10 Can’t-Miss Concerts in Kingston August 2019

By Jordan Whitehouse

With four music festivals, a free concert from Moist, and a handful of smaller gigs from the likes of Deux Trois and others, August will be a great month for live music in Kingston. Here are 10 shows to get you started. 

Photo via Soloman Woodland Facebook

Soloman Woodland

Thursday, August 1, 2019, 9 pm

The Merchant Tap House

The frontman of local rock band Kings of the Cold takes it down a notch at these weekly Thursday night gigs, preferring to show off his singer-songwriter chops. Typically armed with just an acoustic guitar and his gravelly voice, Woodland plays his own original music, but also covers artists like Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Steve Earl, The Tragically Hip, and The White Stripes. 


Photo via Moist Facebook


Friday, August 2, 2019, 8 pm

Springer Market Square

This annual free concert will be headlined by legendary Canadian rock band Moist, who have reunited this summer to celebrate the 25th anniversary of their breakthrough — and four-time platinum — album “Silver”. Singer David Usher, guitarist Mark Makoway, keyboardist Kevin Young, and bassist Jeff Pearce all spent some time living in Kingston, so this should be a homecoming of sorts. Kingston indie rockers Paper Ladies will open.  


Photo via Clem Chesterfield Facebook

Clem Chesterfield & The LA-Z Boy Recliners

Friday, August 2, 2019, 10:30 pm

The Toucan

Country music has a long of history of comedy and irreverence, and Kingston’s Clem Chesterfield fits right in with his brand of old-time country and western music. Clem sings and plays acoustic guitar, and is accompanied by bass, drums, fiddle, mandolin, and sometimes electric guitar. Some songs are originals, some are covers of Hank Williams, Merle Haggard, Neil Yong, and others. As Clem says: “I tip my dusty ol’ hat to cowboys and rebels and everyone that might be an outlaw by nature.”


NQ Arbuckle (Wolfe Island Music Festival)

Friday, August 9, 2019

St. Margaret’s Hall, Wolfe Island

With bands like Born Ruffians and The Sadies playing Wolfe Island Music Fest this year, it’s tough to pick a favourite. But I have to go with this multiple Juno-nominated alt-country outfit, a five-piece that’s played some legendary shows at The Grad Club and elsewhere in Kingston over the years. Don’t be surprised to lose your voice at this one as you sing along with Neville Quinlan’s self-deprecating, booze-filled tunes of small towns, heartbreak, and history. 

$40 (includes NQ Arbuckle, The Sadies, and Emilie Steele)

Little Caesar & The Consuls (Emerald Music Festival)

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Amherst Island

Sixteen bands will take to the stage over the three days of this annual music fest, but the biggest draw will likely be Saturday’s headliner, Little Caesar & The Consuls. Formed in 1956 and once including a young Robbie Robertson, the group is now Canada’s oldest rock ‘n’ roll dance band. In the 1960s, they recorded multiple hits, including “Hang on Sloopy” (#1 in Canada and Top 50 in the U.S.), and shared the stage with The Beach Boys and The Rolling Stones. 

$30/Saturday pass

Photo via The Lucky Ones Facebook

The Lucky Ones

Monday, August 12, 2019, 4 pm

Musiikki Café

It can’t be easy being in a band made up of members dispersed across the Yukon, but this country-roots outfit definitely makes it work. Straddling traditional and contemporary roots influences, their music is, as they say, “reminiscent of old-time dances in hotel taverns and barrooms, barns, kitchens, and saloons.” Think guitars, mandolin, double bass, fiddle, and banjo.  

Pay what you can

Photo via Deux Trois Facebook

Deux Trois

Friday, August 16, 2019, 8 pm

The Mansion

It’s tough to put this Kingston pop fourpiece in a category, but they describe themselves as post-punk and new wave, concept-heavy and post-classic rock. However you categorize them, expect dark pop, driving rhythms, and heavy guitar — an overall heart- and fist-pumping experience. Ottawa lo-fi experimental band Empty Nesters plays this show too, as does Kingston indie rockers Emilie Steele & The Deal.   


Photo via The Beaches Facebook

The Beaches (Back to the Farm Beer and Music Festival)

Sunday, August 18, 2019

MacKinnon Brothers Brewing Company, Bath

Toronto’s alt-rock, all-girl band The Beaches headline the MacKinnon Bros’ annual field party this year. Fresh off their 2018 Juno win for Breakthrough Group of the Year, the band has been spending the summer in the U.S. touring with Passion Pit. With danceable beats, glam- and garage-rock influences, and killer guitar riffs, they should be the perfect end to this all-day music fest.

$30 (includes 11 other bands)    

Photo via Danielle Nicole Facebook

Danielle Nicole (Limestone City Blues Festival)

Friday, August 23, 2019, 8 pm

Princess Street at Barrie Street

Kansas City’s Danielle Nicole will headline the Princess Street Stage at this year’s Blues Fest. In May, the singer and bass player took home two pieces of hardware at the Blues Music Awards — Contemporary Blues Female Artist of the Year and Instrumentalist-Bass — so look forward to a true professional pushing the boundaries of blues music. As she says: “I grew up playing the blues, and the blues is still a big part of what I do. But now I’m reaching out more and trying different things.”  

$20 (includes all blues fest shows)

Photo via Kenny Neal Facebook

Kenny Neal (Limestone City Blues Festival)

Saturday, August 24, 2019, 9 pm

Springer Market Square

Saturday’s Blues Fest headliner is the legendary New Orleans-born Kenny Neal, who was nominated for a Grammy in 2017 and was named Contemporary Male Blues Artist of the Year at this year’s Blues Music Awards. Known as a modern swamp-blues and multi-instrumentalist master, Neal draws heavily from the sizzling sounds of his native Louisiana. He knows those sounds well, having played in his first band at age 13 and, at 17, landing a job playing bass for Buddy Guy.      

$20 (includes all blues fest shows)

Get the inside scoop on Kingston’s live music scene and check out the latest music festivals and events on our music site.