We hate to play favourites, but summer is truly our favourite season. When the winter weather goes away and the sun comes out, so do festivals and outdoor shows. That in combination with a stellar year of music releases and subsequent summer tours, is shaping up to an amazing summer of live music. Here’s our must-see Toronto shows, as part of the Indie88 Guide to Summer:
This Indie88 feature is presented with Thornbury Village Craft Apple Cider.
June 3rd | Danforth Music Hall | Info
Ask your best friend to “Take Me Out” to one of Scotland’s finest rock bands, Franz Ferdinand.
June 3-4th | Fort York Garrison Commons | Info
With Broken Social Scene, Phoenix and Feist, headlining among a stacked undercard, plus one of the most impressive Food Lineups the city has to offer, kick off summer right at Field Trip festival.
June 5th | The Horseshoe Tavern | Info
Catch L.A.’s Girlpool as they come to town to celebrate their recent album Powerplant.
June 8th | Phoenix Concert Theatre | Info
After a 16-year hiatus, The Avalanches came back to life with on of 2016’s most critically acclaimed albums, Wildflower.
Do Make Say Think
June 10th | Danforth Music Hall | Info
Do Make Say Think are coming home June 10th at the Danforth Music Hall to celebrate the release of their new album Stubborn Persistent Illusions.
June 18th-19th, 21st-22nd | Danforth Music Hall | Info
One of the most anticipated events of Toronto this summer, Alexisonfire will be headlining Danforth Music Hall for four nights, after the celebrated post-hardcore group took a hiatus back in 2012.
Daryl Hall & John Oates and Tears For Fears
June 19th | Air Canada Centre | Info
The kings of 80s pop rock, Daryl Hall and John Oates will be joined by another treasured band from their era, Tears for Fears for what will be a night of hit after hit sing-alongs.
Jenn Grant and The Wooden Sky
June 23rd | Massey Hall | Info
Fans who showed up for Jenn Grant’s scheduled show at The Great Hall were treated to an impromptu street performance from the Halifax-based singer-songwriter after the gig was postponed due to a safety issue. In it’s place a makeup show has been announced for June 23 at Massey Hall.
June 23rd | Rogers Centre | Info
Famed Irish rock legends, U2 bring their arena-ready anthems to The Rogers Centre for one night only this June.
June 23-25th | Portlands | Info
One of Toronto’s most long-running, city-wide festivals announced an incredible list of performances including headliners Passion Pit, Tyler, The Creator. NXNE also announced a series of Club Land curated shows at venues across the city, from the minds of July Talks’ Leah Fey and Broken Social Scenes’ Brandon Canning.
July Talk and Arkells
June 24th | Budweiser Stage | Info
Catch two of the hottest Canadian indie rock groups at the newly renovated Budweiser stage, with special guests Said the Whale and Mondo Cozmo.
June 28th | The Horseshoe Tavern | Info
Following the release of their new album Capacity on June 8, Big Thief will be stopping by The Horseshoe Tavern June 28th.
WayHome Music & Arts Festival
June 28th-30th | Oro Medonte | Info
Boasting one of the most diverse festival lineups, WayHome is high on our list of must-dos this summer. Frank Ocean, Imagine Dragons and Flume headline this year’s music and arts festival in Oro Medonte, which is just a short hop from Barrie, ON.
City and Color
July 2nd | The Commons at Butler’s Barracks National Historic Site | Info
How about a late Canada’s 150th birthday celebration with one of country’s premiere singer-songwriters, City and Colour as he performs at the scenic site in Niagara-On-The-Lake.
July 10th | Air Canada Centre | Info
This Spring brought the much anticipated return of Damon Albarn’s virtual band Gorillaz. They’ll be making a stop in Toronto to perform tracks from their critically acclaimed new album Humanz.
July 11th | Hard Luck | Info
Punk icon Jeff Rosenstock will be hitting the Hard Luck stage on July 11 with opener, Laura Stevenson.
July 25th & August 23rd | Air Canada Centre | Info
Due to popular demand, Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar has added a second date to his DAMN tour with Travis Scott and Big Baby D.R.A.M. Catch Kendrick Wednesday, July 25th and August 23rd, at the Air Canada Centre.
July 25th | Massey Hall | Info
Indie88 is proud to present Spoon at the incredible Massey Hall as the band celebrates the release of their ninth album, Hot Thoughts.
Belle and Sebastian
July 27th | Sony Centre | Info
Get your fill of upbeat indie rock, from Scotland’s beloved Belle and Sebastien at the Sony Centre.
July 28th & 29th| Air Canada Centre | Info
Dreamville’s leader, Jermaine Cole, will be stopping by the ACC for two nights on July 28-29 as part of the 4 Your Eyez Only Tour. The last time Cole played this stage was back in 2011 opening up for Rihanna with about five songs nobody has ever heard of. Six years and four albums later, J. Cole is back.
July 29th | Bandshell Park at the Exhibition Place | Info
Canadian gems, Sloan are set to headline the second night of Toronto’s Festival of Beer, taking place this July at the Exhibition Place.
August 1st | Air Canada Centre | Info
Legendary composer has written the soundtracks for most of your favourite movies. From Inception to Pirates of the Caribbean, the German artist is one of Hollywood’s most iconic composers, known for his epic and dark scores.
August 4th & 5th | Massey Hall | Info
Following a lengthy six-year hiatus, Fleet Foxes are coming back. The beloved indie band are coming back with a new album Crack-Up June 16th, and will be stopping by Massey Hall two sold-out nights.
Kings of Leon
August 9th | Budweiser Stage | Info
The Tennessee four will return to Toronto for a second date on their WALLS tour, this time hitting up the Budweiser Stage. And yes, they will be playing “Sex On Fire”.
August 21st & 22nd | Rogers Centre | Info
One of the world’s biggest artists, Coldplay are set to sell out the massive Rogers Centre for what will be two incredible nights during their A Head Full Of Dreams tour.
Muse | July 18th | Budweiser Stage
UK rockers Muse will be joined by Thirty Seconds to Mars at the Budweiser stage for a truly memorable night.
August 18-20th | Toronto Island | Info
What started back in 2000 as a grassroots organization, The Wavelength music series has been known to curate lineups of Toronto’s next breakthrough artists. In 2015, Wavelength launched Camp Wavelength, Toronto’s a standout from Toronto’s hectic and crowded festival offerings. This year catch the likes of Deerhoof, Dilly Dally, Jessy Lanza and more.
August 29th | Massey Hall | Info
Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit are coming to Toronto to celebrate their new album The Nashville Sound, coming June 16th.
September 3rd| Air Canada Centre | Info
Spanning nearly forty years together, 80s electronic group Depeche Mode are bringing their renowned setlist to the ACC this September.
Father John Misty
September 18th | Massey Hall | Info
If you missed his two night stint at Queen Alexandria Theatre this spring, don’t fret. The Pure Comedy singer-songwriter will return for a memorable night at Massey Hall.
Stay tuned to Indie88.com over the next few weeks for our entire Guide to Summer series.
Up next: The Best Summer Movies for 2017 (Monday, May 29)
Your cider for the summer: Thornbury Premium Cider is a truly original Canadian cider that tastes like a traditional English cider: dry, crisp and premium.