Photos by Samantha Wu, except for photo of Amaranthe by Dawn Hamilton and photo of Chris Cornell by Andrew Hartl

 

  1. Nightwish with Sabaton – The Phoenix Concert Theatre, Toronto – April 14, 2015

I’ve been a fan of Finnish Symphonic metal band Nightwish for close to a decade now. Any chance I can get to see them take to the stage (and this time with their lovely pirate queen Floor Jansen taking the lead) is one I can’t imagine giving up. This show was everything I wanted it to be and more. Being introduced to Swedish band Sabaton and their set list infused with battle-themed anthems made it a truly unforgettable night.

  1. Chris Cornell – Massey Hall, Toronto – October 9, 2015

Chris Cornell was one of the most iconic front men and voices of the grunge scene throughout the 90’s. As the lead for both Soundgarden and Audioslave – two bands that helped define the genre – and as a solo artist now, his talent and voice are legendary. This intimate acoustic performance provided Cornell the chance to bare his soul for Toronto audiences, in a show that I will never forget.

  1. Kamelot with Dragonforce – The Phoenix Concert Theatre, Toronto – May 3, 2015

Two great bands that taste even better together. The term “epic” gets overused so much these days that the word has all but lost its magnitude.  But if there exists two bands that are still worthy of the Epic title, it is these two. Both evoke imagery of demons, sorcery, and dragon slaying in their thematic lyrics, and fuel-driven riffs that made for one magical night.

  1. The Tea Party – Massey Hall, Toronto – September 26, 2015

Canada’s Walk of Fame Week kicked off with a special show by Windsor natives The Tea Party (and one of Canada’s most notable rock bands from the 90s, often referred to as the “Canadian Nine Inch Nails”).  After a lengthy hiatus, the The Tea Party is back, and fans – me included – could not be happier. The gems played during this show spanned nearly two decades and evoked many a fond memory of attempting to complete homework while watching MuchMusic as a teen.

  1. Aftermath Festival – The Phoenix Concert Theatre, Toronto – August 27-30, 2015

Three packed-to-the-rafters days of industrial, dark wave, EBM, aggrotech at The Phoenix was the best birthday present this delighted (and exhausted) gothic gal could ask for. With performers flying in from all parts of the globe to play this new Toronto festival (only its second year of infancy) it showed that indeed the Goth scene in Toronto may be niche – it may be small but it is strong, mighty, and a proud tribe.

  1. Garbage – The Phoenix Concert Theatre, Toronto – October 26, 2015

I shall be forever thankful to that one security guard outside The Phoenix who handed me a single complimentary ticket (that surprisingly no one wanted) to the Garbage show on an sold out night. When I originally thought my evening was to shoot photos of a few songs before calling it a night, I ended up catching all of Toronto show for Garbage’s 20 Years of Queer tour. This performance will stand out in my mind for years, and one that had my old teenage self doing back flips in sheer glee.

  1. Faith No More – Ricoh Coliseum, Toronto – August 7, 2015

Faith No More was a band I had always admired from afar for many years. Their highly eclectic songs I’d hear in passing but I never gave very much thought to until I was given the chance to see them live.  If only I had paid more attention to them years before! The crowd was small but mighty and the show was still intense!

  1. Delta Rae with Civil Twilight – The Rivoli, Toronto – July 27, 2015

I first saw Delta Rae open for another band a few years ago. Now, I don’t remember that other band.  But Delta Rae, with their ridiculously powerful vocals and soulful music that ranges from country to rock to southern gothic, has risen to the top of my fave band list. Their shows are small and intimate but immensely powerful. This one was no different.

  1. Amaranthe with Butcher Babies – The Phoenix Concert Theatre, Toronto – November 8, 2015

All hail powerful ladies who know how to rock! Heidi Shepherd and Carla Harvey of Butcher Babies have the most energy of anyone I’ve ever seen perform on stage. They screamed, high kicked, ran and jumped around throughout their set for one helluva rock show. Amaranthe brought a more refined energy to their set but nonetheless the dynamic between Elize Ryd, Henrik Englund and stand in singer Chris Adam Hedman Sörbye made for a stand out performance.

  1. The Music of Queen: A Rock and Symphonic Spectacular – The Sony Centre for the Performing Arts – November 25, 2015

Queen is, simply put, one of the most iconic and legendary rock bands in history. Their music defined a generation. It was their music that was celebrated at the Sony Centre with cast members from London West End’s We Will Rock You and the Kitchener Waterloo Symphony Orchestra. All Queen favorites in one night and one magical finale. What’s not to like?