Exclaim! Presents the Class of 2024 Concert Series with Bestfriend, Rachel Bobbitt, La Sécurité, Cam Kahin

Our annual showcases take over Toronto to kick off the new year

BY Megan LaPierrePublished Dec 11, 2023

It's almost that time of year again, if you can believe it. Sure, the holidays are great, but the bleakness of a resolution-ridden January looms — that is, until you find out that's all about to be circumvented by Exclaim!'s annual Class Of concert series.

With concert promoter and local legend Dan Burke, we're bringing Toronto some incredible nights of live music to kick off 2024 on a high note, showcasing a curated selection of the best up-and-coming acts from the city and beyond. Class of 2024 is proudly supported by Mary Brown's Chicken.

Things start off with a bang on Friday, January 5, with the bicoastal BFF duo and sparkling synth-pop spinners Bestfriend. They'll be joined by fellow New Faves alumni and '90s grunge devotees Thermal, the smooth stylings of nodisco. and the effervescent edge of Camille Léon at the Monarch Tavern.

The festivities continue at the Monarch the following Friday, January 12, with the noisy post-hardcore of punks Life in Vacuum, occult goth-rockers Dermabrasion, slimy shapeshifters SLUG and the pulling-no-punches psychedelia of Silks. At Longboat Hall the next night (January 13), indie rock dreamweaver Rachel Bobbitt will transport us into her stories alongside the laidback grooves of His His, alt-pop provocateur Jay Feelbender, and the mercurial soundscapes of Essie Watts.

Sunnsetter kicks off the next weekend of shows with their expansive folk-tinged shoegaze, headlining the Monarch on January 19 with baroque pop nobility the Royal Family, post-country quartet Westelaken and the delicate tenacity of Burs. Then, Montreal art punks La Sécurité take over for a Saturday night (January 20) dance party you won't want to miss. Techo-disco cynics OLGA, dark wavers StillWaves and audacious noise-rockers Arenas will also perform.

The back end of the month brings the fuzzed-out, gritty guitar-pop of Cam Kahin, garage-punk hyperpopster WEBB, unvarnished melodicists Sun Junkies and self-described "queer roller skate punk" purveyors Shiv and the Carvers to Nineteen Seventy Eight (1978 Dundas Street West) for the penultimate show of the series on Friday, January 26.

Last — but certainly not least — is a trip back to Longboat Hall for the breezy pop-rock hooks of the High Loves, dusty-booted country outlaws Nicolette & the Nobodies, the sweetly sweeping alt-pop of Emma Beckett and college radio rock revivalists Fighting Chance.

Tickets for the Class of 2024 concert series, in partnership with the City of Toronto's Music Office, are on sale now via Showclix — and you can enter to win your way in. Check out the Facebook event links below for more details, and stay tuned to find out more about how this year's class are making the grade! 

Exclaim!'s Class of 2024:

01/05 Bestfriend / nodisco. / Thermal / Camille Léon - Monarch Tavern
01/12 Life in Vacuum / Dermabrasion / Slug / Silks - Monarch Tavern
01/13 Rachel Bobbitt / His His / Jay Feelbender / Essie Watts - Longboat Hall
01/19 Sunnsetter / The Royal Family / Westelaken / Burs - Monarch Tavern
01/20 La Sécurité / OLGA / StillWaves / Arenas - Monarch Tavern
01/26 Cam Kahin / WEBB / Sun Junkies / Shiv and the Carvers - Nineteen Seventy Eight
01/27 The High Loves / Nicolette & the Nobodies / Emma Beckett / Fighting Chance - Longboat Hall


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