13 Can’t-Miss Concerts in Kingston This September

By Jordan Whitehouse

From Shaggy to Chicago, Cancer Bats to Cadence Weapon, September’s concert lineup is one of the most diverse so far this year.


Shaggy – Kingston Family Fun Fest

Saturday, September 8, 2018, 7 pm

Base Gym, CFB Kingston

Since bursting onto the dancehall reggae scene in the 90s, Shaggy went on to become one of the genre’s most commercially successful artists. His 1995 album “Bombastic” won Best Reggae Album of the Year at the Grammys, and in 2000, “Hot Shot,” which features the singles “It Wasn’t Me” and “Angel,” was certified platinum six times in the U.S. All of which is to say that the man knows how to craft party anthems and pop hooks that will stay in your hips and your head long after the curtain falls.

Tickets are $20

Photo via Wiki Creative Commons


Tuesday, September 11, 2018, 8 pm

Leon’s Centre

You’d think that after selling more than 100 million records, crafting 21 Top 10 singles and having five consecutive number one albums, Chicago might slow down a bit. But no. The “rock and roll band with horns,” as they describe themselves, have been touring for 51 consecutive years without missing a single concert date. And in Kingston, don’t be surprised if the nine-member band brings almost as much energy and roof-blowing rock they did in their first years of touring.   

Tickets are $59.50 – $99.50

Chicago at the Leon's Centre
Photo via Chicago Facebook

Joel Quarrington and The Isabel String Quartet

Saturday, September 15, 2018, 7 pm

The Isabel

First up in a six-concert series is one of the finest double bass players in the world. Quarrington has been the principal double bassist with the Canadian Opera Company, the Toronto Symphony, the National Arts Centre Orchestra and the famous London Symphony Orchestra. Starting with Bach and Beethoven, he’ll join the Isabel String Quartet and move to Dvorak’s String Quartet, Opus 77.

Tickets are $10 – $28

Joel Quarrington
Photo via Fred Cattroll

Cancer Bats

Thursday, September 20, 2018, 7 pm

The Mansion

In just 13 years, this widely acclaimed hardcore punk band from Toronto has released five studio albums, been nominated for three Juno Awards and toured the globe a number of times. This fall they’re touring Canada and Europe in support of their sixth studio release, The Spark That Moves. You’ll likely hear a variety of heavy metal subgenres in their music and even a few elements of Southern rock.     

Tickets are $25

Cancer Bats
Photo via FlickrCC

Sam Weber

Thursday, September 20, 2018, 7 pm

The Toucan

This Vancouver Island singer-songwriter has a sound that mixes driving rock, dream pop and roots influences. He’s been touring independently and internationally since 2013, though he was turning heads well before that. In a 2012 Guitar Player magazine feature, his guitar work was described as “killer, full of nuance, soul and a truly unique voice.” His live shows combine heartfelt songwriting, world-class musicianship and three-part harmony.

Ticket price TBD

Sam Weber
Photo via Sam Weber Facebook

The Barr Brothers

Friday, September 21, 2018, 7:30 pm

The Grand Theatre

Though this Montreal outfit is clearly rooted in Delta blues, Celtic and Appalachian folk, their melodies and hooks fit right in with modern bands like My Morning Jacket and The War on Drugs. Their popularity has soared since 2011, and they’ve ridden it to sold-out theatre shows across North America and Europe. Their guitars and banjos and stand-up bass should sound like gold on The Grand’s mainstage.     

Tickets are $23.50 – $28.50

The Barr Brothers
Photo via Mike Bouchard FlickrCC


Friday, September 21, 2018

The Grad Club

The word “okan” means “soul” in the Afro-Cuban religion Santeria, and this Toronto duo will bring heaps of it to The Grad Club’s tiny stage. Blending jazz, Afro-Cuban and world rhythms, singer Elizabeth Rodriguez and drummer Magdelys Savigne say their music looks to the roots of Cuban music “with a modern and fresh touch.” They were both born in Cuba and were classically trained, later winning Juno Awards with other groups.  

Ticket price TBD


Ken Yates – Live Wire Music Series

Friday, September 21, 2018, 7:30 pm

The Octave Theatre

The bi-annual Live Wire Music Series is back, and emerging singer-songwriter Ken Yates is kicking things off. Since winning Songwriter of the Year at the 2017 Canadian Folk Music Awards, Yates has become one of the more talked about folk artists in the country. And like any good folkie, his sound is all about good melodies, emotional lyrics and strong guitar chops. His latest album, Huntsville, was produced by Jim Bryson at Kingston’s North of Princess Recording Studio.       

Tickets are $25

Ken Yates
Photo via Josh Bruder

McGill Symphony Orchestra

Sunday, September 23, 2018, 2:30 pm

The Isabel

This special concert will give you a sneak listen of some of the top young classical musicians in the country. Often heard on CBC, the McGill Symphony Orchestra has played Carnegie Hall, Koerner Hall and regularly performs at the Montreal Nouvelle Musique Festival. In Kingston, their repertoire will include Dvorak’s Carnival Overture, Op. 92; Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor, Op. 11; and Brahms’ Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98.

Ticket price TBD

McGill Symphony
Photo via Tam Lan Truong

Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls

Tuesday, September 25, 2018, 7 pm

Ale House

The star of UK folk rocker Frank Turner has been rising ever since 2008, when he led a now-famous sing-along at the Reading Festival. He and his backing band have gone to headline shows all over the world with their earnest folk songwriting, catchy melodies and punk passion. No doubt he’ll be leading anthemic sing-alongs at Ale House of older hits like “Recovery” and “If I Ever Stray,” and new ones like “1933,” from his recent album Be More Kind.

Tickets are $35

Frank Turner
Photo via Wiki Creative Commons

Michael C. Duguay

Thursday, September 27, 2018, 8:30 pm

The Mansion

Thankfully this former globetrotting multi-instrumentalist has made Kingston his new home because his sound is a breath of fresh air for the local indie scene. It’s tough to pin down that sound, but it’s deeply textured, at times bordering on old folk, at others on fist-pumping rock, with electronic elements, horns and strings thrown in to create a lush sonic landscape. The intimate Mansion should be a great venue to let those sonics wash over you.   

Tickets are $12/advance, $15/door

Michael C Duguay
Photo via Michael Duguay Facebook

Cadence Weapon

Friday, September 28, 2018, 10 pm

The Grad Club

National Post once called Cadence Weapon Canada’s “most creative” rapper, and it’s easy to hear why.  The former Edmonton poet laureate is known for his dense and tricky productions that incorporate heavy techno and electronic beats. His new self-titled album combines trap, funk, electro, techno and grime, while his words explore individuality, race, technology, and existentialism.   

Tickets are $15/advance, $18/door

Cadence Weapon
Photo via Martin Carthrae FlickrCC

Busty & The Bass – Fall for Kingston

Saturday, September 29, 2018

City Park

Fall for Kingston is a Hospice Kingston fundraiser with all-day music, craft beer, local food and local artisans. Montreal’s Busty and the Bass will headline with their unique mix of electro-soul and hip hop. The nine-piece band started by playing packed house parties and have moved on to live shows across North America and Europe. With two vocalists, a horn section and plenty of solid beats, you’ll definitely want to dance at this one.

Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the gate entrance

Fall For Kingston
Photo via Busty and the Bass

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