Here Are The 10 Must-See Concerts In Toronto This Summer

Colby Smith Colby Smith

Here Are The 10 Must-See Concerts In Toronto This Summer

The 10 summer concerts in Toronto that you, you, you ought to know.

It’s the summer of sound for Toronto in 2020. In preparation for this article, I couldn’t help but gape at all the immaculate talent coming through the 6ix. In a sense, the sheer amount of headliners, reunion tours, and legends made this article very difficult to boil down to a list of 10 acts. Therefore, I included a mini-list at the bottom of honorable mentions.

After careful curation, here are some conclusions about this summer’s line-up: 1) Not a lot of rap/hip-hop. 2) 2020 is the year of the reunion tour. 3) Something really needs to be done about ticket-resellers.

Without further ado, here are our 10 must-see concerts in Toronto this summer. In no particular order, except chronological. [Featured image: @eventuallykp]

Photo: @__theblackkeys__

1. Tame Impala (June 2)

Photo: @andrewtmcmillen

Yeah, yeah, I know June 2 is still spring but believe me, one listen to any given track from Kevin Parker’s project, Tame Impala, and you will be transported straight into summer. Five years after his critically-acclaimed album, Currents, the Australian artist finally released his follow-up piece, The Slow Rush to great success.

My first encounter with the band was when they opened up for MGMT (a decade ago) in high school. Since then, Kevin Parker’s project has soared, releasing three more albums, headlining festivals around the globe, and transitioning from guitar-heavy psychedelic rock music to experimental-synth-based/drumbeat jams. While you might catch him back around on the festival circuit, you won’t be able to experience the heavy base hits like you would inside the Scotiabank Arena.

Supporting acts: Perfume Genius

Where: Scotiabank Arena

Tickets: $58.75

2. Kaytranada (June 4)

Photo: @kaytranada

Kaytranada broke out onto the scene after his debut album, 99.9%, which won a Juno Award for the Electronic Album of the Year. His beginnings trace back to producing as a teenager in his basement. Since then, the Quebec-raised Haitian has skyrocketed to headlining shows around the world. Last year, the producer dropped his second studio album, Bubba to large acclaim. The sound features a soul-centric mix of funk, r&b, and hip-hop over danceable beats that will leave you in a trance.

Supporting acts: TBA

Where: Rebel Toronto

Tickets: Start at $64.87

3. Maroon 5 (June 28)

Photo: @adalevine

All I know is that if Adam Levine rips his shirt off like he did in last year’s Super Bowl than the ticket price will be well worth the price.

Supporting acts: Meghan Trainor

Where: Budweiser Stage

Tickets: Start at $153.51

4. Alanis Morissette (July 13)

Photo: @hearkenstudio

7-time GRAMMY award-winner, singer/songwriter, and God incarnate, Alanis Morissette is on tour in anticipation of her 9th studio album: Such Pretty Forks in the Road. The world tour will coincide the 25-year anniversary of her breakout record, Jagged Little Pill. If there’s a time to see the Ottawa-native play the hits, now’s the time. Such Pretty Fork in the Road comes out May 1, 2020.

Supporting acts: Garbage, Liz Phair

Where: Budweiser Stage

Tickets: Start at $169.40

5. Roger Waters (July 17)

Photo: @rogerwaters

Living legend Roger Waters is back on the circuit for the This Is Not A Drill tour. The North American tour will encompass 31 cities, including Toronto on July 17. The former Pink Floyd frontman is on a pursuit to push his message of love through all the thick and thin of today’s politics. “As the clock ticks faster and faster and faster down to extinction, it seemed like a good idea to make a fuss about it,” he said of the tour. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to go extinct without first seeing Roger Waters perform live.

Supporting acts: TBA

Where: Scotiabank Arena

Tickets: Start at $70.


6. Rage Against The Machine (July 23 & 25)

Photo: @rageagainstthemachine

As time wears on and the governments of the world fall to pieces, so does the need increase for politically-driven, in-your-face, rap-rock music.  The iconic rock outfit, Rage Against The Machine is back together and sticking a middle finger up to the machine. The tour will mark the first time in they band will have performed together since their final show in 2011. Their reunion tour starts on April 17 in California where they will be headlining Coachella. Depending on how the elections go, you might expect them to be around for a little longer. That being said, what are the chances you’ll get to see them share the stage with the bombastic rap-duo Run The Jewels?

Supporting acts: Run The Jewels

Where: Scotiabank Arena

Tickets: Start at $190

7. Kraftwerk 3-D (July 28)

Photo: @kraftwerkofficial

Kraftwerk, the artistic visionaries and pioneers of electronic music, are celebrating their 50th anniversary with an immersive 3-D concert tour across North America. The German multimedia project incorporates their signature robot-pop music with visuals and performance art to create a digital experience as innovative as their music.  The tour begins on June 19 and lands in Toronto on July 28. Tickets go on sale today.

Supporting acts: None announced

Where: Meridian Hall

Tickets: Start at $89.49

8. The Black Keys (August 12)

Photo: @__theblackkeys__

Garage rockers and childhood friends, Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney, are back on tour in celebration of their 2019 album, Let’s Rock. The album follows a five-year hiatus, in which the two members ventured off to work on side projects. Toronto catches the tour on the tailend. You might think to yourself, it’s just two guys — can the show really be all that interesting? You better believe it, buddy. Not to mention, the tour will feature special guests, Gary Clark Jr. and Yola.

Supporting acts: Gary Clark Jr., Yola

Where: Budweiser Stage

Tickets: Start at $47.50 (Pre-sale available exclusively for Black Keys fanbase)

9. Greenday (August 24)

Photo: @greenday

Don’t you just wish pop-punk would make a comeback? While we still got bands like PUP, Joyce Manor, and Cloud Nothings (to an extent) around to carry the torch, the atmosphere and age of the scene just aren’t like they were during the early 2000’s. Thankfully, you can relive the nostalgic days of teenage angst at Green Day’s Hella Mega Tour. If the greatest pop-punk band of all-time doesn’t do it enough for you, the band will be joined by the likes of Fall Out Boy and a little band you might have heard of called Weezer.

Supporting acts: Fall Out Boy, Weezer

Where: Rogers Centre

Tickets: Start at $94.25

10. Backstreet Boys (September 18 and 19)

Photo: @daniellelouiseandcats10

AJ, Howie, Nick, Kevin, and Brian — the Backstreet Boys are back together and are bringing their larger-than-life performance to Toronto. Last year, the dreamy quintet brought the flavor to the Scotiabank Arena as part of their arena tour celebrating the release their new album, DNA. Not a year later, your favorite 90’s heartthrobs are back. The boyband has two dates set in Toronto, giving you two chances to rock your body at the Budweiser Stage.

Supporting acts: None announced

Where: Budweiser Stage

Tickets: Start at $79

Honorable Mentions:

  • Stormzy (June 2)
  • Swans (June 20)
  • Megadeath and Lamb of God (June 29)
  • The Weekend (June 30)
  • Harry Styles (July 7)
  • Halsey (July 12)
  • Guns N’ Roses (July 13)
  • Journey (July 13)
  • The Doobie Brothers (July 19)
  • Rod Stewart (July 24)
  • Big Thief (July 25 & 26)
  • Deftones (August 17)
  • John Legend (September 2)
  • New Order and Pet Shop Boys (September 6)
  • Korn, Faith No More, Helmet, and ’68 (September 9)
  • My Chemical Romance (September 14)

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