Top 10 concerts

Bahamas, Miley Cyrus and Tanya Tagaq make this year's list


1. Tanya Tagaq

The Great Hall, November 6

An avant-garde recontextualizing of Inuit throat singing. Tagaq makes the sounds of vomiting, growling, orgasm, childbirth, mourning, joy, fury, defiance and ecstasy seem musical and inspirational.

2. King Diamond

Sound Academy, October 18

The heavy metal Dane’s theatrical, pentagram-spangled show earned a NOW rating of 666 trillion Ns.

3. The Knife

Kool Haus, April 25

The Swedish brother-sister duo ended their career with gleeful subversion of concert conventions. An unabashedly queer mashup of an arena-sized pop show and experimental modern dance theatre.

4. Future Islands/Mac Demarco at NXNE

Tattoo, June 21

Who could possibly follow Samuel T. Herring’s snarling, thrashing, hip-swaying performance? Only Mac DeMarco, who ended the show drunk. Crowd surfing, Jesus references and irreverent covers galore.

5. Nick Cave

Sony Centre, July 31

The Australian goth punk legend delivered his signature ferocity and booming baritone straight into the outstretched arms of his devoted.

6. Sinead O’Connor

Massey Hall, October 24

Intense moments like dedicating a song to Nathan Cirillo, the soldier gunned down in Ottawa, were offset by feel-good pop-rock and deep and meaningful classics. Plus, a stunning rendition of Bob Marley’s War.

7. Childish Gambino

Sound Academy, March 24

Part concert, part art installation, part theatre show, this was a fully realized manifestation of Gambino’s high-concept Because The Internet album.

8. DJ Harvey

99 Sudbury, March 22

Everyone who made it to this rare Toronto gig understands why the UK DJ legend is so revered by serious dance music heads.

9. Bahamas

Danforth Music Hall, November 5

Hypnotic backlights, charming storytelling and those gently swaying songs added up to a perfect night.

10. Miley Cyrus

Air Canada Centre, March 31

A life of showmanship was on full display, with insane visuals, solid moves and crazy-good live vocals – zero backing tracks, y’all.

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