We label the best upcoming rock concerts as “must-see gigs” – read on to find our recommendations for the best upcoming concerts.
January 10 2013 – Our annual article of must see concerts is back for 2013. The list will be updated as new concerts are announced and a link to reviews of concerts that already happened will be added. Read on to see the classic rock concerts coming to Toronto that we consider “must-see gigs” T-Mak World style. The shows we recommend will be based on our past experience with the band live or the potential that a certain gig has to bring the house down. All fans of bands like Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Rush, Van Halen, Black Sabbath, Pearl Jam, or My Morning Jacket will almost certainly have a great time at the shows we recommend below.
Soundgarden – January 25 and 26
Read our Review HERE
Soundgarden released their first album in 15 years in 2012 entitled King Animal. That effort earned number 6 spot in T-Mak World’s Top 10 Albums of 2012 (read here). Soundgarden is a band that would be selling out ACC if they didn’t dissapear from the scene for so long, but that exact fact will be a bonus for anyone lucky enough to have a ticket to see Soundgarden on the 25th or 26th. The reason being that the band will be playing the Sound Academy which will be a much more intimate setting than the cavernous Air Canada Center. A chance to hear Chris Cornell perform Spoonman, Black Hole Sun, and possibly Incessant Mace along with the bands’ new offerings makes this a definite “T-Mak World Must See Gig!” Note to the wise – get there early as it is General Admission and the place will be as tight as a sardine can. These shows are totally sold out but in case they release any new tickets, they are available here.
|Soundgarden plays Toronto’s Sound Academy on January 25 and 26 2013|
Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience – January 31
Read our Review HERE
In 2010 Jason Bonham (the son of Led Zeppelin’s drummer John Bonham) put together a show to commemorate the 30th anniversary of his fathers death. The show was a not just a tribute band performing Zeppelin as Jason pulled out home videos and photos that were featured throughout the night. Jason would also talk between songs about his dad and gave Zeppelin fans a very intimate view inside the personal life of their fallen hero. The shows were so successful that here we are 3 years later and we are very stoked to experience this show again. Last time we saw the show was at the Sony Center, but this time Jason makes the historic Massey Hall his stop. You can see our video of the Sony Center show below. Tickets are available here
Comfortably Numb Canada’s Pink Floyd Show – February 1-2
Read our Review HERE
We have seen this Ottawa band many times on their annual pilgrimage to Toronto’s The Opera House. If you like Pink Floyd even in the slightest do not miss this show. Singer/Guitarist AK is a machine and his accurate reproduction of the sounds of Floyd will ensure a kick-ass time out. We interview AK here and suggest you read that to find out more about what this version of the show will deliver. Pink Floyd lives on! Tickets are still available here(or keep reading T-Mak World as we do have contests for this show!)
|Comfortably Numb – Canada’s Pink Floyd Show is in Toronto on February 1, 2 2013|
Rival Sons – February 11 (Hamilton) February 15 (Toronto) February 16 (London)
Read our Review HERE
There are only two new bands in the last decade that have us showering them with accolades and putting them at the top of our rock hierarchy. My Morning Jacket is one of the bands and the other one is Rival Sons which you can see at Lee’s Palace for a post Valentine’s Day show. Rival Sons is an LA band that are ready to blow the roof wide open on their projected ride to the stratosphere. Their latest album entitled “Head Down” was our number 5 album of 2011 (read here) just behind Led Zeppelin’s Celebration Day. If you like your rock infused with 70’s heavy blues with lots of riffs, pounding drums, and stellar vocals then you can watch Led Zeppelin’s Celebration Day DVD or you can get out and see Rival Sons at a bar for quite likely the last time before you are paying top dollar to see them at the Molson Amphitheater. Tickets are a ridiculously low $17.50 and can be purchased here.
Brit Floyd – March 24 (Hamilton)
Read our Review HERE.
Pink Floyd is alive and well through the most incredible tribute show we have ever seen. Brit Floyd knocked us on our asses last year in Toronto and they are back again just an hour away. Do not miss this show if you enjoy a full on production with lazers and videos that will remind you of how the Floyd used to be!
Fleetwood Mac – April 16
Read our review HERE (this is the Newark, NJ show from front row center)
The band with the fabled soap opera history is back in full swing. Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood and John McVie are celebrating the 35th anniversary of their uber succesful record Rumours with a deluxe edition re-issue as well as a North American tour. Fans of classic rock don’t need to be told how epic it is to see Nicks and Buckingham on the front of a stage in an arena. Unfortunately Christine McVie is still not part of the band, and we will miss her vocals but we have no doubt that Fleetwood Mac will kick off spring in a magnificent way. Easily one of our biggest “must-see gigs” of 2013. Tickets for their Air Canada Center show are available here.
|Fleetwood Mac play Toronto’s Air Canada Center on April 16 2013|
Carl Palmer Legacy – April 28
The El Mocambo will be packed at the seams for one of the greatest rock drummers ever who is touring with his 3 piece band. Guitar, Bass and Drums with no vocals will be paying tribute to some of the most famous Emerson, Lake and Palmer classics in a modernized way. Video backdrops will be part of the multimedia experience and Palmer will also be bringing some of his art along. Get your ticket early this one will be sold out very fast. We spoke to Palmer about this gig in an interview, and you can read that here.
Saga – May 25
Read our review HERE
One of Toronto’s best bands and easily in our top 3 with Rush and Triumph is back on home turf. Saga is on fire with their latest CD entitled 20/20 which we reviewed here and placed in our Top 10 Albums of 2012. Even if you are not familiar with their new stuff you WILL be singing along to Canadian rock staples On The Loose, The Flyer and Wind Him Up, as well as the epic Scratching The Surface. Still a major draw in Europe, the 5 prog rockers should be selling out the Molson Amphitheater in their home base if things were right in this world (Ed Note: cause I say so). Fans will flock to The Sound Academy and as we always see at Saga’s shows they will be singing along to every note at the top of their lungs. This concert is not to be missed and in fact ranks way above the other concert below on the same date. One will cost you $20 to get up against the stage and the other will cost you $2000. Easy decision right?
Rolling Stones – May 25
The self proclaimed world’s greatest rock and roll band are celebrating their 50th anniversary with a 9 city North American “tour”. This will surely be a great time but be prepared to pay more than you have ever payed for a concert before. At the Air Canada Center 300 level seats cost $166 or $266, 100 level seats cost $466 or $625, Floors cost $625 and the GA Pit in front of the stage costs $2000. Because of these prices and the blatant greed displayed by the Stones we are actually going to pass on this one. Instead we will go see SAGA for $20 and get a good floor seat for Sabbath, buy a bunch of beer at both said shows, and still pocked a couple of hundred of bucks.
See above on May 25 for info.
My Morning Jacket (and Wilco and Bob Dylan) – July 15
T-Mak World’s two favorite bands of all time are Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd. We don’t actually like being stuck in the past and love to explore newer music as can be seen by all our Indie coverage and Emerging Artist Spotlight interviews. We actually have found our two new favorite bands in the realm of Zep and Floyd. Our modern day Zep is Rival Sons (mentioned back in February), and our modern day Floyd is My Morning Jacket. In fact My Morning Jacket was our number 2 rated concert of 2012 (right behind Roger Water). Jim James is a bonafide rock legend and the rest of the band are just as go. Do NOT miss this one. There are also some other bands on the bill namely Wilco and some dude named Bob Dylan. Go for My Morning Jacket and be blown away.
Heart with Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience – July 23
As if the headliner is not enough, the opening band was considered a Must See Gig all on their own. An absolutely perfect double bill for a warm summer night. Heart who just joined the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will be visiting Toronto for a second time this year. Not to be outdone Jason Bonham and his gang are here for their second show. The magic sauce for this show will be the 30 minute tribute to Led Zeppelin with BOTH bands on stage at the same time. Can you say epic?
KISS – July 26
Not our favorite band musically but always a good rock and roll time. KISS is back for the second time in 2 years at the Molson Amphitheater. Last year they had Motley Crue as their opener so it is doubtful that this year’s concert will be as fun as the 2012 version was, but hey its still fun to go have some beers under the stars down by Lake Ontario with KISS blasting the hits. You can check out our review from last year here.
Black Sabbath – August 14 2013
Read our review HERE
Ozzy is back home with the band he belongs with. Black Sabbath is back with their first studio album in 35 years. It’s a shame that original Bill Ward is not part of this one but Ozzy/Iommi/Butler are so worth watching. This one is the odds on favorite for being our number one gig of 2013.
Sammy Hagar – August 27 2013
Read our review HERE
Hagar brings his career retrospective show to the Molson Amphitheater for a show called “Four Decades of Rock”. Hagar will be joined with ex Van Halen band mate Michael Anthony, as well as his former Montrose band mates Denny Carmassi and Bill Church. The night will feature songs from Van Halen, Montrose, and Hagar’s solo catalogue. To add to the buzz hometown rocker Kim Mitchell will be opening up the show and we hopefully will hear a lot of Max Webster tunes. If you want a great read pick up Hagar’s biography, a book which we reviewed right here.
TimeGiant – September 18 2013
Read our review here
It is not often we would consider an Indie bar band a Must See Gig but this is not just any bar band. TimeGiant is a killer four piece Toronto band that bring back the energy, sweat and hair of the 70’s in a riff fueled cockrock show of the highest caliber. Although TimeGiant play many times throughout the year in Toronto this show is the one to watch as the guys will be releasing their new CD entitled “A Night To Remember”. They will be in top form and will blow away the patrons at The Horseshoe Tavern – guaranteed. Do not miss the future kings of Toronto hard rock.
Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson – October 18 2013
The flute wielding stork man will be coming in Massey Hall to perform Thick As A Brick (the original Jethro Tull album from 1972) and Thick As A Brick Part 2 (Anderson’s solo album from 2012). This one is not for the cerebral rockers and the majestic progressive rock masterpiece will ensure that Massey Hall will be sold out for this show.
Rival Sons – Thursday October 24
Rival Sons are back again (read our description from earlier this year in February). The saviours of rock and Jimmy Page’s favorite new band are expanding their Canadian reach yet again. The only band to appear on this list 2 times.
One Bad Son – Friday October 25
One Bad Son are on fire with 3 top 20 songs from their latest album (which we were the first website in the world to review!) Shane Volk is among the three best frontmen in the hard rock biz today and his musical partners Kurt Dahl (drums), Adam Grant (Bass), and Adam Grant (Bass) have the musical talent and on air presence that should be filling arenas soon. The only bad thing about this gig is that One Bad Son are not the headliners but the opening act for Crash Karma so get there early. This is another case where we are much more interested in the openers than the main attraction (see My Morning Jacket/Bob Dylan up above).
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