With spring actually arriving and the last remnants of winter melting away, music fans can think of warmer weather, outdoor concerts and a horde of big-name talent coming to Toronto the next few months. Here they are roughly a dozen of the can’t miss shows that see everyone from Fleetwood Mac to Shawn Mendes.
- Ariana Grande (April 3, Scotiabank Arena)
The pop singer brings her Sweetener North American tour to Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena in support of her 2019 effort thank u, next. According to MTV the trek is expected to concentrate primarily on this year’s album and last year’s release Sweetener. Hopefully, by then any of Grande’s erroneous ink work will have been enhanced.
- Fleetwood Mac (April 8, Scotiabank Arena)
The legendary rock group returns with more hits and the same revamped lineup including Crowded House singer Neil Finn and former Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell on guitar replacing Lindsey Buckingham. Reviews have been favourable with the new members more than holding their own during the marathon of ’70s rock staples.
- The National (April 24, Roy Thomson Hall)
Critical darlings The National will most likely tease fans with new material during a special five-night, five-city world tour in April. The group’s upcoming album I Am Easy To Find comes out in May but it’s unclear how these shows will differ from shows later in the year, including a show at Hamilton’s Pier 8 in June with Maritime rock group Alvvays as support.
- Morrissey (April 26/27, Sony Centre for the Performing Arts)
One of the more anticipated shows this year will be Morrissey’s long-awaited return to Canada as part of a national trek. The former singer of The Smiths boycotted Canada and its seal hunt, something the artist detested. Recent controversial comments regarding Brexit and immigration didn’t exactly win him new fans. Regardless, now will be soon enough for his loyal, devoted following.
- Pink (May 13/14, Scotiabank Arena)
Pink has a two-night stand in Toronto in mid-May as part of her Beautiful Trauma World Tour. The singer is on the cusp of releasing her new studio album Hurts 2B Human which includes the hit single “Walk Me Home.” Show reviews have drawn comparisons to a rock show and Cirque du Soleil.
- Florence + The Machine (May 26, Budweiser Stage)
The British chanteuse and her artful group celebrate the release of their new song “Moderation” with this eagerly awaited Toronto stop. The band’s success with each album has guaranteed them top billing around the world including the A-list festivals.
- The Who (June 1, Scotiabank Arena)
In 1982 The Who were reportedly playing their last show. Now almost three decades later the surviving members Roger Daltrey and guitarist Pete Townshend are returning to Toronto again. The Moving On! Tour is perhaps their swan song for world tours with the duo supported by an orchestra. A band filled with bombast backed by more musicians should be an interesting experiment.
- Carrie Underwood (June 9, Scotiabank Arena)
Country superstar Carrie Underwood might be cheering for her favourite hockey team the Nashville Predators when she hits Toronto. But it should be a parade of country hits saturating The Cry Pretty Tour 360 which should be a fan’s dream given its in the round set up.
Willie Nelson (June 21, Budweiser Stage)
The iconic country star is definitely getting long in the tooth but it hasn’t stopped his rigorous touring schedule now soon to be 86 years young. Nelson will bring along Canadian rocker Matt Mays, The Avett Brothers and Alison Krauss on this stop as part of his Outlaw Music Festival which stopped in Toronto last year.
Hugh Jackman (June 25, Scotiabank Arena)
The multi-talented, dynamic entertainer Hugh Jackman has spent most of his time on the silver screen. But given his range of performances, a concert tour will be a highlight for fans of his pipes. The Greatest Showman Live trek will see him try to live up to the tour moniker. The trek concludes with a two-night stand at the Hollywood Bowl.
The Rolling Stones (June 29, Burl’s Creek Event Grounds)
This could be the last time, I don’t know. But what is known is this will be the final North American show for the Stones in 2019 after originally not being on the itinerary. The band, who performed for roughly 460,000 people at Downsview Park in 2003, just issued another compilation entitled Honk featuring classics and duets with Foo Fighters and Florence Welch.
Jennifer Lopez (July 7, Scotiabank Arena)
J-Lo recently got engaged to former New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez. But don’t expect her to become a stay-at-home mom (not that there’s anything wrong with that!). Lopez delivered a buzzworthy performance at the Grammys and the forthcoming It’s My Party: The Live Celebration world trek is expected to be as hot. It marks the first North American trek for Lopez, who’ll turn 50 this summer, in seven years.
Michael Buble (July 26/27, Scotiabank Arena)
Buble returns to the stage following an extremely trying ordeal involving the health of his young son and his battle with cancer. With the child thankfully doing well the crooner should delight fans with his quick wit, strong showmanship and passion which comes after surviving such difficult circumstances.
Smashing Pumpkins/Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds (August 13, Budweiser Stage)
Two of the biggest rock acts of the ’90s join forces with this impressive co-headlining bill. Smashing Pumpkins are still riding high from their “reunion” shows of 2018 while Gallagher, now roughly a decade removed from Oasis, create his own path with a string of impressive solo albums.
KISS (August 17, Scotiabank Arena)
Depending on whether you’re a KISS fan or not, this farewell trek might be causing one to shed tears of sorrow or joy. The band’s historic hits are being dusted off once again to sold-out fans. The tour is expected to continue for some time in various regions internationally.
Shawn Mendes (September 6, Rogers Centre)
The hometown pop star is making a huge splash to culminate his 2019 world trek. The stop at the Rogers Centre went on sale last year and quickly sold out. It plans to be a spectacle as already YouTube trailers for the concert have been created. If Mendes’ popularity isn’t on par with other world pop stars this will surely put him there.