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Music, Year in Review 2013

Year in Review: The Best Concerts of 2013

Of the hundreds of concerts (both good and bad) that we covered this year, we made some tough choices on what we think were the best live music this year had to offer.

From R. Kelly’s smooth lyrical flow at Bonnaroo, Fucked Up’s wild as usual party at NXNE, Bjork’s on-stage eccentricity at both Bonnaroo and Ottawa Bluesfest, and beyond, these are the best concerts of 2013.

Click each name to view their picks or scroll down to view more:

Kayla Baker
Adam Harrison

Jason Hodgins 
Sasha Kalra
Dianna Lee
Stephen McGill
Sarah Rix
Mehek Seyid
Curtis Sindrey
Calum Slingerland

Kayla Baker

Band: Paramore
Venue: Sound Academy, Toronto
Date: May 13, 2013

The energy and vibe of a Paramore concert is unlike any other show I have ever been to.  First of all, they love their fans, and you can tell. It is clear the way they all interact with the crowd and express their gratitude in between songs, that they are thankful for everyone in the audience. Lead singer Hayley Williams was born to be on stage, and her vocals were spot-on despite the head thrashing and non-stop dancing. Even if you don’t like Paramore, or know their music, go to their show the next time you get the chance and I dare you not to have a great time.


Band: July Talk
Venue: Brick Works, Toronto
Date: September 6, 2013

Brick Works is not a typical venue in Toronto, and I stumbled across this concert totally by chance.  I was attending a party that night for the Toronto International Film Festival, and I knew there were bands playing but had no clue how great one of them would be. As July Talk took the stage, and I had heard of them in passing, but after this show I can’t wait to see them again. The chemistry between Peter Dreimanis and Leah Fay, the two lead singers of this grungy rock/indie band was PERFECT. They are not only talented, but also incredibly entertaining.


Artist: Tom Odell
Venue: The Great Hall, Toronto
Date: September 25, 2013

Tom Odell. (Photo: Neil Van/Aesthetic Magazine Toronto)

It was fantastic seeing this talented piano man up close and personal.  He performed most of his songs from his new album “Long Way Down” and it’s clear that his comfort zone is in front of a piano. I enjoyed every minute of his concert.

More photos here.


Band: City and Colour
Venue: The Commons, Niagara on the Lake
Date: June 29, 2013

Dallas Green of City and Colour. (Photo: Neil Van/Aesthetic Magazine Toronto)

There were approximately 18,000 people in this crowd, and I still felt as though Dallas Green was singing to me. How do you manage to hold an intimate moment with 18,000 people? Order them to put away their electronic devices and enjoy the moment.  That is exactly what Dallas did in his encore, just before singing “Body in a Box”, and it created the most memorable moment of the night. He also played for almost 2 hours, playing every song I hoped for, old and new.

More photos & read the review here.


Band: Metric
Venue:The Commons, Niagara on the Lake
Date: June 29, 2013

Emily Haines of Metric. (Photo: Neil Van/Aesthetic Magazine Toronto)

Emily Haines of Metric. (Photo: Neil Van/Aesthetic Magazine Toronto)

This was a great day. Front woman Emily Haines owned that stage. My favorite moment was when the skies opened and it started pouring. There was a moment when everyone panicked and tried to cover their heads, but within a few minutes thousands of people were dancing in the rain and singing along. Once the rain slowed down, Emily Haines took a moment to point out the beautiful rainbow flying over the crowd, which is a moment that should be etched in everyone’s memories.

More photos & read the review here.



  1. Pingback: The Best Music of the Year Lists from Music Blogs and Press | That Eric Alper - December 18, 2013

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