Published Feb 23, 2017Ongoing political tension has made ours both a promising and necessary time for music. That can mean politically charged lyrics that confront our times, such as those of rapper Vince Staples, or music that provides refuge from them, such as the serene and moving instrumentals of Jean Michel-Blais.
Here's the good news: both artists — and plenty others — are playing in Canada this week, for your viewing and listening pleasure. Below, find our weekly, handpicked list of Can't Miss Concerts to sustain you sonically for the next seven days. Don't see something you like? Head to our Concert Listings for a complete list of shows taking place between February 23 and March 1.
Kicking off their international "Afraid of Heights" tour last week, punk rock veterans Billy Talent are now making a sweep across Canada in support of their recent album of the same name. If the headliners don't sway you, Monster Truck and Dirty Nil will also be playing alongside them throughout the tour. You have four opportunities this week to headbang along with them.
02/23/2017 Winnipeg, MB – MTS Centre
02/26/2017 London, ON – RBC Theatre (Budweiser Gardens)
02/27/2017 Toronto, ON – Air Canada Centre
03/01/2017 Montreal, QC – Bell Centre
Montreal musician Jean-Michel Blais is the kind of solo act who can build you up and break you down without a single word, in just one short song. Conservatory-trained, this piano maestro's powerful approach to experimenting with classical influences and improvisation is both haunting and completely captivating. While waiting for his upcoming collaborative EP with producer CFCF to come out March 15, you can watch him perform his ivory magic in Ottawa this week.
02/24/2017 Ottawa, ON – National Arts Centre
Having dropped No Culture this month, five-piece pop-rock crew Mother Mother will be kicking off a series of show dates this week. Fans can expect Mother Mother's usual impeccably strong harmonies paired with their catchy and quirky synth-pop zingers.
02/23/2017 Moncton, NB – Tide & Boar Gastropub with We Are The City
02/24/2017 Halifax, NS – The Marquee Ballroom
02/25/2017 Halifax, NS – The Marquee Ballroom
02/28/2017 Peterborough, ON – The Venue
Agnes Obel's innate ability to layer her sombre vocals overtop a variety of instrumentation has almost cinematic properties in the way that it whisks you off to another place. The Danish singer-songwriter's 2016 album, Citizen of Glass, was met with extreme praise; you can hear her perform it live with two show dates this week in Quebec.
02/28/2017 Montreal, QC – Theatre Maisonneuve
03/01/2017 Quebec City, QC – Palais Montcalm
After her 2014 critically acclaimed album La boca, jazz singer-songwriter Alejandra Ribera put her name on the map as a Canadian musician to keep an ear out for. Ribera's soft-spoken delivery and mystical instrumentals on her latest album This Island, released last month, will have you wanting more. The Montreal songstress also has a SOCAN Songwriting Prize under her belt, so she knows a thing or two about her craft.
02/23/2017 Quebec City, QC – Theatre Petit Champlain
02/24/2017 Jonquiere, QC – Cafe Theatre Cote-Cour
02/28/2017 Montreal, QC – Club Soda
Last month, Canadian country heartbreaker Whitney Rose released her new EP, South Texas Suite, on Six Shooter Records. Despite her Canadian roots, she has made her mark in the Austin music scene, garnering a fan-base around her country-folk ballads. She will play three shows this week, including an EP release show in Winnipeg.
02/23/2017 Winnipeg, MB – West End Cultural Centre
02/24/2017 Edmonton, AB – The Almanac
02/25/2017 Calgary, AB – Commonwealth Bar & Stage
Long Island rapper Vince Staples is taking his latest EP, Prima Donna, on his "The Life Aquatic Tour" — a nod to the Wes Anderson film. His politically charged single "Bagbak" seemingly validates whispers of an upcoming album later this year, so if we're lucky, maybe Staples will debut another new track or two. R&B singer Kilo Kish, who also featured on Prima Donna, will be opening the Vancouver show this week.
02/28/2017 Vancouver, BC – Vogue Theatre
Montreal rockers Wolf Parade emerged from their hiatus back in 2016, boasting new music and a reissue of their influential 2005 album Apologies to Queen Mary. Fast-forward to the present, and the band's back at it on tour, bringing their frenetic energy and classic tunes to British Columbia.
02/23/2017 Vancouver, BC – Imperial
02/24/2017 Vancouver, BC – Imperial
02/25/2017 Victoria, BC – Sugar Nightclub
02/26/2017 Victoria, BC – Sugar Nightclub
Visit Exclaim!'s Concert Listings for more upcoming shows.