11 Can’t-Miss Concerts in Kingston This August

By Jordan Whitehouse

There are five music festivals in or near Kingston this August, and fortunately, they’re all different. Indie rock, blues, electronic, folk, post-punk — take your pick. Throw in over a dozen non-fest shows from barroom rockers, acoustic crooners and beyond this month, and you have the makings for one of the deepest concert lineups all year.

11 Can’t-Miss Concerts in Kingston This August, Missy Bauman
Photographer: Ashley Senja
  1. Missy Bauman

Saturday, August 5, 8 pm
Musiiki Café
One of those acoustic crooners is Missy Bauman, a young artist who started turning heads — and winning awards — in Hamilton in 2012. She released her debut album this May, and ever since has been touring the country and turning more heads with her ethereal blend of alternative and dream folk. Her bright, bold voice should find a good home in the tiny Musiiki Café.
Admission: Check musiikicafe.com closer to the date.

11 Can’t-Miss Concerts in Kingston This August, Listen Up Kid
Photo via Listen Up Kid, Facebook
  1. Listen Up Kid — The Stone City Music Festival

Saturday, August 5
The Mansion
The Mansion
The Stone City Music Festival is a three-day, all-ages event making its debut this month with over 24 acoustic and electric bands set to play at The Mansion and Musiiki Café. One of the most anticipated is Kingston’s own Listen Up Kid, an alternative rock four-piece with emo, punk, grunge and power-pop leanings. Check them out if you’re feeling the least bit angsty or head-bangy; The Mansion’s intimate and usually rollicking “Living Room” will help you get it all out.
Admission: $10

11 Can’t-Miss Concerts in Kingston This August, Dwayne Gretzky
Photo via Dwayne Gretzky, Facebook
  1. Dwayne Gretzky

Thursday, August 10, 9 pm
Ale House & Canteen
This cover-tunes supergroup is made up of people who’ve played in established Toronto bands like Arkells, July Talk, and Sweet Thing. The effect of all that talent is a cover band that doesn’t just knows how to play classics from the likes of Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty really well, but also make them feel new again. As singer Nick Rose said a few years ago: “There is more art in our approach and that’s what makes it compelling. More thought put into the execution than merely learning songs and spitting them out.”
Admission: $15 in advance

11 Can’t-Miss Concerts in Kingston This August, Basic White
  1. Basic White

Thursday, August 10, 5:30 pm
The Mansion
Like Listen Up Kid, Basic White’s sound should pair well with The Mansion’s “Living Room”. Think indie rock with solid doses of jam band and southern rock mixed in from these four fellas from London, Ontario. In other words, expect a strong urge to get up, move your feet and not stop until the last encore.
Admission: Check mansion.rocks closer to the date.

11 Can’t-Miss Concerts in Kingston This August, Back Home Again a Tribute to John Denver
Photographer: Tom Becker
  1. “Back Home Again — A Tribute to John Denver”

Friday, August 11, 7:30 pm
Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts
We live in strange, chaotic times, so it’s no wonder John Denver’s simple, timeless tunes like “Thank God, I’m a Country Boy” and “Rocky Mountain High” sound refreshing right now. And thank God it’s Tom Becker helping to bring those tunes back on this tour. The former member of the legendary folk group The New Christy Minstrels has also played with everyone from Ray Charles to Jerry Lee Lewis to Willie Nelson.
Admission: $50

11 Can’t-Miss Concerts in Kingston This August, Hannah Georgas
Photographer: Tabercil via Flickr
  1. Hannah Georgas — Wolfe Island Music Festival

Saturday, August 12
Wolfe Island
With bands like Born Ruffians, Said the Whale, and Land of Talk appearing at the Wolfe Island Music Festival this year, it’s tough to pick one can’t-miss. But Hannah Georgas has to be up there. The pop/rock singer-songwriter has three albums to her name now, and they’re all different, encompassing folk instrumentation, catchy pop hooks and plenty of synth. What connects them all though is the rich, emotional sonic landscape Georgas creates with her powerful voice.
Festival admission: $65/day; $125/weekend; $150/weekend with camping

11 Can’t-Miss Concerts in Kingston This August, The Good Brothers
Photo via The Good Brothers
  1. The Good Brothers — Emerald Music Festival

Saturday, August 12
Amherst Island
Fifteen country, bluegrass, Celtic, and rock and roll bands will hit the outdoor stage at the Emerald Music Festival this year, but the biggest draw will likely be The Good Brothers. Formed in 1969 in Toronto, the country bluegrass and folk group went on to tour the continent with likes of The Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, and Jefferson Airplane. One of their biggest claims to fame: winning the Juno Award for Country Group or Duo eight years in a row between 1977 and 1984.
Festival admission: $15/Friday; $25/Saturday; $10/Sunday; $45/weekend with camping

11 Can’t-Miss Concerts in Kingston This August, Trevor Walsh
Photo via Downtown Kingston
  1. The Trevor Walsh Group

Saturday, August 19, 10 pm
The Merchant Tap House
Trevor Walsh grew up and learned to play guitar in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, so Celtic music is in his DNA. Yet while he’s played in Celtic bands all his life and still plays those songs, he’s added rock and folk to his repertoire now. You’ll know most or all of the rock covers his band plays at these weekly Merchant gigs, and thankfully Walsh plays them with the passion and skill they deserve. A Saturday night show from them in the summer is a guaranteed rollicking good time.
Admission: Check merchanttaphouse.com closer to the date.

11 Can’t-Miss Concerts in Kingston This August, The Mahones
Photo via The Mahones, Facebook
  1. The Mahones — Back to the Farm Beer and Music Festival

Sunday, August 20, 9:15 pm
MacKinnon Brothers Brewing Company, Bath
This rural rock fest is back for its third year, and eleven bands are on the lineup this year. Most are of the indie, folk, pop and rock persuasions — or some combination thereof — but the headliner, The Mahones, are firmly in the Irish punk category. Formed on St. Patrick’s Day in 1990, their incredible career has included ten studio albums, tours to 35 countries and headlining spots at festivals all over the world. They’ve also had songs in a slew of TV shows and movies, such as the Academy Award-winning flick The Fighter.
Festival admission: $25 in advance; $30 at the gate

11 Can’t-Miss Concerts in Kingston This August, Nick Moss Band
Photographer: Michael Kurgansky
  1. Nick Moss Band — Limestone City Blues Festival

Saturday, August 25, 7 pm
Springer Market Square,
The Limestone City Blues Festival’s annual pitch is always enticing: four night of live blues music in downtown Kingston bars and restaurants and on outdoor stages. But how do you choose who to see? Those outdoor shows are always a good place to start, and this year the big Saturday night headliner is the Nick Moss Band, who are fronted by a 16-time Blues Music Award nominee. They deliver an intense blend of traditional Chicago blues and jam-oriented blues rock that will definitely get you dancing in the square.
Festival admission: $15

11 Can’t-Miss Concerts in Kingston This August, Miss Emily
Photo via Pan Chancho
  1. Miss Emily — Backyard BBQ and Band Series

Thursday, August 31
Pan Chancho
Every Thursday evening this summer Pan Chancho hosts a barbecue on its patio paired with some seriously good local live music. Ending the annual summer series this month is Emily Fennell, who, as The Tragically Hip’s Rob Baker put it, has “an angelic voice with just a hint of sultry devilishness”. Her influences run the gamut from rhythm and blues to folk to jazz to rock, all of which you’ll hear at this laidback outdoor show.
Admission: $25 (includes cover, one grill item, and two sides)