Once again, Exclaim! has checked out Canada’s musical itinerary to highlight the must-see shows occurring from August 6 to 12. Some of the country’s most legendary events have made the list, from the biggest EDM parties to the largest metal fests, and the longest-running festival to a farewell show for a long-beloved band. Check out some particularly notable events below, and then head over to our Concert Listings to see what else is happening in your area.
In 1989, Luc Lemay of Sherbrooke, Quebec formed one of the province’s most iconic metal bands: Gorguts. Lemay is now bringing the band home, with an entirely revamped lineup that includes Kevin Hufnagel of Dysrhythmia, Colin Marston of Behold… the Arctopus and John Longstreth of Skinless. The local legends will be playing at Katacombes with Teramobil and Hybreed Chaos, followed by a set at Heavy Montreal. Setlists suggest that the band will deliver songs from as far back as 1998’s Obscura, all the way through until their latest Colored Sands record.
Montreal’s Parc Jean-Drapeau will soon be overtaken by Canada’s most powerful punk, rock and metal festival, Heavy Montreal. In its seventh instalment, the revelry will include Slipknot, Korn, Lamb of God, Alexisonfire, Bullet For My Valentine, Within Temptation, Andrew W.K., Deafheaven, Faith No More, NOFX, Billy Talent, Meshuggah, Lagwagon, Periphery, Veil Of Maya, the Flatliners, the Acacia Strain and more of metal’s giants. Since its conception, nearly 300,000 fans have congregated for Heavy Montreal; now it’s your turn to join the masses.
Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival
The Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival is a celebration of culture and community, where families and friends gather to enjoy Canada’s rich musical fabric. Acts such as Hey Rosetta!, Bruce Cockburn, Fred Penner, Rum Ragged, Jug Habit, David Francey, the Secrets and Kat McLevey will fill St. John’s’ scenic Bannerman Park with their eclectic sounds.
Regina Folk Festival
The Regina Folk Festival is the longest-running music festival in Western Canada, dating back to the inaugural edition in 1969. Every year, the three-day event brings around 20,000 people together in Victoria Park to celebrate renowned and upcoming artists. This time, the lineup includes Vance Joy, Blue Rodeo, the Sheepdogs, Jenny Lewis, Bahamas, Basia Bulat, Birds of Chicago, the Karpinka Brothers, Danny Olliver, the Mariachi Ghost, DJ Baby Daddy and more.
Shambhala is one of the largest and longest running electronic music events in the nation, hosting some 10,000 fans on a 500-acre cattle ranch in British Columbia. Festivalgoers form a community for the duration of the five-day festival that includes coffee shops, organic food stands and burger booths that offer products of the land. In addition to the prime location and exclusive goods, the festival also hosts the most energetic electronic artists; this year, that includes Skrillex, Bonobo, Datsik, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Zomboy, Herobust, DJ Zinc, Jackal, Space Jesus, Birds of Paradise, Camo & Krooked, Big Gigantic, Kygo, Stickybuds, Sugarpill and many more. Come experience the Shambhalove!
Toronto’s favourite Weezer tribute band are ready to call it quits (say it ain’t so!), but before the all-lady troupe disassembles, they will play two back-to-back farewell shows at Lee’s Palace. The collective, brilliantly named Sheezer, are functionally a supergroup composed of players from Our Lady Peace, By Divine Right, the Hidden Cameras, the Bicycles and Young Guv. Together, they deliver the sweet and dorky nostalgic tunes of Rivers Cuomo (Pinkerton and The Blue Album only, because Sheezer knows what’s good).
The Squamish Valley Music Festival is recognized as the largest contemporary music festival in the Pacific Northwest, bringing in more than 105,000 people last year alone. The event highlights artists of all genres and invites emerging artists to play alongside massive names, this year including the likes of Drake, Mumford and Sons, Sam Smith, Of Monsters and Men, Alabama Shakes, Brandon Flowers, ScHoolboy Q, Mother Mother, Chance the Rapper, Hot Chip, the Kills, Arkells, Milky Chance, Death From Above 1979, Joel Plaskett and the Emergency, First Aid Kit, Alvvays, Scott Helman and many more.
Following the spontaneous release of Star Wars in July, Wilco is keeping the momentum rolling with a tour that reaches BC this week. The Chicago, Illinois rockers have collected a cult-like following since their formation in 1994, and their music continues to influence the alternative country genre and beyond (including, for example, sandwich shops). Don’t miss the experimental and always entertaining act when they come to the West coast.
Visit Exclaim!’s Concert Listingsto check out even more events.