UPDATED: Toronto’s Upcoming Must See Concerts Summer/Fall 2012

The Wall Live presented by Roger Waters

UPDATE: October 18 – We recently ran into a band that we feel deserves to be on the list. Read on below to find our first Indie band to ever make our humble classic rock influenced Must-See Concert list.

May 24 2012 – So many concerts, so little time. With the summer concert season getting ready to kick off it all comes down to personal taste. Toronto will be graced with artists from every era and genre. For the classic rock fans here are our picks for upcoming concerts coming to Toronto that should not be missed no matter what. They are presented in chronological order.

Roger Waters presents The Wall Live 
Roger Waters – the bassist, vocalist, and main lyricist of Pink Floyd has been taking his masterpiece album The Wall out on tour across the world since 2010. The Wall was originally  presented as a Pink Floyd album (1979), tour (1980/81), and movie (1982).  This latest concert presentation is a spectacle in itself in that it reproduces the original gigs as performed in 1980/81 (which by the way only played in 4 cities since it was just so massive and expensive). It has of course been updated technologically and features some of the most advanced lighting and concert effects ever seen. It is selling out everywhere across the world and it is my personal belief that it will be the last time the world will see such a mega production from the classic arena rock era (as all the musicians are approaching or past their 70’s). There are only 12 dates left after this 2 year global tour that has had 192 dates so far. This is as big as rock and roll gets. Read our review of the Austin, Texas show here and the London, England show here. Below is a video from the London show on May 12th 2011 – note of caution; do not expect to see the guitarist below at any other shows on this tour. Roger Waters plays Toronto’s Rogers Centre on Saturday June 23 and you can get your tickets here.
My Morning Jacket

The best band you have never heard of – (or maybe you have heard of them but this band gets very little commercial love in Toronto). Our number 1 album of 2011 as presented in T-Mak World’s Top 10 Albums of 2011 is Circuital by (you guessed it) My Morning Jacket. As good as the band’s studio work is, their live performances are so much better. All 5 members seem to draw from an infinite energy source that lets deliver epic length rock shows whether the band is in intimate venues or massive festivals. These rockers from Kentucky are a must see live act, and unlike Roger Waters The Wall, they do not rely on theatrics on stage or flying pigs. They are purely about the music. In 2008 they went on stage at Bonnaroo as relative unknowns and delivered a nearly four hour set that went down in rock history as one of the finest live performances ever. We last saw MMJ on July 2011 the same night that U2 was playing Toronto and can say with 100% confidence we made the right choice of concert that night. Below is a video from that show in Toronto. My Morning Jacket is playing with Band Of Horses on Wednesday August 15th at Echo Beach and tickets are available here.

Rik Emmett
Do not miss one of the world’s best guitarist and founding member of Canada’s best ever hard rock band Triumph. Home town boy Emmett is still very active as a recording artist even though he left the blinding light show and laser majesty of Triumph 25 years ago. Emmett is a member of the Canadian Rock Hall of Fame, the Music Industry Hall of Fame, and the Junos Hall of Fame. He has 17 solo albums released since his Triumph days, and they include progressive rock, jazz, acoustic duos and classical guitar records. Triumph will also be finally releasing a DVD of their one off reunion concert in Sweden in 2008 and we will have a review of that soon. Truly a musical chameleon do not miss the opportunity to see the Rik Emmett Band on Thursday August 23rd at Toronto’s Sound Academy and tickets are available here.

Lindsey Buckingham

Continuing the theme from Rik Emmett, do not miss the chance to see one of the world’s best guitarists and member of Fleetwood Mac. As part of Fleetwood Mac, their mega album Rumors has sold over 40 million copies due largely to Buckingham‘s creative contribution as writer, singer and guitarist. Although he is still part of Fleetwood Mac, Buckingham does not rest on his laurels during the down time and releases very solid solo offerings. In fact his Seeds We Sow album from last year was named our number 5 best album of 2011. “In Seeds We Sow Buckingham puts the spotlight directly on his guitar and vocal skills.” Last time we saw Buckingham was in a very sold out Air Canada Center with Fleetwood Mac and this time we have the opportunity to enjoy Buckingham on his own at a much more intimate Casino Rama. Although not technically not in Toronto it is certainly worth the 2 hour drive north up Highway 400. Lindsey Buckingham is playing on Saturday September 8th at Casino Rama and tickets are available here.



When they boys from Rush play the hometown of Toronto there is magic in the air. With Rush not only do you get to see a band with 24 consecutive gold albums under their belt but you get to see the world’s best living drummer in Neil Peart. Throw in Geddy Lee who aside from being one of the best bassists ever, can also sing and play keyboards at the same time as kicking bass pedals. Guitarist Alex Lifeson completes the trio with his mind blowing riffs. The technical mastery of the three local rockers is unparallelled by any band and Rush also have a brand new album to showcase.  Below is a video from Rush’s last Toronto gig two years ago. Rush plays Toronto’s Air Canada Centre on Sunday October 14 and Tuesday October 16 and you can get your tickets here.

The Bright Light Social Hour
These four guys from Austin were not on our radar as recently a few months ago. Then as fate would have it two of our senior music editors saw them at different times. Steve caught this band in Toronto three months ago at Yonge-Dundas Square and gave their performance the highest possible endorsement (that review can be read here). Then just two weeks before their upcoming Toronto gig Terry saw them in Austin, Texas and instantly fell in love with the band’s sound and show (that review can be read here). Steve had this to say about their gig “An incredible part of TBLSH’s sound is their old-school organ sound. Keyboardist Vincent uses a Leslie rotating speaker effect that uses the Doppler effect of raising and lowering pitch … Jimmy Page used the Leslie speaker effect in the outro solo of Black Dog.” The band captures a pure 70’s guitar riff influenced aura not just sonically but visually as well. Their long hair is a must for any band trying to play this type of music. Note: they are just the opener tonight and are opening for the very good Umphrey’s McGee (think Pink Floyd meets Frank Zappa meets Santana with 10 minute long jam songs). We saw Umphrey’s McGee and reviewed them briefly here. If there was ever a new band that encapsulates the essence of T-Mak World musically it is TBLSH. The Bright Light Social Hour play Toronto’s Danforth Music Hall on Wednesday October 24th and you can get your tickets here.

The Who
One of the last few remaining of the great British bands of the 60’s that still have a tour or two left in them. This time around the two remaining members of The Who, vocalist Roger Daltrey and guitarist Pete Townsend  present their mega classic concept album  Quadrophenia (1973) along with other The Who classics. Daltrey most recently visited Toronto in 2011 on his own to tour The Who’s other epic concept album, Tommy which we reviewed here. Townsend slightly surprised us by returning to action because last year he had hearing loss which we thought was career ending. Wikipedia tells us that Quadrophenia’s story involves social, musical and psychological happenings from an English teenage perspective, set in London and Brighton in 1964 and ’65. The name is a variation on the popular (and misnomered) usage of the medical diagnostic term schizophrenia as dissociative identity disorder to reflect the four distinct personalities of Jimmy, the opera’s protagonist – each said to represent the personality of one member of The Who. Really cool stuff from one of the best albums in classic rock history. We can’t wait for this one. The Who play Toronto’s Air Canada Centre on Friday November 23rd and you can get your tickets here.


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