They say smell is the strongest sense to memory, but for some, it is arguably sound. Much like the scent of mom’s banana bread cooking can pick you up and dump you squarely in the middle your childhood, music has the power to transport people to another place and time.

How often has it happened to you? A song comes on the radio and suddenly you’re back at your grade 7 school dance, or rocking out on the beach during your high school spring break. The songs of our past serve as mini-Storybooks, accompanying the tale of our first love, first heartbreak, first BIG heartbreak and all the live shows in between.

Nostalgia is strong in Toronto this fall, with some seriously retro artists playing around the city this October and November.

Cheers to all the memories these acts are bound to evoke.

Photo cred - @madonna

1. Madonna

Monday, October 5 and Tuesday, October 6, 2015 @ Air Canada Centre

When this concert was announced, for reasons logic can’t explain, all the gay men in Toronto simultaneously looked up in wonderment and spontaneously wet themselves a little. Madonna is a FORCE, albeit a bit of a nipped, tucked and stretched force these days. But she would have to be on stage for approximately seven hours if she wanted to cover all of her hits, and the choreography she still manages to get through is ABSURD. The woman is almost 60 and still looks better in spandex than most of us could ever dream to.


Photo cred - @nostalgia_90an

2. Scott Moffatt

Wednesday, October 7, 2015 @ The Smiling Buddha

If Hanson is a considered a guilty pleasure, what does one consider the Canadian quartet who were basically a knockoff replica of the whole musical-band-of-brothers routine?

The Moffatts entered the Canadian music scene in 1995, and therefore may be way too obscure a band reference for some of you reading this. And I’m going to be honest, even as a youngster I knew liking them should make me feel vaguely dirty. However, I assume at this point Scott Moffatt’s voice is no longer the high-pitched prepubescent croon it once was, and that he probably delves into lyrics a little deeper than, “Girl I’m so down, when your love’s not around.”

Scott, I really have Missed you Like Crazy.


3. Stevie Wonder

Friday, October 9, 2015 @ Air Canada Centre

Stevie Wonder has been blind since shortly after birth, recorded 30 U.S. top ten hits and won 25 Grammy Awards. Oh, and you literally can’t get through a wedding without hearing, “I Just Called to Say I Love You.”

So, what have you done with your life lately?


4. Chris Cornell

Friday, October 9, 2015 @ Massey Hall

As the frontman for both Soundgarden and Audioslave, Chris Cornell’s voice was part of most of our childhoods. I mean, we all went through our angsty periods, and no one belts out anguish quite like Cornell. If you can get through the lyrics, “Black hole sun won’t you come, and wash away the rain” without closing your eyes and raising your fist in mock agony, I salute you; you’re probably more of a Hanson person.


5. Hanson

Saturday, October 10, 2015 and Sunday, October 11, 2015 @ Phoenix Concert Theatre

Hanson has been recording music for 18 years. In fact, despite recording 10 studio albums since 1997, they are still cast aside as a one-hit-wonder known only for that whole MMMBop catastrophe. But guys, I swear they’re fiercely talented, and harmonize in a way that is only made possible by three humans who have sung, recorded and toured together through their entire childhood and adult life.

Plus they sell out every time they come to Toronto, and it’s not just for the inevitable “Mmmbop, ba duba dop” singalong (although let’s be honest, that’s a damn good time too).


6. Shania Twain

Sunday, October 11, 2015 @ Air Canada Centre

I would make some reference to, “That don’t impress me much” but that would be a lie; I am impressed and obsessed. I love her, you love her, and your boyfriend won’t even be upset at having to take you to this because Shania is still a Stone Cold Fox. Or leave the man at home, get down with three bottles of wine, strap on some cowboy boots and belt out, “Ok, so you’re Brad Pitt” with your girlfriends.


7. Ricky Martin

Thursday, October 15, 2015 @ Air Canada Centre

Fact: If you don’t smile at least a little when you hear the first few chords of Living La Vida Loca, you have no soul.


8. Paul McCartney

Saturday, October 17, 2015 @ Air Canada Centre

It’s not up for debate, Paul McCartney is the raddest 73 year-old on the planet. Every time you think he may just fade into the background and rest on his laurels, satisfied with being, oh you know, a FRIGGIN’ BEATLE, the man does something like record a song with Kanye and Rihanna... cue the entire world’s brain exploding. I’m not one to use this word lightly, but his live shows are said to be completely epic, in the you-can’t-help-but-cry-in-the-face-of-such-history-and-genius kind of way.


9. Joel Plaskett

Saturday, October 17, 2015 @ Massey Hall

You probably don’t realize how many of Plaskett’s tunes you've drunkenly sung along to at your local University bar. But know that every time you've tossed your hair, raised your hand in the air and belted, “I’m so cheap, I might as well be free” it was because of this Nova Scotian performer.


10. Gob

Friday, October 23, 2015 @ Hard Luck Bar

Gob has been rocking out on the Canadian punk scene since they were formed in 1993. With all of its members now pushing 40, attending this show will be worth it just to answer such pressing questions as "What type of audience will this show draw?" and, "When does one become too old too stick ones tongue out and head bang on stage?" I can only assume the answers are: 1) an interesting one and 2) never.


11. New Found Glory and Yellowcard

Sunday, October 25, 2015 @ Danforth Music Hall

King of Wishful Thinking?! My Friends Over You?! Ocean Avenue? Only One?!

This is a reminder of the mid 2000s when American pop punk went very mainstream and all the white girls put their N’Sync albums on pause and started trying to mosh in bars.

It’s going to be such a scene of potential back injuries, I can’t wait.


12. Garbage

Monday, October 26, 2015 @ Phoenix Concert Theatre

Lead singer Shirley Manson is absolutely savage. So much so I'm sure there's a few of us who grew up not knowing if we liked Garbage or were just slightly terrified to ever defy Manson. She just really sells that whole, "Pour your misery down on me" vibe.

At the beginning of this year however, she wholly made up for casting fear over some childhoods. Following Kanye West's open trashing of Beck at the Grammy's, she penned an open letter to West, telling him to, "Grow up and stop throwing your toys around. You are making yourself look like a complete twat."

Now that is a type of savage I can hop on board with.


13. Hawksley Workman

Saturday, November 14, 2015 @ Phoenix Concert Theatre

He's Canadian, quirky, dramatic and eclectic, but he's managed to garner critical acclaim and such a loyal following that he has recorded a whopping 11 studio albums across a 16 year career.

He's also probably the dude your parent's listened to while they were making your your childhood dinner because he was, "What all the hip people are listening to these days."


14. Vanessa Carleton

Wednesday, November 18, 2015 @ Mod Club Theatre

Cue the piano chords. "A Thousand Miles" was the white girl anthem of 2002. Maybe you think you don't know the lyrics, you probably wish you didn't know the lyrics, but I assure you... you know them.

Say it with me folks: If I could fall, into the sky, do you think time would pass me by?

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