Iconic baritone singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen kicks off his world tour with four nights (June 6-9) at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts (1 Front East). This will be his first tour in 15 years, and the Toronto shows are among the most intimate on his schedule. You may not get another chance to see the legend live. $72.50-$250.00. 416-870-8000.
Trance in your pants
Despite the merciless mocking that trance gets from dance music snobs, it's still the dominant sound of the mega-clubs, and Tiesto is still the most popular DJ in the world. If you've still got some trance in your pants, you'll want to catch him June 30 at Ricoh Coliseum (100 Princes'). $35.50-$82.50. 416-870-8000.
Since Gilberto Gil's day job as Brazil's minister of culture keeps him quite busy, it's increasingly rare for the legendary tropicalisto to play a concert, let alone hit the road for a two-week summer tour, but somehow he managed to book the time off and will be at Massey Hall (178 Victoria) June 27. Rather than offering a career retrospective at the upcoming shows, Gil will focus on the music from his forthcoming disc, Banda Larga Cordel, aka The Broadband Pamphlet - so don't even think of shouting requests for Cérebro Electrônico. $49.50-$69.50. 416-872-4255.
The hottest hip-hop show of the summer promises to be Rock The Bells 2008, which rolls into Arrow Hall (6900 Airport) July 20. Hosted by Cypress Hill's B-Real, freestyle ace Supernatural and mixtape maestro DJ Green Lantern, the one-day throwdown is scheduled to feature performances by A Tribe Called Quest, Nas, Mos Def, De La Soul, Rakim, Method Man & Redman, Murs, Spank Rock, Kid Sister, the Cool Kids, Wale, Kidz in the Hall and a reunited Pharcyde! Should be a night to remember. $75-$175. 416-870-8000.
Fans of uncountry guitar twang may have to resort to a coin flip to decide between seeing Richard Thompson at the Music Hall (147 Danforth) July 6 or the always fabulous Calexico over at the Mod Club (722 College) the same night. While Thompson will be performing selections covering the entire last millennium as part of his show 1000 Years Of Popular Music (that's everything from madrigals to Madonna), Calexico's Joey Burns and John Convertino will be trying hard to recall how to play the songs they've written for their new album, due in September. Thompson $35; Calexico $22.50. 416-870-8000.
One of the summer's more intriguing bookings is the reunited Iggy & the Stooges at stately Massey Hall on August 6. As their comeback album, The Weirdness, indicates, Iggy Pop and his creaky pals Ron and Scott Asheton, Steve Mackay (with deputized bassist Mike Watt) are no longer the destructo-punk attack unit they were 38 years ago, but they can still stir up some nasty shit when they put their minds to it. So count on a memorably unhinged night of rock 'n' roll foolery you may never see again at Massey Hall. $59.50-$99.50. 416-872-4255.