12 Can’t-Miss Concerts in Kingston this May

By Jordan Whitehouse

Take your pick this month from local indie up-and-comers like Paper Ladies, chart-toppers like Theory of a Deadman and one of the world’s great Bach pianists, Angela Hewitt.

Photographer Maria Teresa de Luca
Angela Hewitt

May 5, 2018, 7:30 pm
The Isabel
The Isabel’s inaugural “Baroque and Beyond” series ends with renowned classical pianist Angela Hewitt, who’s best known for her Bach interpretations. As a writer for BBC Music Magazine once wrote of her, “I know of no musician whose Bach playing on any instrument is of greater subtlety, beauty of tone, persuasiveness of judgement or instrumental command than Hewitt’s.” Here, she’ll perform Bach and Scarlatti on her Fazioli F278 grand piano.
$19 – $55

Photographer Derek McInroy
Paper Ladies

May 5, 2018, 11 pm
The Toucan
This Kingston indie rock duo will definitely get you moving during what should be a sweaty Homegrown Live Music Fest show at The Toucan. Combining, as they say, “tasty licks and slick grooves,” their form of psychedelia delivers a washy sound of droning bass synth and lo-fi grit that fits in well with a line of Kingston indie talent that includes PS I Love You and Lost Cousins.
All-access festival bracelet: $10

Photo via The Long War
The Long War

May 5, 2018, 8 pm
Musiikki Café
Winners of the 2017 CBC Searchlight competition for Canada’s best new music act, The Long War are a Vancouver-based indie quintet with a modern Canadian folk-rock sound. The vocals are front and centre with this band and their harmonies are often haunting, so they should find a good home at the intimate Musiikki Café.

Photo via FlickrCC
Theory of a Deadman

May 6, 2018, 7 pm
Ale House & Canteen
Since forming in B.C. in 2001, Theory of a Deadman has become one of the most recognized bands in Canadian rock music today. They’ve had eight top 10 hits on the U.S. Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, including three number one hits: “Bad Girlfriend”, “Lowlife” and the recently released “Rx (Medicate)”. Their sound has a post-grunge and alternative base, though they do dabble in country and acoustic.

Photo via The Beaches
The Beaches

May 10, 2018, 7 pm
The Mansion
The Beaches are an all-girl Toronto alternative rock band that is just starting to hit. Last summer, their producer, Emily Haines (of Metric), called the young women the future of rock n’ roll. Later, they won Breakthrough Group of the Year at the 2018 Juno Awards. Their influences range from Nirvana to The Strokes to Amy Winehouse to Blondie.

Photographer Heather LeRoy
Lindi Ortega

May 12, 2018, 9 pm
The Grad Club
This Toronto country singer-songwriter has seven LPs to her name, a few Juno and Polaris nominations, and two Roots Artist of the Year awards from the Canadian Country Music Association. Her voice has been described as a blend of Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash and Emmylou Harris, while her narratives have been compared to those of Willie Nelson and Kenny Rogers.

Photo via Facebook

May 12, 2018, 9 pm
The Mansion
There’s likely little chance of Radiohead ever playing in Kingston, but this highly acclaimed Toronto-based tribute band is the next best thing. During this special performance, they’ll play Radiohead’s landmark 1997 album OK Computer in its entirety plus another set of favourites from the band’s other albums.

Photo via Orchestra Kingston
Orchestra Kingston’s Season Finale, with Canta Arya

May 12, 2018, 7 pm
The Isabel
Kingston’s community orchestra’s season will wrap with this special final performance accompanied by eastern Ontario’s leading school for Suzuki string education, Canta Arya. Expect to hear J.S. Bach, Gary Kulesha, Georges Bizet, new works by Daniel McConnachie and John Palmer, and more.

Photo via Harry Manx
Harry Manx

May 15, 2018, 7:30 pm
The Grand Theatre
A true original and worldwide performer, Harry Manx blends Indian folk melodies with slide guitar blues and a bit of gospel. As you’ll hear, it’s a tough sound to resist, at once drawing you inside yourself and then grounding you. And he’s been well rewarded for it, earning seven Maple Blues Awards, six Juno nominations, a Canadian Folk Music Award for Best Solo Artist and CBC Radio’s Great Canadian Blues Award.

Photographer Adina Eva
David Beckingham

May 16, 2018, 8 pm
The Mansion
When David Beckingham released his versatile folk album When the Light in 2016, it was a marked departure from the anthemic indie pop rock he produced with the other band he founded, Hey Ocean! Introspective and at times dark, though with the odd bouncier folk-pop tune, his solo work has a gentler, quieter tone. He and his band have toured three times in Europe since releasing the album, but this will be their first extensive headlining tour across Canada.

Photo via Dwayne Gretzky
Big Shiny, Dwayne Gretzky Does the 90s

May 18, 2018, 9 pm
Ale House & Canteen
This cover-tunes supergroup made up of folks from Arkells, July Talk and other solid indie bands is bringing back some of your favourite hits from the 90s. Don’t expect any detached irony from the show though. These guys always put on a highly energetic, genuinely fun concert that will leave you singing Destiny’s Child, Oasis and Britney Spears tunes for days.

Photographer Matthew Azzopardi
Mark Martyre

May 31, 2018, 8 pm
Musiikki Café
With a slight Tom Waits growl to his voice and wry, truthful lyrics, singer-songwriter Mark Martyre and his music are, as he’s said himself, made for cafés and house concerts. The published poet has released five full-length studio albums since 2012, and this spring and summer he’s touring Ontario, B.C., and Europe. Don’t expect fireworks, but instead a quiet acoustic show perfect with a side of whiskey.
Check musiikicafe.com closer to the date for admission price.