Best Of 2019 – Our team’s favourite albums & shows of the year

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Fontaines D.C. @ Osheaga 2019

Steve Gerrard | Editor/Photographer

Albums
1. Tool – Fear Inoculum
2. Throes – In the Hands of an Angry God
3. Michael Kiwanuka – KIWANUKA
4. Norma Jean – All Hail
5. The Murder Capital – When I Have Fears
*Honourable mention: Misþyrming – Algleymi

Concerts
1. The National @ Place Des Arts
2. Nails @ Club Soda
3. Fontaines D.C. @ Osheaga
4. Weezer + Pixies @ Bell Centre
5. Billie Eilish @ Place Bell
*Honourable mention: Arkells @ Mtelus

Flying V - Dilly Dally
Dilly Dally @ Bar le Ritz

Randal Wark | Writer

Albums
1. Tool – Fear Inoculum
2. HVOB – Rocco
3. Dilly Dally – Heaven
4. Fontaines D.C. – Dogrel
5. City and Colour – A Pill for Loneliness

Concerts
1. Dilly Dally (Bar Le Ritz) – Bringing down the Ritz!
2. Nick Cave an Evening of Talk & Music – Vulnerability & music.
3. Alex Henry Foster (L’Astral) – Deep & intense!
4. Montreal Calling – 5 hours of nostalgia!
5. Twenty One Pilots (Bell Centre) – Not so much a show, but a theatrical performance!

Charly Bliss @ Bar le Ritz

Simon Williams | Writer

Albums
1 Charly Bliss – Young Enough
2 Vampire Weekend – Father Of The Bride
3 Local Natives – Violet Street
4 Thom Yorke – Tomorrows Modern Boxes
5 Black Midi – Schlagenheim

Concerts
1 Gwen Stefani @ Zappos Theater, Las Vegas
2 Charly Bliss @ Bar Le Ritz, Montreal
3 Weezer & The Pixies @ Bell Centre, Montreal
4 Johnny Marr @ House Of Blues, San Diego
5 The Beths & Bad Bad Hats @ Casa Del Popolo, Montreal

Vampire Weekend @ MTelus

Dan Corber | Writer

Albums
1. Trey Anastasio – Ghosts of the Forest
2. Vampire Weekend – Father of the Bride
3. The Mountain Goats – In League With Dragons
4. Better Oblivion Community Center – Better Oblivion Community Center
5. The Comet is Coming – Trust In The Lifeforce Of The Deep Mystery
Honourable Mention: My Finest Work Yet (Andrew Bird)

Concerts
1. Phish @ Budweiser Stage, Toronto
2. Neko Case @ Corona Theatre
3. Jeremy Dutcher @ Club Soda
4. Vampire Weekend @ MTELUS
5. Snarky Puppy @ MTELUS
Honourable Mention: Here Come The Mummies! @ Petit Campus

José González & The String Theory @ Place Des Arts

Ricardo D. Flores | Writer

Albums
Tool – Fear Inoculum
The Comet is Coming – Trust in the Lifeforce of the Deep Mystery
Chick Corea & The Spanish Heart Band – Antidote
José González and The String Theory – Live in Europe
Billie Eilish – When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?

Concerts
King Crimson @ Theatre St-Denis
Massive Attack @ Bell Centre
Devendra Banhart @ Theatre Corona
Jose Gonzalez and the String Theory @ Maison Symphonique
Pineapple Thief @ Theatre Corona

Maggie Rogers at Mtelus

Annette Aghazarian | Writer

Albums
1. Maggie Rogers – Heard It In a Past Life
2. Joe Jackson – Fool
3. Brittany Howard – Jaime
4. Gary Clark Jr – This Land
5. Lizzo – Cuz I Love You

Concerts
1. Maggie Rogers @ Mtelus
2. Joe Jackson @ Place des Arts
3. Florence and the Machine @ Bell Centre
4. The Interrupters @ Mtelus
5. Mavis Staples @ Rialto
*Honourable mention to The Struts @ Mtelus for bringing the Glam

Our Lady Peace @ Bell Centre

Richard Brunette | Writer

Albums
1. Tool – Fear Inoculum
2. Slipknot – We Are Not Your Kind
3. Weezer – Teal Album
4. Refused – War Music
5. La Dispute – Panorama

Concerts
1. Our Lady Peace/ Live/ Bush @ Bell Centre
2. Ghost @ Heavy Montreal
3. CHOM 50th Anniversary concert @ MTelus
4. Dreadnoughts @ Katacombes
5. Montreal Calling @ Corona

Beyond Creation @ La Tulipe

Isaac Asselin-Bishop | Writer

Albums
1- Equipoise – Demiurgus
2- Gatecreeper – Deserted
3- Cannabis Corpse – Nug so vile
4- Blood Incantation – Hidden History of the Human Race
5- Abigail Williams – Walk Beyond the Dark

Concerts
1- Ghoul @ Foufounnes Èlectriques
2- Beyond Creation @ La Tulipe
3- Psycroptic (+ Cannabis Corpse) @ Montage Music Hall (Rochester NY)
4- Creeping Death (+ Fuming Mouth) @ Lopez
5- First Fragment @ Katacombes

Jenny Lewis @ l’Astral

Carrie-Ann Kloda | Writer

Albums
1. Lizzo – Cuz I Love You (Super Deluxe)
2. Noah Kahan – Busyhead
3. Jenny Lewis – On the Line
4. Maggie Rogers – Heard It In A Past Life
5. Richard Reed Parry – Quiet River of Dust Vol. 2: That Side of the River

Concerts
1. Jenny Lewis & Death Cab for Cutie @ Higher Ground (Vermont)
2. Tegan & Sara @ Corona
3. Barr Brothers @ Corona
4. Chvrches @ MTELUS
5. Jenny Lewis @ l’Astral

Honourable mentions:
*Lennon Stella @ l’Astral
*Maggie Rogers @ MTelus

Childish Gambino @ Osheaga 2019

Maxime Le Huidoux | Writer

Albums
Lomepal – Amina
Nekfeu – Les Etoiles Vagabondes: Expansion
Wage War – Pressure
Loud – Tout ça pour ça
I Prevail – Trauma

Concerts
Childish Gambino @ Osheaga
A Day To Remember + I Prevail + Beartooth @ Place Bell
Lomepal – Showcase @ L’Auberge Saint Gabriel
Bigflo et Oli @ MTelus
Architects + Thy Art Is Murder + While She Sleeps @ MTelus

Tyler, the Creator @ Place Bell

Cate Spree | Writer

Albums
Burna Boy – African Giant 
Mahalia – Love and Compromise 
Loyle Carner – Not Waving but Drowning 
Kaytranada – BUBBA
Raveena – Lucid 

Concerts
Jordan Rakei @ Le Belmont
Tyler the Creator @ Place Bell
Boiler Room, Piknic Electronik (DJs including Joe Claussell, Marcellus Pittman, Project Pablo etc.)
Mahalia @ Le Belmont

A Day To Remember @ Place Bell

Eric Brisson | Photographer

Albums
Bring Me The Horizon – Amo
Fever 333 – Strength in Numb333rs
Lewis Capaldi – Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent
Slipknot – We Are Not Your Kind
Tool – Fear Inoculum

Concerts
A Day To Remember, I Prevail and Beartooth @ Place Bell
Bring Me The Horizon with Thrice and Fever 333 – Place Bell
Shinedown with Papa Roach, Asking Alexandria and Savage After Midnight @ Place Bell
Slipknot with Killswitch Engage and Light The Torch – FEQ, Quebec
Summersault 2019 – Our Lady Peace, Live and Bush @ Bell Centre

Halestorm @ Mtelus

Pedro Riot | Photographer

Albums
1. Baroness – Gold & Grey
2. Refused – War Music
3. Boundaries – Turning Point
4. Knocked Loose – A different shade of blue
5. Defeater – Defeater

Concerts
1. Fever 333 @ Heavy MTL
2. Get The Shot @ Pouzza 9
3. Halestorm @ MTelus
4. Cross Dog @ Turbo Haüs
5. Midnight @ Theatre Corona

Def Leppard @ Bell Centre

Giosi Tortorici | Writer

Albums
1. Tesla – Shock
2. Backstreet Boys – DNA
3. Sons of Apollo – Live With The Plovdiv Psychotic Symphony
4. Thomas Rhett – Center Point Road
5. Il Volo – Musica

Concerts
1. Def Leppard @ Bell Centre
2. Thomas Rhett @  Bell Centre
3. Chris Young @ SPAC, Saratoga Springs NY

Dermot Kennedy @ MTelus

Ryley Remedios | Photographer

Albums
i,i – Bon Iver
Assume Form – James Blake
Remind Me Tomorrow – Sharon Van Etten
STILL – TOBi 
Heard It In A Past Life – Maggie Rogers

Concerts 
Ocean Alley & Tash Sultana @ Sidney Myer Music Bowl 
Orville Peck @ La Sala Rosa
Dermot Kennedy @ MTelus
PUP @ Corona
Mac Ayres @ L’Astral

Bryan Adams @ Bell Centre

Francesca Sacerdoti | Writer

Albums
Big Wreck – …but for the sun  
The Black Keys – Let’s Rock
FKA Twigs – Magdalene

Concerts
Bryan Adams @ Bell Centre 
LP @ MTelus
Florence + the Machine @ Bell Centre 
Norah Jones @ Salle Wilfrid Pelletier 
Jeff Martin @ l’Astral 

Brittany Salmaso | Writer

Albums
1. Logic – Confessions of a Dangerous Mind
2. Juice WRLD – Death Race For Love
3. Ozuna – Nibiru
4. Post Malone – Hollywood’s Bleeding
5. Chris Brown – Indigo

King Diamond @ Mtelus

Jason Maher | Writer

Albums
Sabaton – The Great War
Kanye West – Jesus is King
Aaron West and the Roaring Twenties – Routine Maintenance
Ghost – 7 Inches of Satanic Panic
Ghostmane – Human Error

Concerts
Backtrack @ Bar le Ritz
King Diamond @ Mtelus
Sabaton @ Mtelus
Ghost @ Heavy MTL
Ghoul @ Deathfest – Foufs

King Princess @ MTelus

Jamie Siddall | Writer

Albums

1. Cheap Queen – King Princess 

This album makes me want to dance while crying. The world had expectations for this fast-growing artist, due to her recognition from Harry Styles. King Princess was far from disappointing when she revealed herself through “Cheap Queen.” Not only did she expose herself as a songwriter, but she exposed her emotions as a hopeless romantic. 

With this record, she threw all her cards on the table, showing her skills, her passion, and her intense thought process. Many, including myself, welcomed it all with open arms. “Hit The Back” displays the insecurity in her confidence, “Watching my Phone” puts a one-sided relationship into perspective, and “If You Think it’s Love” reveals the genius that is King Princess.

2. Immunity – Clairo 

“Immunity” is a perfect start to Clairo’s career, and helped her leave her mark on the Indie scene. Jazzy piano tunes and remarkable bass lines are all perfectly brought together by her soft and mesmerizing vocals. 

Her tracks tell the story of self-discovery and figuring out relationships. When you listen to tracks like “Bags,” “Alewife,” and “Sofia,” it’s clear as day that Clairo broke right through her bedroom walls, and is growing into a wonderful artist. 

3. Norman Fucking Rockwell – Lana Del Rey 

She took so long to release this album, everyone was thirsting for it. But alas, after Lana Del Rey dangled carrots in front of her entire fan base, she finally gave us what we wanted. And oh, boy was it just so satisfying. 

Lana will always have the hearts of her listeners, and this album proves it. This album explains how terrifying it sometimes is to fall in love, and how, even after a lot of growth, sadness will still occasionally creep up on you. 

4. FOTO – Kota the Friend 

I had discovered Kota at the beginning of 2019. He’s such a vibe. “FOTO” is all about his upbringing, raising his son, and love with no complications. 

This record is easily in my top 5. I had “FOTO” on repeat all summer, especially tracks like “Chicago Diner,” a lovely tune about falling in love with an ambitious woman, and “Church,” an RnB track with a gospel twist. My favourite though, “Birdie” is so sweet. I’m gonna play it at my wedding. 

5. Truth Is – Sabrina Claudio 

Something that I admire greatly in Sabrina Claudio’s work, is how she manages to push herself even farther with each record. For “Truth Is,” she really opened her heart up for the world to see. Her elegance and vulnerability are clearly seen in all 10 tracks. 

Comparing “Truth Is” to some of her other work, it’s easy to recognize Sabrina’s rising maturity. She reveals the importance of honesty in songs such as “Problem With You,” the realness of jealousy with “Me in Her,” and the frustrating anguish of heartbreak with “Take One To the Head.” 

Twenty One Pilots @ Bell Centre

Concerts

1 Fleetwood Mac – Centre Vidéotron (Québec City) 

I still can’t believe I saw Fleetwood Mac in concert. It was such an amazing experience. My friends and I drove all the way to Quebec City on the morning of and enjoyed the best show I had been to in 2019. Not only did it blow my mind, but it also blew my wallet. I spent so much money on merch, but I don’t regret it at all. 

That’s a show I’m never going to forget. I’ll be telling my children about that concert.

2. Twenty One Pilots – Bell Centre 

There’s not one thing about this show that I could complain about. I had waited all day in line, sang with a large group of people, covered myself and others with yellow duct tape, and sweat more than I’ve ever sweat in my life while jumping and dancing as hard as I could. 

Twenty One Pilots is another band that affected my teen years. I know, another day, another emotional concert. But that’s what makes it special for me, and that’s also how they end up on this list.

3. Panic! At The Disco – Place Bell 

Let’s step back to the teenage nostalgia I mentioned in my previous choice. Panic! At The Disco had an enormous influence on my upbringing. It was the only concert I had shed a tear to. Within reason! Brendon Urie held my hand, alright, it’s emotional.

4. Marina Diamandis – MTelus 

Picture it; you’re a 13-year-old girl, walking down your highschool hallway while “Bubblegum Bitch” influences your attitude, your walk, and your confidence. You’re picturing yourself as myself at that age. Now imagine all of that 13-year-old mess jumping right out all at once, just because you’re finally seeing Marina Diamandis live. 

I had a stupid good time at that concert.

5. Allan Rayman – MTelus 

I experienced a lot of hesitation when I thought about this list. I had sat down and made a list of all the shows I had been to, review or not, in 2019. One of the names I had full confidence in writing down, was the one and only Allan Rayman. 

His show was the last I had been to for the year. I walked into MTelus with zero expectations, and I walked out with a raised bar. His show amazed me.


Photos by Steve Gerrard, Eric Brisson, Pedro Riot, Alex René, Simon Williams, Ramy Elhoufy, Kieron Yates, Ryley Remedios, Ashley MacPhee, Randal Wark and Alexandre Grenier.

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