A day-by-day run-down of this month’s must-see concerts (and other amusements).
1. Piano-pounding Brooklyn indie-popsters Oberhofer roll into The Garrison on the heels of their recent EP release, Notalgia.
2. If you’re in the mood to see one of the breakthrough hip-hop acts of the past year at a waterfront venue, you have two options: Kendrick Lamar (pictured) brings M.A.A.D. City vibes to The Sound Academy (with Odd Future associate Earl Sweatshirt in tow), while thrifty duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis get down at Echo Beach.
3. Dance-party showdown! The Phoenix/Hot Chip/Girl Talk-rockin’ Grove Music Festival debuts at Fort York, while deadmau5′s two-day EDM extravaganza VELD kicks off at Downsview Park with headlining sets from Above & Beyond and Kaskade.
4. Local power-rock duo Hot Kid play a free 7 p.m. show at 3030 Dundas St. W. as part of Toronto Beer Week.
5. Toronto hip-hop hero Drake drops the curtain on another edition of (the now-one-night-only) OVO Fest at the Molson Amphitheatre.
6. Take a night off from the tunes and go see Amanda Palmer’s husband, British horror/sci-fi/fantasy writer Neil Gaiman, read from and discuss his latest work, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, at the Danforth Music Hall.
7. Backstreet‘s back! The Boys continue to play games with our hearts at the Molson Amphitheatre, with Jesse McCartney and Jersey Shore escapee DJ Pauly D.
8. Rising Toronto post-rock quartet Fresh Snow build mountains of sound at The Boat.
9. Back to full strength after a near-fatal 2012 bus crash, Georgian metal overlords Baroness unleash the sludge at the Mod Club with Royal Thunder.
10. Drake’s OVO Fest isn’t the only massive hip-hop blowout happening at the Molson Amphitheatre this August: tonight, Wiz Khalifa and A$AP Rocky co-headline a big-ass bill that also includes B.o.B., Trinidad Jame$, and Joey Bada$$.
11. The final edition of annual all-ages festival ALL CAPS! goes out in glorious, day-glo fashion with a closing set from professional multimedia party-starter Rich Aucoin on Toronto Island.
12. Folkies and metalheads unite! Unplugged Helsinki hellraisers Finntroll play the Opera House.
13. U.K. folk-rock-band-turned-solo-troubadour act Passenger softly serenades the Phoenix.
14. Start practicing your satanic hand salutes—Black Sabbath is holding mass at the Air Canada Centre.
15. Country superstar Kenny Chesney steps up with his No Shoes Nation tour at the Molson Amphitheatre.
16. Texan stoner-rock veterans The Sword come out swinging at Lee’s Palace.
17. It ain’t August in Toronto without a Molson Amphitheatre date with Blue Rodeo. Opening act Bahamas supply the breeze.
18. Linda Perry-approved L.A. alt-rockers-cum-juice-makers Nico Vega bring their “Beast” of a single to the Horseshoe.
19. A nasty inter-band lawsuit isn’t going to stop Gogol Bordello from rolling their gypsy-punk carnival into the Danforth Music Hall.
20. Here we go! Lollapalooza progenitors Jane’s Addiction are headlining a different festival this summer—Rockstar Energy’s UPROAR—with Alice in Chains, Coheed and Cambria, and Toronto’s own Danko Jones, among others.
21. After celebrating the 25th-anniversary of his Eric B.-assisted classic Paid in Full last year, rap godfather Rakim looks to the future by dropping previews of his upcoming Pharrell-produced record at the Sound Academy.
22. Before Arcade Fire commitments take over her life once again this fall, violinist Sarah Neufeld celebrates the release of her new Constellation Records solo effort, Hero Brother, at The Drake Hotel.
23. Bluegrass and alt-country supergroup Old Crow Medicine Show bring their old-timey sound to the Danforth Music Hall.
24. After taking on her first adult role and releasing her debut album, Selena Gomez makes the leap to headlining arenas tonight at the ACC.
25. You can pretty much guarantee that every indie-rock fan in Toronto over the age of 30 will be at day 2 of Fort York’s Riot Fest, which sees an ’80s college-radio playlist come to life in the form of the reunited Replacements, Iggy and the Stooges, and Dinosaur Jr. (with Rocket From the Crypt and The Weakerthans repping for the ’90s).
26. Party like it’s 1899 as Mumford & Sons deliver their dustbowl ditties at the Molson Amphitheatre.
27. He can’t drive 55—though that’ll likely be the median age at the Molson Amphitheatre when Van Halen’s second worst lead singer, Sammy Hagar, takes the stage with fellow VH exile Michael Anthony. Opening act Kim Mitchell will get the soda cans a-poppin’.
28. Punx not dead! Proudly offensive ’90s slam-pit stokers The Dwarves and The Queers team up for a dynamite double bill at the Horseshoe.
29. While you’re waiting for the new seasons of The Voice and American Idol, see your favourite reality-TV singing-competition-show stars in action as Adam Levine and Maroon 5 headline the Molson Amphitheatre with Kelly Clarkson.
30. Though their singer has penned hits for One Direction, guitar-strapping foursome Lawson are out to prove they’re not just another boy band at the Mod Club.
31. Glassnote Records’ EDM upstart Robert Delong coaxes bleeps and bloops out of videogame joysticks at Wrongbar.
What shows are you most psyched to see this month? Let us know in the comments section below.
CORRECTION AUGUST 20, 2013: An earlier version of this article incorrectly listed the Michael Rault show as taking place on Friday, August 23, when in fact it actually occurred on Friday, August 16. We apologize for the error and have corrected this mistake.