There are many small music venues in Ottawa, and I’ve had great experiences in most of them. I’ll always remember Zaphod Beeblebrox fondly as the place where I saw the Nobodys for the first time, back in 1998. The first show I saw at the Babylon was massive: d.b.s, Pezz, All the Answers, Endgame and Layaway Plan all fit into a gorgeous July, 1999 evening. Other memories aside, (Digger at the Liquid Monkey) my favourite venue in Ottawa is Mavericks.
Located on Rideau St. in downtown Ottawa, Mavericks hosts local bands and small to mid-size touring acts. I started showing up at the venue shortly after I moved to Ottawa in 2004, far more frequently toward the end of the decade. I’ve had some great nights in this place; many of the ticket stubs are stuck to the walls of my room or collecting in shoe boxes. The bar has hosted rockers like Danko Jones, melodic hardcore acts like A Wilhelm Scream, and multiple appearances from Vancouver pop-punks Gob. Some of my favourite local bands that have played the venue frequently are Doll, the Raw Raw Riot, Finders Keepers, and the disbanded Contrabandit.
Consisting of a small stage, a bar, and a merch table, Mavericks gives music fans the chance to get dangerously close to their favourite bands. Those not used to long evenings standing in front of a stage with a beer in your hand, beware: although the bar boasts a bit more room than many local venues, no seating is available.
While most of the shows I attend are at Mavericks, Café Defcuf is a wonderful companion venue. Right above Mavericks, Defcuf is a small, charming club. The stage is only a foot off of the floor, and bands are often known to leave the stage to jam with their local following. I saw the criminally underrated band Coliseum here, with local act Crusades opening. It was a small show, but stands as one of my favourites of 2013.
Have a look at upcoming events on the Mavericks website.
Kristopher Bras is a Professional Writing student at Algonquin College. When his nose isn’t buried in a book, he enjoys playing the guitar and viewing independent films. Some of his strongest influences are Roger Zelazny, Stephen King, and Chuck Klosterman. He still listens to the same punk rock bands that he enjoyed in 1995, and is frequently sighted at Ottawa Senators games.
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