A day-by-day run-down of this month’s must-see concerts (and other amusements).
1. Kick off the last month of the year with Swedish high-voltage rock ‘n’ rollers The Hives at the Phoenix.
2. Drag your boyfriend (or get dragged by your girlfriend) to the Air Canada Centre for a performance by P!nk.
3. English folk-punk outfit Frank Turner & the Sleeping Souls touch down at the Sound Academy.
4. California singer/songwriter Cass McCombs hits Lee’s Palace on the heels of his double record, Big Wheel and Others.
5. Forest City Lovers’ Kat Burns brings her side project KASHKA to the Great Hall.
6. If you’re not too tired from last night’s show, head to the CBC for a full day of live tapings featuring Serena Ryder, Walk Off The Earth, The Stumbellas, and more. (And then meet Mall Galloway at the end of it all).
7. On the seventh day of December, my true love gave to me: Cuff the Duke at the Horseshoe, The Cult at the Danforth Music Hall, and MGMT at the Sound Academy.
8. Drop by the Riverdale Share Concert at the Danforth Music Hall to see Blue Rodeo’s Jim Cuddy and feel good about it too—the concert will raise money for families in crisis.
9. Whether or not you knew musician Sam Larkin, who died from liver disease in October, you can pay tribute to him alongside Ron Sexsmith and others he inspired at Hugh’s Room.
10. After you catch the premiere of the Coen brothers’ new film, Inside Llewyn Davis, head to the official after-party at Adelaide Hall, where you’ll be treated to the sounds of Justin Rutledge, Lindi Ortega, and Jim Cuddy…again.
11. Rap battle: Choose between Harlem’s A$AP Ferg (and the rest of the A$AP Mob) at the Opera House or OG rapper Kool G Rap at the Rockpile West.
12. P.E.I. indie-rockers Two Hours Traffic come to town for a show at Lee’s Palace.
13. If you can’t get your hands on a ticket to see early punk-rockers Viletones at the Phoenix, head to the Great Hall for the second Long Winter show, with music from Doldrums and Hooded Fang, film screenings, dance performances, and a talk from The Grid’s Sarah Liss about her new book, Army of Lovers.
14. Switch into hardcore mode with Portland’s Red Fang and local act Cancer Bats at Lee’s Palace.
15. We’re not exactly sure what’s going down with Bam Margera’s FuckFace Unstoppable at the Annex WreckRoom. But with a name like that, it’s probably worth your while to go find out.
16. Don’t even stop to think about it. Go see Beyoncé at the Air Canada Centre.
17. Catch up on Quebec metal band Gorguts’ two-decade-plus history with a show at the Annex WreckRoom.
18. By now, you’re safe to start listening to Christmas music. Why not start with Handel’s Messiah at Roy Thomson Hall, courtesy of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra?
19. Catch Cage the Elephant on the heels of their latest album, Melophobia, at the Sound Academy.
20. Kitchener-Waterloo multi-instrumentalist Danny Michel brings ten albums worth of music to the Great Hall.
21. Celebrate Christmas early with a holiday show at the Horseshoe featuring Canadian roots-rockers Skydiggers and the Devin Cuddy Band.
22. That Kanye West and Kendrick Lamar show at the Air Canada Centre might have happened a little later than expected, but those tickets now seem a lot more like a really good holiday gift to yourself.
23. Whether or not you’re celebrating Christmas, Canadian tenor John McDermott’s hymns and carols will put you in the festive spirit at Hugh’s Room.
24. Every mother’s child is going to be at Heliconian Hall for Great Lake Swimmers’ Tony Dekker.
25. Most of the city will shut down for Christmas, so maybe you should too. If you’re really itching for music, there’s always the option of actually going to church. Just sayin’.
26. Skip the Boxing Day shopping spree and opt for Death From Above 1979 at the Danforth Music Hall instead.
27. Relive the golden days of rock ‘n’ roll with a live performance of Led Zeppelin II at Lee’s Palace.
28. The White Panda fills the Mod Club with their mashups, remixes, and party music.
29. Tesseract—the Toronto jazz band, not the British progressive metal group—release their new album at the Rex.
30. Andria Simone & her Band take the stage at Hugh’s Room in a show aptly named “It’s New Year’s Eve…Somewhere.”
31. If you’re not getting smashed at a New Year’s Eve party elsewhere, ring in 2014 with alt-country trio Elliott Brood at Lee’s Palace or indie favourites The Sadies at the Horseshoe.