11 Can’t-Miss Concerts in Kingston September 2019

By Jordan Whitehouse

Didn’t nab a ticket to the now sold-out concert at Kingston Pen? Don’t worry, there’s a ton of solid shows happening all month, including The Glorious Sons at Richardson Stadium, Rufus Wainwright at The Grand, and Justin Rutledge at The Grad Club.

Photo via FreeStock

Firebird Sessions

Sunday, September 1, 2019, 3 pm

Musiikki Café

Local jazz singer Selina Chiarelli and flautist Caroline Kwok have been hosting these Sunday afternoon jazz shows all summer long. They’re a place for local female artists to showcase and explore their talents, and for audiences to hear a more proportional representation of the genre. Chiarelli and Kwok typically open, and then a local jazz musician takes over (Chantal Thompson, Savannah Shea, and Michelle Kasaboski have all played, for instance). The afternoon ends with an open jam session in a free-jazz format.

Pay what you can

Photo via Ian Burton, Facebook

Ian Blurton’s Future Now

Friday, September 6, 2019, 10 pm

The Toucan

This hard-hitting rock fourpiece is led by Toronto indie music stalwart Ian Blurton, who started playing drums with Cowboy Junkies and A Neon Rome. He also sang and played guitar for Change Of Heart, Blurtonia, Bionic, C’mon, Public Animal, and others, as well as produce albums for artists like The Weakerthans and Rheostatics. This current solo project has influences ranging from 70s hard rock to new wave to garage rock to psychedelic. Supporting it all is Glen Milchem (Blue Rodeo) on drums, Anna Ruddick (Randy Bachman) on bass, and Aaron Goldstein (Daniel Romano) on guitar.

Free admission

Photo via Destroyer, Facebook


Saturday, September 7, 2019, 6 pm

CFB Kingston Base Gym

Get out the face paint and black hair dye — legendary KISS tribute act Destroyer is headlining the annual rock show at CFB Kingston this year. The band has been together for 25 years, and has played over 1,250 shows to date. They’re one of the most sought-after KISS tributes around, and they’ll definitely get you rock and rolling all night long with classics like Detroit Rock City, 100,000 Years, and Christine Sixteen. Helix and Prism will open the show.

Admission $15

Photo via W3APONS, Facebook


Saturday, September 7, 2019, 10 pm

The Merchant Tap House

This indie rock band is made up of three artists from Saskatoon with more than 30 years of combined performance time between them. It’s a new project for the trio, though, and it’s been gaining steam since last year’s release of the single “Off the Top of My Heart”. Produced and co-written by The Trews’ John-Angus MacDonald, the song would easily fit in a mix with AC/DC, Bryan Adams, and Foo Fighters. The band also plays the night before at The Merchant (Friday, September 6th).

Free admission

Photo via FreeStock

Boag & The Braveyard Whips

Saturday, September 14, 2019, 4 pm


Local legend Boag & The Braveyard Whips hosts this show every Saturday afternoon, where a rotating cast of other Kingston musicians typically play, too. Boag formed in the ashes of Kingston band The Unsung Heroes in 1991, and over the years has included various local artists playing county, blues, and rock ‘n’ roll covers and originals. The most recent reincarnation came in 2018, when a group of veteran greats that included Jack Troughton, Roger O’Handley, and Deb Schuurmans decided to get the band going again.

Free admission

Photo via Five Alarm Funk, Facebook

Five Alarm Funk

Wednesday, September, 18, 2019, 8 pm

Blu Martini

Since forming in 2003, Vancouver’s Five Alarm Funk says it’s had one simple goal: to make you sweat. They’ve been doing that across North America this summer with eight people playing guitars, bass, drums, congas, timbales, a sax, and a trumpet. Together, their sound is a combination of gypsy-rock, afro-punk, Latin, ska, and punk. As the band itself says, they’re a “horn-powered, percussion-fuelled sonic and visual assault.”

Admission $15

Photo via Glorious Sons, Facebook

The Glorious Sons

Saturday, September 21, 2019, 7 pm

Richardson Stadium

Richardson Stadium has hosted a few legendary Kingston concerts over the years, including The Tragically Hip’s famous 1993 show. This one should go down in history, too, as close to 16,000 people are expected to rock out with Kingston’s own The Glorious Sons. Since forming in Kingston in 2011 and honing their sound at The Merchant, the band has had eight consecutive top-10 rock radio hits in Canada. Last year they won the Juno Award for Rock Album of the Year. This year their song “S.O.S. (Sawed Off Shotgun)” was number one on Billboard’s Active and Modern Rock Charts for four consecutive weeks.

Admission $65 – $135

Photo via Justin Rutledge, Facebook

Justin Rutledge

Saturday, September 21, 2019, 9 pm

The Grad Club

Since releasing his first album in 2005, alt-country singer-songwriter Justine Rutledge has earned two Juno nominations, a Galaxy Rising Start award, and the title of Toronto’s Best Local Songwriter (NOW Magazine), among other critical accolades. His serene, spacious sound and lush harmonies have been compared to those of Ryan Adams, so no doubt he’ll find a good home in the living-room-like Grad Club.

Admission $15

Photo via Website Press Pic

Red Priest

Tuesday, September 24, 2019, 7:30 pm

The Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts

Though they’re named after Antonio Vivaldi, Red Priest isn’t your typical baroque band. Instead, they take music of the 17th and 18th centuries and re-invent it, infusing it with more creativity, energy, and humour than you’ve probably heard before. And they’ve been successful at it, playing sold-out shows in many of the world’s biggest festivals and most prestigious concert halls. The New York Times has called them “wildly virtuosic”, “entertainingly eccentric”, and “exquisite”.

Check website closer to the date for prices

Photo via Rufus Wainwright, Facebook

Rufus Wainwright

Saturday, September 28, 2019, 7:30 pm

The Grand Theatre

The man Elton John called “the greatest songwriter on the planet” has established himself as one of the top male vocalists of his generation. Born in New York and raised in Montreal, Rufus went on to become best known as a pop singer, but he also straddles the worlds of rock, opera, theatre, dance, and film. To date, he has released seven studio albums, 3 DVDs, and three live albums, including the Grammy nominated “Rufus Does Judy” at Carnegie Hall.

Admission $50 – $56

Photo via Flickr Creative Commons

Gord Downie – Life & Legacy

Saturday, September 28, 2019, 4:30 pm – 2 am

Raxx Bar and Grill

This full afternoon and evening of music will celebrate the life and legacy of Gord Downie, and benefit the Downie-Wenjack Fund and Kingston Homebase Housing. Nine local bands will perform, including the Trevor Walsh Group, Luscious, and headliner the Greg Ball Band. Tickets include a 1/2-pound of wings, an art show, a silent auction, jewellery vendors, legacy learning, psychic readings, a magician, wrestling, and Kingston School of Dance flash performances.

Admission $40