Big, can’t-miss Montréal concerts in 2023

Jamie O'Meara

Jamie O'Meara is Editor-in-Chief at C2 Montréal and the former Editor-in-Chief of alt-weekly newspaper HOUR Magazine.

This article was updated on May 31, 2023.

It goes without saying that 2023 will be one of the most epic years for A-list live music in Montréal’s entertainment history. From Metallica to Shania Twain, if you like music — any music — the next many months have top-tier artists as varied as the seasons in Montréal, and are well worth the trip to la belle ville all on their own. Let the following be your guide to all the can’t-miss Montréal concerts in 2023...

Summer concerts

Rock and rollin’: Indefatigable Can-rockers Nickelback are set to embark on a 38-city North American tour this spring and summer in support of their just-released, 10th studio album Get Rollin’. (Fun fact: Get Rollin’ debuted at #1 on the rock charts in Switzerland, a first for the band.) Renowned country rocker Brantley Gilbert will join the band along with rising country artist Josh Ross at the Bell Centre, June 14.


Calling all love cats: One of the greatest bands to emerge from the late-’70s, early-’80s British punk/new wave scene, and one of the early pioneers of goth rock, The Cure are still playing arena tours all around the world, and not surprisingly: their concerts are always generous, featuring dozens of hits at shows that invariably turn into massive sing-alongs. The North American leg of their Songs of a Lost World Tour (the title of the first of two new albums) lights up the Bell Centre on June 16 and 17 with openers The Twilight Sad.


Gettin’ dizzy with Drizzy: If you’re left with the impression that inactivity is Drake’s worst enemy, you wouldn’t be wrong: the head-spinningly busy Toronto hip-hop sensation has released four albums in the last five years, including his most recent studio album Her Loss, in collaboration with Atlanta rapper 21 Savage, which reached number one on the Billboard 200 chart and had all 16 songs debut on its Hot 100 list. Catch both Drake and 21 Savage at the Bell Centre on July 14 and 15 as part of Drake’s It’s All a Blur Tour.


We're gonna see 50 CENT like it's your birthday: Curtis "50 CENT" Jackson will be in Montréal August 1 and 2, perfoming at the Bell Centre during "The Final Lap 2023" tour. Busta Rhymes will be the special guest at all concerts, and Jeremih will open all North American concerts. 



Paradise City meets la belle ville: Expect full-on fandemonium when rock icons of the highest order Guns N’ Roses, with Carrie Underwood opening the concert, bring their 38-city 2023 world tour to Parc Jean-Drapeau for what will be a can’t-miss evening of classic hits on August 8. GN’R — featuring original members Axl Rose, Slash and Duff McKagan — are one of the best-selling acts of all time with over 100 million records sold around the world. 


We’re going to party, karamu, fiesta, forever: He’s one of the most successful balladeers of the last half century (his songwriting credits are dizzying), and now R&B/soul superstar and recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Lionel Richie will make musical magic in MTL on his Sing a Song All Night Long tour. And the trip down memory lane doesn’t end there: one of the greatest R&B/disco/funk/soul/jazz/you-name-it bands in pop music history, Earth, Wind & Fire, will also be on hand to get your boogie bumpin’ at the Bell Centre, August 9.


For heavy metal(lica) fans : During their M72 world tour, Metallica will be in Montreal for two shows on August 11th and 13th 2023 at the Olympic Stadium. The two nights will be completely different, with different opening acts, a great set design, and much more.


Hail to Sam Smith: Internationally successful artist Sam Smith will be in Montreal for his GLORIA tour. His pop, soul and electro style music will vibrate at the Bell Centre on August 12th, and Jessie Reyez, who can be heard on Sam Smith's upcoming album, will be the special guest.


Monsters of metal collide: Brace yourself for an epic metal showdown when French prog/tech metal heavies Gojira go head-to-head with Atlanta prog/sludge/grindcore beasts Mastodon on the co-headlining “Mega-Monsters Tour” with special guests Lorna Shore. The 35-city North American tour will stop in Place Bell, Laval (a short metro ride from downtown Montréal) on August 18.


Our Lady, Mother of Pop: The Material Girl, indeed. Madonna is the most successful solo artist in the history of the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart, and has the most number one singles by a woman in Canada, Australia and multiple European countries. She’ll be performing this material and more on “The Celebration Tour,” featuring four decades of her greatest hits, and sending the Bell Centre into a frenzy on August 19 and 20.


Rod the Mod with the Kings of Budokan: There are few who love the live stage more than pop-rocker Sir Rod Stewart who, if we count correctly, will bring his 33rd international tour to the Bell Centre on August 24. And he will be in excellent company: Cheap Trick (whose live album Cheap Trick at Budokan remains one of the all-time greats) will set the rockin’ and rollin’ tone.


Fall concerts

Return of the frozen simians: Montrealers love, love, love award-winning British rock band Arctic Monkeys (there are few Brit Awards they haven’t won multiple times), and that adoration will be on full display when they hit the Bell Centre on September 2 with popular Irish post-punks Fontaines D.C.


MTL will be over the moon: Never one to lack imagination, two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Peter Gabriel has been enthralling fans with music from his latest album i/o, releasing new songs on the full moon of each month (the March tune, for example, is Playing for Time). Expect new tunes as well as classics from his massive catalogue when Gabriel rekindles his long-running love affair with Montréal on September 13 at the Bell Centre.


All hail hip-hop’s GOATs: They’re the foundational New York City rap collective that spawned legendary names like RZA, GZA, Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, U-God, Masta Killa, Inspectah Deck, Cappadonna and Ol' Dirty Bastard (ODB, RIP). Now Wu-Tang Clan — considered by many to be the greatest hip-hop group of all time — are embarking on the co-headlining N.Y. State of Mind Tour with another giant of the genre, Nas, who Billboard called one of the “10 Best Rappers of All Time.” It will be epic in Laval’s Place Bell on October 2.


Fiesta alert! Not 1, not 2, but 3 Latin artists will be performing together: Pitbull, Enrique Iglesias and Ricky Martin! The three artists are joining forces for the "TRILOGY" tour, and they will be in Montreal at the Bell Centre on 20 October. Get ready for this one-in-a-lifetime fiesta!



Let's go girls: Who hasn't sung the famous song "Man! I Feel Like a Woman" at karaoke? Now is our chance to hear it in person as our favorite Canadian country pop singer Shania Twain returns to Montreal on her Queen of me world tour on October 25, 2023 at the Bell Centre.


The colour of incredible: Anyone who’s been lucky enough to take in a P!NK concert (and yours truly is one of those fortunate souls) won’t forget it any lifetime soon, such is the towering talent of this performance triple threat. And Montrealers will get not one but two chances to see the R&B/pop rock superstar when she brings her Trustfall tour (named for her just-released ninth studio album) to the Bell Centre, November 1 and 2. Opening are GROUPLOVE and KidCutUP.


A joyous hello again, and a solemn farewell: Following the sudden and shocking loss of founding member Andy Fletcher, legendary electro-pop pioneers and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2020 inductees Depeche Mode will play their first live shows in five years on the “Memento Mori Tour,” named for the band’s forthcoming 15th studio album, due out in Spring 2023. Enjoy the silence (or rather, lack thereof) at the Bell Centre on November 3rd.


Rock’n’roll all day and party one last night: If you’re to believe them (insert grain of salt here), NYC hard-rock legends KISS will put away the makeup after 50 years of blood-spitting, fire-breathing metal mayhem on this final leg of their The End of the Road Tour, which began in 2019. Expect the classics — Rock and Roll All Nite, Detroit Rock City, Beth and more — when KISS take over the Bell Centre for ostensibly one last time on November 18.


The Boss is back: There are very few performers in the pantheon of rock’n’roll who excite the same kind of emotional connection with fans as blue-collar-rock legend Bruce Springsteen does. Near-instant sold-out concerts are the norm on this latest tour by Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, who are playing their first North American shows together in seven years (and the reviews, at the risk of understatement, have been glowing). Put your party hat on November 20 at the Bell Centre.


Coming in 2024

It's not goodbye, it's PEACE OUT: As part of their last tour, Aerosmith will come to Montréal for their PEACE OUT tour, with special guest The Black Crowes, on January 26, 2024. 

Jamie O'Meara

Jamie O'Meara is Editor-in-Chief at C2 Montréal and the former Editor-in-Chief of alt-weekly newspaper HOUR Magazine.

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