It’s a “good news, bad news” story for music fans this summer — like it is every July to September.
Record releases come to a near standstill, but some of the best concerts happen in the warmest months. So, instead of making trips to the record stores, here are a few summer concerts you should check out.
Cisco Ottawa Bluesfest, Lebreton Flats Park, Ottawa, July 6 to 18
This sprawling 12-day music event isn’t just about the blues — though there is plenty of that. The smorgasbord of artists includes folkie Jason Collett, legendary rockers Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, prog-rockers Rush and some rapper named Drake.
Vanocuver Island MusicFest, Comox Valley Exhibition Grounds, Vancouver Island July 9 -11
West Coasters should consider going to the eclectic Vancouver Island MusicFest, where acts from a variety of genres — folk, blues, soul and more — come together. Make sure to check out Winnipeg folk group Nathan, soul legend Roberta Flack and Nunavut’s experimental songstress, Tanya Tagaq.
Osheaga, Parc Jean-Drapeau, Montreal, July 31 and Aug. 1
If you’re going to make one trip this summer, come to Montreal for this massive festival. Weezer, Metric, Arcade Fire, K’Naan and reunited indie pioneers Pavement are all playing. It’s rare to see this much talent in one place.
Edmonton Folk Festival, Gallagher Park, Edmonton, Aug. 5 -8
Many cities across the country host folk festivals, but Edmonton has one of the best. Big acts like Ben Harper, Jakob Dylan and Van Morisson will be playing alongside indie artists such as Patrick Watson, Sarah Harmer and Amanda Martinez.
Lollapalooza, Grant Park, Chicago, Aug. 6 – 8
A lot of Canucks skip town during the summer, so even though it’s not Canadian I have to add Lollapalooza to the list. It’s always one of the best outdoor fests, but 2010 has an especially good lineup and not only because Soundgarden is reuniting. Lady Gaga, Green Day, Phoenix, The Strokes and Gogol Bordello will all be there as well.
Arcade Fire, Olympic Island, Toronto, Aug. 14
Six years after releasing their debut disc, Montreal’s Arcade Fire is still a huge draw. They may be better suited for theatres and clubs, but, with their frenetic live show, they’re one of the only bands I’ve ever enjoyed at a large outdoor concert.
A must see.
Bryan Borzykowski is a business and entertainment writer. Follow Metro Music on Twitter @TheMetroMusic