ByDan Shapiro, writer at
Senior Editor, Champions
Dan Shapiro

Not sure if Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart will be cageside at the Air Canada Centre for UFC 206, but they should be.

The power trio, known to the world as RUSH (R.I.P. John Rutsey), is not only responsible for some of the finest proto-prog rock in history, but they put Canadian hard rock on the map with their 1974 self-titled debut and the single “Working Man.”

Ontario has historically produced some phenomenal musical talents, beginning with Canadian folk hero Gordon Lightfoot (the Bob Dylan of Canada?), Robbie Robertson’s legendary group, The Band, and Neil Young, he of CSNY and Crazy Horse fame.

Moving from the sounds of the sixties to the early aughts, Toronto experienced a major boom at the turn of the century with bands like Metric, Danko Jones, and Death from Above 1979 achieving international acclaim.

No list about music from Toronto would be complete with an inclusion from Fucked Up and frontman Damian “Pink Eyes” Abraham. The Toronto sextet’s 2008 Chemistry of Common Life remains one of the finest examples of guitar layering in contemporary music production.

“Pink Eyes,” who’s infamous for performing in nothing but his underpants while smashing a microphone against his head is a natural transition to the queen of filth pop, Peaches, who may have the biggest pottymouth in history.

From alterna-pop and straight up foul lyrics, we transition to the reggae-influenced hip-hop of Snow. Sorry Drake, but you’ll never be the king of Canadian rap, that distinction was awarded before you even had your Bar Mitzvah.

But while on the topic of Drake, it’s essential to offer distinction to The Weeknd, or rather UFC owner The Weeknd. His tunes may be a bit chill for the fight game, but they have their place at the after party.

A Toronto supergroup, Broken Social Scene has been a mainstay around Canada’s biggest city for over fifteen years. Their unique brand of indie rock is indicative and representative of the Toronto’s nearly 3 million residents.

Barenaked Ladies are Barenaked Ladies, so they barenakedly make the barenaked playlist.

Enjoy the fights, and the music.

Have any other great Toronto bands or track to share? Follow Champions on Spotify, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

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