You may have maxed out your credit card over the holidays, but January sees an exciting and wonderfully eclectic group of bands and singers take the stage in Toronto, each worth another swipe of your card. From fast-rising indie acts to classic groups with dedicated fans, here’s a look at who’s playing live this month.
Saturday, January 7
$10 at ticketweb.ca
An up-and-coming production/DJ duo from New York City, the Knocks produce catchy indie dance tracks and run their own record label. Earning industry cred through production and remix work for high-profile artists such as Britney Spears and Katy Perry, the duo’s own singles are highly buzzed in the blogosphere. Their show at the Hoxton is the perfect chance to see them up close for a great price before they move on to bigger, more expensive venues.
Royce Da 5’9”
Tuesday, January 10
$26.50 at Ticketmaster
A Detroit rapper who’s worked with Eminem and DJ Premier for many years, as well as written verses for P. Diddy and Dr. Dre, Royce Da 5’9” tasted chart success recently while partnering up with Eminem to make up the duo Bad Meets Evil. Their hip hop hit “Lighters” was a radio smash and the EP Hell: The Sequel shot to #1 on the Billboard album chart. For rap fans who’ve been following his underground albums and collaborations, make sure to catch his headlining show this month at Sound Academy.
Friday, January 20
$19.38 at Ticketmaster
These indie rockers from New Jersey have been rolling on a wave of critical acclaim since their self-titled debut in 2009. With wistful songs that sound both pleasant and melancholic, layered with copious reverb, hazy guitar lines, poppy melodies, and abundant harmonies, their latest album Days has earned them another round of praise and new fans. Fans of the Beach Boys, the Velvet Underground, and Death Cab for Cutie are sure to enjoy the intimate show at Lee’s Palace.
Saturday, January 20 and Sunday, January 21
$20 at ticketweb.ca
This seven-piece band from Wales have been indie rock darlings throughout their fledgling but prolific career, releasing 4 albums in 3 years, each adored by music critics. Their style is a study in contrasts: fast, punky rhythms underpinning gloomy lyrics; an impassioned, love-it-or-hate it voice singing ironic, tongue-in-cheek songs called “Death to Los Campesinos!” and “We Throw Parties, You Throw Knives”. Their status as an exciting and reliable indie dance-rock band is sure to fill up both shows at Lee’s Palace, so get your tickets now!
Wednesday, January 25
Air Canada Centre
$58.25 to $100.75 at Ticketmaster
Combining heavy metal with arty progressive rock, the American band Tool has built a large and fiercely loyal fanbase by successfully creating a band (and brand) identity that melts experimentalism in music with highly aesthetic videos, all shrouded in a blanket of media mystery and long wait between album releases. Their angsty and atmospheric music, filled with muscular guitar hooks, is certain to fill the ACC with raised fists and banging heads this month.
Sunday, January 29
$21.50 at ticketweb.ca
Born in New Orleans but raised in Bermuda, dancehall artist Collie Buddz burst onto the music scene in 2007 with the single “Come Around”, which became a big hit in Europe first before making a splash in North America. He mixes in diverse influences in his music, from reggae to hip hop to pop, concocting a sound that is bassy enough for the clubs but also sunny enough for the beach. In town to promote his latest EP Playback and infectious new song “I Feel So Good”, fans of smooth island music won’t want to miss Collie’s show.
Tuesday, January 31 and Saturday, February 4
$68.50 to $108.50 at Ticketmaster
A long-running American band that dominated the radio and charts in the 70s and 80s, Chicago’s biggest hits display an impressive range of sounds and styles, from fast rock songs to jazzy pop tunes to a plethora of adult contemporary ballads like “If You Leave Me Now”, “Hard to Say I’m Sorry”, and “Look Away”. Having released over 30 albums in their career, Chicago still tours relentlessly and draws packed houses all over North America for audiences longing to sing along to their classic hits.