Along with some big names in rock ‘n roll, November brings the opportunity to see some bands
which could only have come from Oshawa because of its unique metal and punk heritage.
Friday, November 10, 2023, is a hometown show for 80s metal champs the Killer Dwarfs with Darren James Smith Band and Sierra Levesque opening. There’s a lot going on with this 40th-anniversary show for the band. The Killer Dwarfs emerged from the shopping malls and school halls of Oshawa with a Juno nomination for the self-titled debut in 1983. They were active until the turn of the millennium through various line-up changes and have been playing on and off since then. Recently, on the Another FN Izzy Presley podcast, Russ Dwarf suggested some of those original members may be present at the Oshawa show for a reunion, so rad if true. The band won’t, however, be just slamming out the hits which saw the light of day on MTV back in the day, but say there is new material, too.
Opener Darren James Smith Band has quite the pedigree, too. Smith has been the drummer in metal outfit Harem Scarem after a stint in Blind Vengeance and in the garage punk band Durango 95. He also plays with the Red Dragon Cartel.
The recent Convergence Festival held in downtown Oshawa leaned into this city’s own music scene, and if you want to know more about this heritage, this show is key to understanding 'Shwarock City.
And before any of that 'Shwasomeness abides, indie legends Death From Above 1979 (DFA1979), one of the loudest two pieces, is probably going to set off every car alarm in the downtown core when they play the Biltmore Theatre on Thursday, November 9.
And if that’s not enough rock ‘n roll for you, 90s alt-rockers Econoline Crush play the Biltmore on Saturday, November 11.
That’s three great nights, and there’s a hotel across the street. Just saying.
As much as Oshawa has its metal, Kingston seems to lead with the rock. The Glorious Sons play the Tribute Community Centre on Thursday, November 30. They follow in the lines of the Tragically Hip and Headstones: strong crowd-hyping rock, great which is great live. I recall the Sons playing Oshawa’s Moustache Club, and next thing they were at the Scotiabank Arena. Meteoric rise built on the strength of their single ‘S.O.S.’
Something that is as singular to Oshawa as metal and punk kicks up at the end of the month. On Saturday, November 25, the Ontario Philharmonic celebrates the 150th anniversary of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s birth with Russian-Armenian virtuoso Eva Gevorgyan performing Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, followed by Symphonic Dances op. 45, considered Rachmaninoff’s masterpiece. Gevorgyan was a finalist and a special prize winner at the 2021 XVIII International Chopin Piano Competition, and of course, Maestro Marco Parisotto will be at the helm.
Sometimes, you get shows in a row, and sometimes, you get them all at once. Friday, November 17, is such a day. Canadian country artist Tim Hicks brings his Campfire Troubadour acoustic tour to the Regent Theatre, American country star Jon Pardi is at the Tribute Communities Centre, while award-winning blues guitarist Jack De Keyzer headlines a benefit concert "Music Cares" at the Jubilee Pavilion in Lakeview Park. The Jube also has quite the history as it was once managed by Owen McCrohan, father of Dennis, who became a musician, changed his name to Mars Bonfire and wrote ‘Born to be Wild’, the heavy metal anthem.