May 08, 2017
This has been a pretty dismal year across Canada for music venues. It seems like every other week, there’s a beloved live music spot that is closing its doors, often due to circumstances beyond their control. We’ve mentioned it a couple times in this year’s Music News Mondays, and just last week came the news that Zaphod Beeblebrox in Ottawa will be closing shop for good mid-month. April 29 saw the last show at Toronto’s storied Silver Dollar (at least, as we know it), by far one of the city’s most exciting venues for catching new and upcoming bands. But there is some good news this week.
Some very cool news, in fact. Toronto’s 100-year-old Concert Hall—inside the Masonic Temple located at 888 Yonge Street—will reopen on June 23 for the Toronto Jazz Festival, and a show including The Guess Who’s Randy Bachman, Walter Trout, and other special guests. It’ll be open for the entire festival, and will continue to operate as a music venue year-round after that, NOW Magazine reports. The last thing the building was used for, after being bought by Bell Media in 1998, was as the HQ for MTV Canada, where they would also use it as a studio to film shows. It was sold in 2013 to Info-Tech Research Group.
The venue has a pretty crazy history: Frank Sinatra used to party there in the ‘50s, and when it became the Rockpile in the ‘60s, Led Zeppelin played it on their first Toronto stop in 1969, and it became a preferred rehearsal spot for the Rolling Stones. Its reputation for housing killer bands continued into the ‘80s and ‘90s, when it hosted acts like A Tribe Called Quest, The Beastie Boys, The Cure, and Rage Against The Machine. Here’s to the next 100 years.
In Other News:
- Gord Downie got a lot of love, including some from Drake, at the Raptors game in Toronto last Friday.
- Régine Chassagne and Win Butler of Arcade Fire will receive the Ordre des arts et des lettres du Quebec on May 29.
- Andy Shauf got robbed while on tour in Atlanta.
- Mac DeMarco put his bandmate’s face on a giant billboard.
- Bestival won’t be coming back to Toronto this year.
- Toronto’s Fast Romantics had their gear stolen, but recovered quickly, in Vancouver.