In alphabetical order by artist (first name, for solo artists), reverse chronological for those with more than one concert report.
Adam Lambert live in Berlin
April 29, 2016, Huxley’s, Berlin, Germany
Wherein two Canadians travel to Germany to see an American in concert.
Live and on the CBC
August 18, 2016, The Jazz Room, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada (and also August 20, 2016, on the CBC)
Under “A” for Alysha Brilla, because she’s the one we saw live and in person, but also covering The Tragically Hip’s final concert, as it was shown on CBC television.
And also Martin Fry of ABC, performing with the KW Symphony and Jeans’n’Classics Band at Centre in the Square. Did not know much of their music in advance of this, but it does lend itself well to orchestration.
A Barenaked Christmas
December 2012, Centre in the Square, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
The Barenaked Ladies joined forces with Kitchener Waterloo Symphony for a highly entertaining evening of “hits and holiday songs.” “I’m sure it was Jarek’s dream, when he immigrated from Poland to Canada as a violin player, that he’d one day get to play Journey tunes with the Barenaked Ladies.”—Ed Robertson of The Barenaked Ladies
I also saw the Brian Setzer Orchestra perform a Christmas concert at Centre in the Square, maybe in 2013 or 2014, something like that? Was quite enjoyable; I bought his Christmas album after that.
The Blue Rodeo risk assessment
December 11, 2021, Centre in the Square, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
(Links to a blog post.) The first big rock concert of the pandemic era—maybe not at the best time? But it was a good time.
Bob Geldof and the Great Pumpkin
October 15, 2012, Centrepoint Theatre, Neapan, Ontario, Canada
The highlights of Bob Geldof’s terrific Ottawa area concert. (The last one he’s done in Canada… So far.)
Bob Geldof live in Ottawa
October 15, 2012, Centrepoint Theatre, Neapan, Ontario, Canada
And the full report on Bob Geldof’s terrific Ottawa area concert.
I also saw Bob Geldof perform at the Festival d’Ete du Quebec, probably in 2003? Recalled that it was quite rainy leading up to that outdoor show, but cleared up for it, and that we were in first or second row for all of it. It was a terrific show, but less “intimate” just due to the festival atmosphere. Met some other fans there; that was nice. Just missed meeting Bob himself afterward because we left too early.
Me and Bob
September 20, 2002, Palais Royale, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Join us on our odyssey to the wilds of Toronto, where we saw Sir Bob Geldof give one of the best live performances ever. Warning: Many expletives within. (Or, just one, really, repeated many times.) And also, live sex.
And also Billy Joel, at the Montreal Forum, around 1987. Don’t recall much of it, but I believe I enjoyed it.
Things I learned at the Carly Rae Jepsen concert
September 18, 2019, Centre in the Square, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
“Call Me Maybe” is not the high point of her career. Dedicated is not only the name of her latest album, but also of her fan base. And more!
June 2019, Centre in the Square, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
Go for the convenience, stay for the fun! After all these years, Cheap Trick has learned a trick or two about how to put on a great show.
And also Corey Hart, at the Sudbury Arena, around 1985. Mom took me and my sister. Many young women in the audience, much screaming!
Elvis Costello, Hummingbird Centre, Toronto, Ontario, July 30, 2012. Remember being very impressed with his voice (as I didn’t necessarily think of him as a great singer), surprised he didn’t talk to the audience more, and a bit disappointed he didn’t play “I Want You”—though overall, not a disappointing show.
Also saw Elvis Costello again in 2022, at Massey Hall, with guest Nick Lowe. Blog post (that covers other things as well): Corsi-Rosenthal, Elvis, & Juliet.
Gowan I’ve seen in concert twice, once at an unpleasantly overcrowded show in Timmins, Ontario, and the second time at the much more pleasant confines of Centre in the Square in Kitchener. Here he performed his entire Strange Animal album with the KW Symphony and the Jeans’n’Classics band.
I won tickets to see Jann Arden in concert around 1993 or 1994, at Lulu’s in Kitchener, Ontario, mainly known for having the “longest bar in the world”. I think I only knew a couple of Jann’s songs at the time. I do recall the contrast between her rather serious songs and her very unserious between-song banter.
Jeans’n’Classics: This is a London (Ontario)-based group that features a rock band performing with a symphony orchestra. For years they partnered with the KW Symphony, and I went to many of those shows. Not a complete list, but some that I have written about (more to come):
- Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon (April 2008)
Ladies and gentlemen, Ms k.d. lang
September 2012, Centre in the Square, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
Sincerity and humour: A tour of the wonderful world of k.d. lang. Hallelujah.
Lowest of the Low live at Maxwell’s
January 20, 2018, Maxwell’s, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
My third time seeing Lowest of the Low live in concert. Not many know them. But those who do, like them a lot!
We paid $48 to watch someone do Pattycake
Lowest of the Low, 11 April 2011, Starlight Club, Waterloo, Ontario Canada; Toca Loca, 30 Aprils 2011, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
A great performance by Lowest of the Low of their classic album in full was somewhat marred, for me at least, by the venue; and later on, we went to see the experimental Toca Loca as part of the Open Ears festival.
The Mike and Micky Show (they were The Monkees)
June 18, 2018, Centre in the Square, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
A photographer’s pass sweetened the deal, but it was a fun night out regardless at this concert featuring two of the original Monkees.
His name is Prince. And he is funky.
November 26, 2011, Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
In November 2011, I saw Prince in concert for the first and only time.
And also Pursuit of Happiness, at a very small club in Waterloo, somewhere around 1991.
Very Important People at the Queen show
July 28, 2019, Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Having VIP tickets to a very hot show: Queen + Adam Lambert in the wake of the unexpected success of the Bohemian Rhapsody movie.
Queen for a Day in Toronto
July 18, 2016, Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Queen + Adam Lambert in concert on Toronto 18 July 2017 (which happened to be our 25th wedding anniversary). Part of our “Royal tour” that summer.
Queen + Adam Lambert live in Toronto
July 13, 2014, Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
One of the earlier live performances of Queen with the then “new boy”, Adam Lambert.
The Queen Extravaganza
May 2012, Grand Théâtre de Québec, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.
We were there for the inaugural performance of this official Queen tribute band. And “there” was Québec City, of all places…
A night at the opera
April 2012, Massey Hall, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Almost every musician in Toronto was recruited to help re-create Queen’s classic album, A Night at the Opera, live in concert.
Also see: An Ironic Night at the Rock Opera, as that outing also featured a performance by Brian May and Roger Taylor.
The Door, Live
August 2012, Kitchener Blues Festival, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
Seeing Ray Manzarek, former keyboardist for The Doors, performing with Roy Rogers at the Kitchener Blues Festival. He did throw in a couple Doors songs.
Roger Daltrey presents The Who’s Tommy
September 29, 2011. Sony Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
My second time seeing Roger Daltrey in concert, presenting the entirety of the Tommy album, along with some other tunes. No intermission, no encores.
Roger Daltrey: Use It or Lose It Tour
November 5, 2009. Casinorama, Orillia, Ontario, Canada.
Originally written on 8 November 2009, when I was in the middle of serious Daltrey-mania. About his concert at Casinorama. All photographs and most videos by Jean.
- Ray Davies, March 30, 2006, Massey Hall, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Fun show, traditionally presented.
- Ray Davies, October 1996, Danforth Music Hall, Toronto, Ontario, Canada—His Storyteller show, an acoustic performance in which he interleaved songs and stories. Highly original and enjoyable (and long! But I mean that in a good way!).
Sting live. In Kitchener?
June 17, 2013, Kitchener Memorial Auditorium, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
When a star of Sting’s stature visits your home town’s hockey arena, you go! A report of this stop on his “Back to Bass” tour.
I also saw Sting at the Montreal Forum, in 1986 or so? Went with a friend from Timmins, while touring universities, as I recall…
Swing in concert: Tout le monde debout, c’est le temps de danser!
November 14, 2014, Victoria Pavilion, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
My favorite franco-Ontarian band drops by this anglo town and shows us all how to party.
Rebel Music: Tanya Tagaq and the KW Symphony
February 2016, Centre in the Square, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
You can only hear Tanya Tagaq for the first time once in your life. If you haven’t had the experience yet, I wish it for you.
And also Trooper! My first rock concert ever, in Timmins, at the McIntyre Arena, around 1983? (Most people my age from northern Ontario saw Trooper as their first rock concert, because they were about the only ones to tour up there.)
- U2, September 16, 2009, Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada—Miserably slow drive to this show (attended with a friend), as we were competing with Blackberry employees who had been given free tickets. Only time for a terrible hot dog supper, then Rogers Centre… Not the best concert space. U2 were good, though.
- U2, September 2005, Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada—Not good recollection of this, beyond that I think I went with my brother-in-law and their friends, my sister being unable to attend due to work commitments.
- U2, October 1, 1987, Olympic Stadium, Montreal, Quebec, Canada—The first and best U2 concert I attended, with university friends. We were in the floor area, and able to get reasonably close to the band. Bono later said this was one of their best concerts to date, where they succeeded in really connecting with a large stadium crowd.
For “Various artists”…
Canada Day in Ottawa, 2008
July 1, 2008. Jacques-Cartier Park, Gatineau, Quebec, Canada
This secondary stage featured performances by Jordan Croucher, Suzie McNeil (the main draw for us), Eagle and Hawk, le groupe Swing (the band we ended up enjoying the most), and Sylvain Cossette (somewhat anti-climactic headliner). Also, there were fireworks.
- Waterloo Jazz Festival—I’ve seen a couple notable (to me) performers here: Holly Cole and Emilie Claire Barlowe.
- Amnesty International Concert for Human Rights—Went to this in 1988 or so, with a couple friends, in Montreal, at Olympic Stadium. We had terrible seats, but it was still fun to see Tracey Chapman, Daniel Lanois, Peter Gabriel, Sting (much competition for the binoculars here!), and Bruce Springsteen.
The Who: Moving on! Live in Toronto
September 2019, Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
The Who perform with full symphony accompaniment, exploring deeper cuts and showing they have some creative mileage left in them.
The Who hits 50 (or so)
March 1, 2016, Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Much-delayed but worth the wait, a straightforward celebration of The Who’s best. Floor seats!
Who’s Next at Massey Hall
November 2014, Massey Hall, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Hearing The Who’s Who’s Next live, note for note, cut for cut, in very tight quarters (courtesy of Classic Albums Live, not The Who themselves).
Quadrophenia live on Grey Cup weekend
November 23, 2012, Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Our weekend in Toronto in November 2012, featuring a live performance of The Who’s Quadrophenia amidst some Canadian football frenzy.
I also saw The Who in 1989, on their second good-bye tour. This was via bus tour from Timmins to Toronto. Seats were decent and I enjoyed the show, though I didn’t retain too many details of it. They played at the CNE Stadium.
See also: Cultureguru Blog Live Music Tag.