The Rheostatics bring their art rock mythos back to The Horseshoe Tavern this spring for a long weekend of consecutive shows, a format that points to the days of the Fall Nationals and the band’s double-digit back-to-back-to-back-to-back (15 in a row, one year) performances.

For a band that has, since 1980, survived at the outskirts while deeply excavating the Canadian musical psyche, the Rheostatics are in a time of odds-beating regalvanization and creative renewal. Many of their most influential albums have passed milestone anniversaries, but it’s not about nostalgia; the 2017 Spring Nationals will see the band debut new material, with the promise of 12 new songs ready to go.

The Rheostatics will perform with master violinist Hugh Marsh, a regular addition to the lineup in recent years.


May 24 – tickets
May 25 – tickets
May 26 – tickets
May 27 – tickets


TORONTO, ON: Horseshoe Tavern, May 24-27
PEC, ON: Regent Theatre, Canada Day, July 1


Since their debut in 1980 as teenagers playing under LCBO exemption in Toronto punk clubs, Rheostatics have occupied a unique place in the Canadian music landscape, being the first among their generation– a generation dominated by American and British cultural colonialism– to sing about their country; its places; people; vision; and soul. Sublime, destructive, and iconic, they have never settled on just one way of being a band, yet this eclecticism resulted in one of the most longstanding careers in alternative pop history.

With eleven albums released since 1987, including “Melville” and “Whale Music,” two titles that have insistently appeared on Best Canadian Albums of All Time lists for decades, the Rheostatics’ catalogue articulates the artistic ecstasies and political ironies of a country, partly defined by their Genie-award winning soundtrack work on the Paul Quarrington film “Whale Music,” and partly defined by their annual memorial shows to raise money for Street Soccer Canada in the name of Stompin Tom Connors.

In 1996, they toured the country opening for the Tragically Hip– this resulted in guitarist Dave Bidini’s ground-breaking and best-selling work of non-fiction, “On A Cold Road: Tales of Adventure in Canadian Rock.” In 2007, they crossed Canada with the One Yellow Rabbit Performance Company providing music to their erotic hockey theatrical event. 2015 marked the 20th anniversary of their ground-breaking instrumental album, “Music Inspired by the Group of Seven,” an anniversary celebrated with four sold-out shows in the transformative setting of the Art Gallery of Ontario, further plundering the Canadian mythos to become themselves a kind of bedrock allegory.

The Rheostatics are Dave Bidini, Don Kerr, Martin Tielli and Tim Vesely. They are currently joined by Kevin Hearn on keyboard and Hugh Marsh on violin.