Concert-ember This month will be rockin' as five of the biggest shows of the year arrive in Winnipeg

The temperature is dropping, leaves are changing and festival season is winding down, which can only mean one thing: fall touring season is right around the corner.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 05/09/2018 (1438 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The temperature is dropping, leaves are changing and festival season is winding down, which can only mean one thing: fall touring season is right around the corner.

Many in the industry know this time of year is usually the busiest because it’s the ideal pocket of time to hit the road; the weather is still pretty good in most of North America, making road travel easier, and summer music festivals are no longer eating up artists’ time and attendees’ entertainment dollars. 

This fall, Bell MTS Place has a genre-spanning concert calendar many cities would be envious of. From Barbie Girl and Blackbird to Battery, Better Life and Beginnings, Winnipeg music fans are in for a treat. 



  • Saturday, Sept. 8
  • Bell MTS Place

If it seems like soft-rock band Chicago comes to town quite often, that’s because it does — 2018 marks the band’s 51st consecutive year of touring and they were in Winnipeg less than two years as part of a co-headlining bill with Earth, Wind and Fire. 

Scott Audette / The Associated Press files
Sir Paul McCartney will promote his new album, Egypt Station, at the Winnipeg concert.

The band actually lost two members earlier this year, bassist and vocalist Jeff Coffey and drummer Tris Imboden, because of those rigorous touring commitments, but new members have been added and the group presses on, returning to Winnipeg Saturday, Sept. 8, as part of their Evening With Chicago tour.

The 25 or 6 to 4 and You’re the Inspiration hitmakers — also the first American rock band to chart Top 40 albums in six consecutive decades — will be playing their iconic Chicago II album in its entirety as their first set and, after a short intermission, will return for a second set the bank jokingly refers to as the “world’s longest encore,” which will be filled with some of their biggest hits.

A release for the event states the concert “will be the band’s longest show ever,” so fans better get ready to stay the night.

Tickets range in price from $50-$126 plus fees at Ticketmaster.


Robert E. Klein / The Associated Press
Chicago will perform its 1970 Chicago II album in its entirety at the Sept. 8 concert.


  • Thursday, Sept. 13
  • Bell MTS Place

By now, Metallica isn’t a band so much as an institution.

The pioneering American heavy metal juggernaut has been grinding it out on the road since 1981, surviving on the strength of James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich’s longtime musical partnership. (As Rolling Stone noted back in 1996, they really are the Lennon-McCartney of metal.)

While the band’s influential early output still dominates best-of lists, and saw critical and commercial success — 1986’s Master of Puppets was the first thrash album to go platinum, after all — Metallica is not doing annual greatest-hits laps. Last summer, the band did a 25-date stadium run in support of 2016’s Hardwired… to Self-Destruct, which was Metallica’s sixth consecutive album to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200.

This fall, Metallica is bringing its in-the-round WorldWired tour to arenas across the U.S. and Canada, including Bell MTS Place on Thursday, Sept. 13. It’s been almost a decade since the band has been to Winnipeg, which is one of just two Canadian stops on the tour.

Alas, if you’re not already holding a ticket, you’re out of luck. This show at Bell MTS Place is sold out.



  • Saturday, Sept. 15
  • Bell MTS Place

In 1997, a Danish dance-pop group by the name of Aqua released a cheeky bubblegum hit about the fantastic plastic life of everyone’s favourite all-American doll, Barbie.

Barbie Girl, the third single from 1997’s debut Aquarium, rocketed up the European charts and became Aqua’s most successful track on this side of the ocean — a centrepiece of tween-dance playlists.

Still, despite its place in the upper-echelon of late-’90s nostalgia, Aqua — vocalists Lene Nystrøm and René Dif, keyboardist Søren Rasted, and guitarist Claus Norreen — never did a headlining tour of Canada.

That is, until now.

The Rewind Tour — which also features ‘90s hit-makers Prozzäk (Sucks To Be You) and Whigfield (Saturday Night) — will bring Aqua to seven stops across the country this month, including Bell MTS Place on Saturday, Sept. 15. And just to send the nostalgia over the top, each date on the tour will feature a Much Video Dance Party.

Tickets range in price from $50-$180, plus fees, and are available at Ticketmaster.


Chris Pizzello / The Associated Press
It’ll be the first time in Winnipeg for almost a decade for James Hetfield and Metallica.

Keith Urban

  • Wednesday, Sept. 19
  • Bell MTS Place

Appealing to the country-music-loving contingent is Australia-bred, Nashville-based, guitar-wielding superstar Keith Urban.

Urban has been a fixture of the North American country scene since his 1999 debut self-titled album, and has since racked up 23 No. 1 songs spread out across the nine studio albums released in the U.S. and Canada, including his most recent, 2018’s Graffiti U, after which his current tour is named. 

In addition to those oodles of No. 1s, this tour will also feature new songs that have never been played live before.

Standard tickets range in price from $59.50-$75.50, plus fees, and are available at Ticketmaster.


Charles Sykes / The Associated Press
Keith Urban has recorded 23 No. 1 songs since 1999.

Paul McCartney

  • Friday, Sept. 28
  • Bell MTS Place

It’s been five years since Sir Paul McCartney performed an epic three-hour set at Investors Group Field, and we must have made a good impression as the 76-year-old Beatle included Winnipeg as one of just four Canadian stops on this leg of his Freshen Up tour, which hits Bell MTS Place on Friday, Sept. 28.

The tour is in support of McCartney’s brand-new album, Egypt Station, to be released Friday, Sept. 7, but fans can expect a melange of hits from the famous Englishman’s other solo work and his catalogues with both the Beatles and Wings. 

Remaining standard tickets range in price from $189-$275, plus fees, and are available at Ticketmaster.

 with files from Jen Zoratti

Twitter: @NireRabel

Erin Lebar

Erin Lebar
Manager of audience engagement for news

Erin Lebar spends her time thinking of, and implementing, ways to improve the interaction and connection between the Free Press newsroom and its readership.

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