as Sound Academy with only a DJ and a microphone.
Lamar hasn’t totally bypassed Toronto over the years: he opened for Kanye West on the Yeezus tour in 2013, played a short set for We Day in 2014 and headlined the inaugural WayHome Music and Arts Festival in cottage country in 2015.
But given he had a sold-out Sound Academy pogo-ing and rapping along to every word four years ago, seeing him at the ACC with a full band, visuals and an arsenal of massive singles should be next level.
With Travis Scott and D.R.A.M. At Air Canada Centre (40 Bay). Doors 7:30 pm. $49.50-$149.50. On sale April 28. ticketmaster.ca. July 25.
EAMON MCGRATH, DAVE BIDINI, JOEL THOMAS HYNES, DJ BRADSHAW at Monarch Tavern Berlin-Warszawa Express book release. Doors 7 pm. $10, $5 with Circus Books & Music RSVP. May 6.
RUPAUL’S DRAG RACE WERQ THE WORLD: BIANCA DEL RIO, ALYSSA EDWARDS, ALASKA THUNDERFUCK, DETOX, KIM CHI, SHANGELA, VALENTINA at Danforth Music Hall 8 pm. $55.95. ticketmaster.ca. May 26.
PHARMAKON, MAMALIA, KRISTINA GUISON, DJ GARBAGE BODY at Music Gallery 8 pm. $15, stu/adv $13. musicgallery.org. May 27.
ROSA MCDOWALL, VALLENS at Smiling Buddha 9 pm. $12.50. rotate.com, soundscapesmusic.com, ticketfly.com. May 27.
ARMIN VAN BUUREN at Cabana Pool Bar doors 1 pm. $60. ticketmaster.ca. May 28.
BLACK MARBLE at Horseshoe doors 8 pm. $15. rotate.com, soundscapesmusic.com, ticketfly.com. June 4.
THE JACKSONS: A CELEBRATION OF 50 YEARS at Rebel 7 pm, all ages. $75. ticketmaster.ca. June 9.
BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE at Phoenix Concert Theatre doors 6:30 pm. $39.50. ticketmaster.ca. June 22.
NXNE: TINIE TEMPAH, AMIR OBÉ, YUKON BLONDE, LIZZO, RIVER TIBER, FRANKLIN ELECTRIC, COLD SPECKS, EMP, HUMANS, K.I.D., JOHN RIVER, CAVEBOY, SAYA, HEARTSTREETS AND MORE at Port Lands Lineup additions. Gates 1 pm, all ages. $80-$220. nxne.com. June 23-25.
GABRIEL GARZÓN-MONTANO, TAMERA RUSSELL at Revival doors 9 pm. $25. universe.com/ggmTO. -June 29.
JESSIE REYEZ at Mod Club doors 8 pm, all ages. $20. ticketmaster.ca. July 7.
DJ SHADOW at Danforth Music Hall doors 7 pm. $35-$45. On sale April 28. ticketmaster.ca. July 7.
DELICATE STEVE at Velvet Underground doors 9 pm. $13.50. rotate.com, soundscapesmusic.com, ticketweb.ca. July 13.
MT. JOY at Drake Hotel doors 7 pm. $15. ticketweb.ca. July 14.
XAVIER RUDD at Danforth Music Hall doors 7 pm. $36.50-$46.50. rotate.com, soundscapesmusic.com, ticketmaster.ca. July 19.
KENDRICK LAMAR, TRAVIS SCOTT, D.R.A.M. at Air Canada Centre doors 6:30 pm. $49.50-$149.50. On sale April 28. ticketmaster.ca. July 25.
THE ROCKET SUMMER at Mod Club doors 7 pm. $22. ticketfly.com. August 8.
EARTH, WIND & FIRE, CHIC WITH NILE RODGERS at Air Canada Centre Doors 7 Pm. $39.50-$175. ticketmaster.ca. August 13.
ANATHEMA at Opera House doors 7 pm. $28.50. ticketfly.com. August 21.
THE VAMPS, SABRINA CARPENTER, MCKENZIE SMALL, JOSH BOGERT, AVIVA, TAVEETA at Budweiser Stage Family Channel’s Big Ticket Concert. 6 pm. $19.50-$78.75. ticketmaster.ca. August 27.
STICK MEN, SONAR at Mod Club doors 7 pm. $27.50. ticketfly.com. August 27.
EPICA, LACUNA COIL, INSOMNIUM, ELANTRIS at Opera House doors 6 pm, all ages. $35. ticketfly.com. September 3.
SONGHOY BLUES at Mod Club doors 8 pm. $20. rotate.com, soundscapesmusic.com, ticketfly.com. October 3.
ENRIQUE IGLESIAS, PITBULL, CNCO at Air Canada Centre doors 6:30 pm. $79.95-$179.95. On sale April 28. ticketmaster.ca. October 14.
TROMBONE SHORTY & ORLEANS AVENUE, VINTAGE TROUBLE at Danforth Music Hall doors 7 pm. $47.50-$57.50. -On sale April 28. ticketmaster.ca. October 23-24.
SHOUT OUT LOUDS at Mod Club doors 7 pm, all ages. $22.50. ticketmaster.ca. November 6.
ALT-J at Massey Hall Second show added. Doors 7 pm. $35-$65. ticketmaster.ca. October 27-28.
Get more Toronto concert listings here.