Although there’s plenty to do in Waterloo Region in May, here are 15 events happening this month worth getting out of town for – from chart-topping rappers to the return of Edward Encarnacion.
May 5-6: Father John Misty
It’s been a wild ride for Josh Tillman who has grown from Fleet Foxes drummer to one of indie rock’s most fascinating singer-songwriters. Released last month, Father John Misty’s latest disc Pure Comedy has received universal acclaim, with lead single ‘Total Entertainment Forever’ featuring Macauley Culkin starring as Kurt Cobain.
May 5-6, 7pm, $59.50-79.50. Royal Alexandra Theatre, 260 King Street W, Toronto.
May 5 and 7: Toronto Raptors vs Cleveland Cavs
After a tense first round battle with the ascending Milwaukee Bucks, the Toronto Raptors hope to pull a major upset against defending champion LeBron James. While new additions Serge Ibaka and P.J. Tucker were brought in for this battle, there’s a reason why LeBron hasn’t lost an Eastern Conference series in six years (as the first two games of the series has shown). With Kyle Lowry, Patrick Patterson, Ibaka and Tucker free agents this off-season, this is likely Raptors’ fans last chance to cheer on what’s been by far the most successful Raps team in franchise history.
May 8-10: Toronto Blue Jays vs Cleveland Indians
It’s been a nightmarish start to the season but Jays fans will be able to reminisce about the recent playoffs filled past as former slugger Edwin Encarnacion visits the Sky Dome with the Central Division leading Cleveland Indians. For those hoping to catch a game on the weekend, the Jays host the Seattle Mariners from May 11-14 and the Texas Rangers from May 26-28.
May 9: Jimmy Eat WorldThe emo veterans were the subject of an Apple Music ad last year featuring Taylor Swift lip syncing to the group’s eternal hit ‘The Middle’ and their latest disc, Integrity Blues, cracked the Billboard Top 20. They bring their world tour to support the album to London Music Hall.
May 9, 7pm, $20-35. London Music Hall. Tickets.
May 11: Ab-Soul
As Kendrick Lamar continues to dominate the hip hop game with his latest opus, Damn!, his TDE labelmate and fellow Black Hippie continues to steadily build on his critical acclaim. Last year, he dove even deeper into his abstract style on his critically lauded fourth album, Do What Thou Wilt.
May 11, 8pm, $27.50. Phoenix Concert Theatre, 410 Sherbourne, Toronto. Tickets.
May 12-13: Mac DeMarco
A week after his highly anticipated third album, This Old Dog, the acclaimed Canadian singer-songwriter takes over Danforth Music Hall in Toronto for two nights.
May 12-13, 7pm, $48-58.25. Danforth Music Hall, tickets.
May 16: Future & Migos
Atlanta heavyweight Future became the first artist to top the Billboard charts in back-to-back weeks with two different albums thanks to Future and Hndrxx. Co-headlining is Migos who topped the charts with their excellent Culture album and the ubiquitous ‘Bad and Bougie.’ Rising Toronto rhymer Tory Lanez rounds out a killer bill.
May 16, 6pm, $33.50-108. Budweiser Stage, 909 Lake Shore W, Toronto. Tickets.
May 19-20: Deafheaven
The black metal stalwarts have built up a fierce following thanks to ear-destroying albums like Sunbather and New Bermuda. They bring their North America tour to a pair of intimate venues, The Garrison in Toronto on May 19 and XX on May 20 in Hamilton.
May 22-23: The xx
After four years away, the London trio have returned basking in the accolades of their impressive new disc, I See You. Known for their minimalist work, the group has added new musical layers influenced by member and rising producer Jamie XX.
May 22-23, 7pm, $49.50-69.50. Echo Beach, 909 Lake Shore W, Toronto. Tickets.
May 24: Chance the Rapper
The Grammy winning rhymer is universally beloved with everyone from Barack Obama to Lil Wayne singing his praises. While the world eagerly awaits the Chicago emcee’s next move, Chance’s for last year’s excellent, Coloring Book, continues with a 36-date Spring tour that returns to Toronto.
May 24, 7pm, $29.50-115. Budweiser Stage, 909 Lake Shore W, Toronto. Tickets.
May 26: The Weeknd
From mysterious viral wonder to Starboy, Abel Tesfaye has enjoyed a wild six years. Expect a rapturous hometown show as he brings his Starboy: Legend of the Fall world tour to the Air Canada Center.
May 26, 7.30pm, $39.50-175. Air Canada Center. Tickets.
May 26: The Soul Motivators
The Toronto-based “nine-piece, 3 horn deep funk explosion” bring their vintage soulful sound to Hamilton’s This Ain’t Hollywood on May 13 and E-Bar in Guelph on May 26 to cap off their six-city Spring Shakedown tour.
May 27: Future Islands
Since their star-making performance of ‘Seasons (Waiting On You)’ on The Late Show with David Letterman three years ago, the Baltimore synth-pop band have become budding indie heavyweights. They bring their North American tour to support their just released their disc, The Far Field.
May 27, 7pm, $35.75-51.25. Danforth Music Hall,
May 28: Animal Collective
The experimental pop group have been prolific lately following the four year break between Centipede HZ and last year’s Painting With. They released their second EP of the year, the Amazon Forest recorded Meeting of the Waters on Record Store Day last month.
May 28, 7pm, $38.75-42. Danforth Music Hall, tickets.
May 30: The Chainsmokers
The Grammy winning EDM-pop duo topped the Billboard charts last month with their full-length studio debut, Memories… Do Not Open, with its first three singles sharing the Top 10 simultaneously.
May 30, 7pm, $47.90-120. Air Canada Center, Toronto. Tickets.
May 31: Tool
While there’s still no word on the innovative art rock group’s long-awaited fifth album, Tool will be embarking on a short nine-city North America tour that bypasses Toronto for Hamilton’s FirstOntario Centre.
May 31, 8pm, $77.75-128.25. First Ontario Centre, Hamilton. Tickets.