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The Globe and Mail

Fall concert preview: Lyrical tricks and tuneful treats

The Globe and Mail's music critics put their finger on some of the best pop, jazz and classical concerts of the fall season.


Roger Daltrey's Tommy nine Canadian dates, beginning Tuesday at Place des Arts, Montreal

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Watching and listening to the Who, we got excitement at their feet. For this tour, though, the band is down to one original member, the microphone-swinging singer who is to growl his way through a story about a pinball-playing savant messiah. The rock-opera score from 1969 is riveting and dynamic, but without its writer-windmiller Pete Townshend onstage, the thrill might be less.

Kings of Leon with the Sheepdogs; nine Canadian dates, beginning Wednesday at Rogers Arena, Vancouver

When it comes to car races and stock markets, we're compelled to watch the crashes. The Southern brothers and one cousin return to the arenas with a Canadian tour, their first since a string of U.S. dates were cancelled after singer's Caleb Followill's onstage meltdown, officially blamed on "vocal issues and exhaustion."

Deadmau5 Metropolis, Montreal, Wednesday to Saturday; Rogers Centre, Toronto, Nov. 5

People have taken to watching a knob-twitching Toronto DJ who dresses in an expensive mouse helmet and makes people dance to his laptop. Sure, why not?

Avril Lavigne 16 Canadian dates, beginning Oct. 1 at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre, Victoria

The Complicated singer keeps her girly brand of pop simple for a lip-glossing audience that stays perpetually young. As for their spiky heroine, she steadfastly refuses to age – in solidarity, one imagines.

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Mumford and Sons Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Oct. 25; Copps Coliseum, Hamilton, Oct. 26; Bell Centre, Montreal, Oct. 27

We knew they were good, but this is off the charts. Or, more accurately, at the top of the charts. The English roots rockers mine Appalachian music and the writings of Steinbeck and Shakespeare, touring the heck out of an album ( Sigh No More) that keeps on selling and winning awards long after its 2009 release. The arenas are a big jump up in size for these fine young men from the west London new-folk scene.

-- Brad Wheeler


The San Francisco Jazz Ensemble Plays Stevie Wonder L'Astral, Montreal, Oct. 12; Centrepointe Theatre, Ottawa, Oct. 13; Grand Theatre, Kingston, Oct. 14; Koerner Hall, Toronto, Oct. 15

A genuine all-star ensemble (Mark Turner! Stefon Harris! Robin Eubanks!) pays tribute to the jazziest pop star around.

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Herbie Hancock with the Massey Hall Orchestra Massey Hall, Toronto, Oct. 22

Hancock's first concert appearance was with the Chicago Symphony at age 11, so perhaps it's not surprising to find him performing with an orchestra here, but it's definitely a rare treat.

Joe Lovano Us Five Koerner Hall, Toronto, Oct. 29; Palais Montcalm, Quebec, Oct. 30)

Fronting a quintet of hot young players, including Grammy-winning bassist Esperanza Spalding, Us Five is where saxophonist Lovano puts a new twist on old tunes.

The Three Cohens Sextet Koerner Hall, Toronto, Nov. 12

Yuval, Anat and Avishai Cohen are the hottest family act in jazz this side of the Marsalis clan, and sister Anat may be the best jazz clarinetist currently playing.

Trombone Shorty Opera House, Toronto, Nov. 17

He also plays trumpet and sings, and tends toward the R&B side of the New Orleans sound, but Shorty was one of the biggest hits of the summer jazz fest season.

-- J.D. Considine


Louis Lortie Koerner Hall, Toronto, Oct. 16)

Franz Liszt's 200th birthday is coming up on Oct. 22. In lieu of cake, Canadian pianist Louis Lortie performs Liszt's entire Années de pèlerinage, a pilgrimage that takes nearly three hours to complete. If you can't hear the show, check out Lortie's recent two-disc recording on Chandos.

Mariinsky Orchestra

The great Russian ensemble and conductor Valery Gergiev present two different all-Russian programs at Toronto's Roy Thomson Hall (Oct. 21), Maison symphonique de Montréal (Oct. 22), and the National Arts Centre (Oct. 23), with a warm-up show by the orchestra's Stradivarius Ensemble at Vancouver's Orpheum (Oct. 20).

Ana Sokolovic Homage series

Montreal's Société de musique contemporaine du Québec has brokered a season-long national festival of over 80 concerts featuring music by the Serbian-Canadian composer. The shows include an SMCQ Ensemble concert in Montreal on Sept. 30; a Music on Main show in Vancouver by the New Orford String Quartet on Nov. 29; and a Nov. 30 gig by Toronto's Esprit Orchestra.

-- Robert Everett-Green

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