Best Toronto Concerts of 2015

From Father John Misty to Run the Jewels, 2015 saw an impressive lineup of live music

Toronto came alive with concerts in 2015. From small club shows to massive multi-day outdoor festivals, this year has seen an impressive line up of talent. We rounded up some of the most memorable live music moments from the past year.

Don’t see your favourite show of 2015 on the list? Add it to the comments at the bottom!
 

RUN THE JEWELS – DANFORTH MUSIC HALL

NOVEMBER 26 (2014)
This duo killed the game in 2014—I had to put it on my list. Killer Mike and El P are like a buddy action flick come to life. Awesome stage presence meets booming, apocalyptic hip hop. -Matt
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(Photo by Julio Enriquez via Flickr)

 

FATHER JOHN MISTY – DANFORTH MUSIC HALL

FEBRUARY 18
I know Father John Misty isn’t considered a band, but this guy is the most entertaining frontman in music right now. -Brent
 

HOZIER – MASSEY HALL

MARCH 2
Hozier’s soul-infused music is amazing live with the band’s harmonies and skill. Massey Hall was the perfect venue for a band like that. -Carlin
 

THE DECEMBERISTS – MASSEY HALL

MARCH 30
Colin Meloy’s voice has never sounded so rich as it did reverberating off the walls at Massey Hall. The set list was the perfect mix of old and new, with highlights like “A Beginning Song” and “The Rake’s Song” after which Colin joked, “You just cheered for a song about child murder! Infanticide!” -Brian
Decemberists
 

DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE – SONY CENTRE

MAY 7
Halfway through their first local appearance sans founding member Chris Walla, DCAB were serving it up big time. My friend and I needed to do a drink and bathroom run and she says, “I’d rather miss a new one than an old one,” so when a mid album tune from the latest LP Kinsugi started up we dashed. While at the bar we could hear the intro to the Transatlanticism classic “Title & Regerstration” and literally flew back into the theatre to make sure we didn’t miss a second of that magical moment. -Bookie
Death-Cab-For-Cutie
 

CONSTANTINES – MASSEY HALL

MAY 27
To watch the incredible Constantines reunite in that historic, marvellous space filled to the rafters with fans singing along to every word; it was nothing shy of magic. –Lana
Constantines
 

RIDE – DANFORTH MUSIC HALL

JUNE 2
Reuniting twenty five years after the release of their shoegazin’ standout debut LP Nowhere, the Oxford, England band didn’t disappoint. With Mark Gardener and Andy Bell trading off vocals and guitars that shimmered and shined all night long, it was one of those occasions when you can go home again. -Bookie
 

DE LA SOUL – FIELD TRIP

JUNE 6
I’m so glad that the summer festivals are acknowledging hip hop. All the kids are listening to it, some of us grew up with it, and yet we still have almost exclusively white bands with beards at these fests. A Tribe Called Quest next year? –Matt
De-La-Soul
 

ARKELLS – FIELD TRIP

JUNE 6
I had somehow never seen Arkells live, and as a longtime fan, their set at Field Trip was perfect. -Carlin
Arkells
 

WAR ON DRUGS – FIELD TRIP

JUNE 6
When “Red Eyes” started playing and the Indie88 beach ball was bouncing, let’s just say I had a moment and there might have been a few tears. -Candice
War-On-Drugs
 

FATHER JOHN MISTY – FIELD TRIP

JUNE 7
Field Trip was beautiful, as usual, but FJM’s was maybe the most anticipated set of the whole weekend. Felt like a religious experience. My friends wanted to sing a long and dance but I couldn’t do anything but stand completely still and stare and feel and cry (a little) and let it wash over me. -Raina
 

FATHER JOHN MISTY – FIELD TRIP

JUNE 7
I’m always curious to see what a musician’s stage presence will be like, and FJM did not disappoint. Between bouts of falling to his knees/lunging to the heavens onstage, Josh took the time to accept “strange gifts” from the crowd. Before capping off his set with a dramatic performance of “The Ideal Husband” a girl in the audience yelled “I love you!” He responded with “You wouldn’t want me. I’m a selfish lover.” -Brian
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PIXIES – THE HORSESHOE TAVERN

JUNE 7
Seeing a band of this magnitude in a venue as small and as legendary as The Shoe was incredible. -Brent
 

RIVER & SKY FESTIVAL – SUDBURY

JULY 17-19
The best kept festival secret. I almost didn’t want to write this here because I’m afraid too many people will find out. Almost not even a show – but a spiritual experience. A family. A tiny festival in the most beautiful little place in Sudbury. This year, Most Serene Republic headlined and it was magic. -Raina
 

RUN THE JEWELS – WAYHOME

JULY 25
The entire festival was a MASSIVE success, the first year out of the gate. Loved every moment, but loved THIS moment the most. I’d been waiting to see them live ALL summer and they did not disappoint. Unreal. -Raina
Run-The-Jewels
 

RIVERFEST ELORA – BISSELL PARK

AUGUST 14-16
Keeps getting bigger and better. A beautiful, relaxed festival in a gorgeous place. Loved it this year… can’t wait to see what they pull off next year. -Raina
 

JAMIE XX —DANFORTH MUSIC HALL

AUGUST 6
Easily the most fun “DJ” / “EDM” show I’ve ever been to. It’s hard to find an audience that’s carefree in this city, but it was a judgement free zone that night and a non-stop dance party. –Brent
 

CARIBOU – DANFORTH MUSIC HALL

AUGUST 8
Full disclosure: they are some of my closest friends but they still have one of the best live shows in the world. -Matt
 

INDIE88 BIRTHDAY PARTY – THE PHOENIX

SEPTEMBER 12
WHAT A LINEUP. Also – that Born Ruffians singalong at the end? What a moment. -Raina
Born-Ruffians
 

BORN RUFFIANS – THE PHOENIX

SEPTEMBER 12
The Zolas, Dear Rouge and Brave Shores all gave stellar performances at the Indie88 2nd Birthday Party (Brave Shores even played an extremely danceable extended version of “Never Come Down”) but the highlight of the night had to be Born Ruffians. The songs from their scrappy new album Ruff came at us with such frenetic energy it was impossible to not be caught up in the hype. Those guys are the real deal. -Brian
 

STRUMBELLAS – TURF

SEPTEMBER 19
It was pouring rain but nobody left the stage. It was amazing. Worth getting wet for. -Candice
Strumbellas
 

YEARS AND YEARS – THE DANFORTH MUSIC HALL

SEPTEMBER 14
It was one of those shows where the whole crowd was into it making it one of the best atmospheres/loudest shows I went to all year. Plus their singer Olly’s voice is immense live. -Carlin
 

WILCO – TURF

SEPTEMBER 20
With an overcast sky grey sky and a set that served up the new album Star Wars followed by a trip through their finest songs, Jeff Tweedy and company gave us all we could have asked for and more! -Bookie
Wilco
 

EL VY – THE OPERA HOUSE

NOVEMBER 17
The highlight was hosting the Indie88 winners at the exclusive sound check where we got to hear three full songs from The National’s Matt Berninger’s new project. -Candice
El-Vy