On June 11th, 2016 I rode my bike to Westboro in Ottawa’s west end to see Must Stash Hat in my friend’s backyard.
First of all let me state how lucky I am to live in (the centre of) a city where I can hop on my bike and get to pretty much anywhere in twenty minutes or less, and there’s usually a way to do most or all of the ride on a bike path.
Heck, in Toronto you can’t drive from Point A to any Point B in less than forty minutes.
I had been to a few afterparties at Chris and Rosemary’s house before, especially in the brief time when the nearby Elmdale Tavern was putting on good shows, but this was my first time attending a ticketed ‘event’ at their funky little place off of Wellington Street. From several blocks away I could already hear the booming bass from the soundcheck, loud and clear.
The party was primarily outside in the backyard. I locked my bike to the fence and spent the next four hours standing about five feet away from it sucking on draft beers, listening to good live music, and hanging out with friends old and new.
The band was set up with their backs to the house, with an impressive light show and a ton of wattage behind them. Must Stash Hat were loud and a lot of fun, and a great soundtrack for a beautiful urban evening under the stars. I could hear the sound bouncing off of a dozen walls from the surrounding houses in the tight neighbourhood. The beers that were being pulled from a keg behind the newly-built bar attached to the side of a shed seemed to last all night despite the best efforts of the fifty or so of us in attendance.
It was such a great time I’m shocked that it didn’t get shut down, but Chris seemed totally on the ball and he made sure the band stopped playing at 11pm on the nose. Though the party quieted down significantly the evening was by no means over. The band jumped into the social cavalcade and if I’m not mistaken there was some late night jamming on the gear that is forever and always set up and ready to go in Chris and Rosemary’s living room.
Overall it was a great time and I will certainly go back again. Heck, I’ve heard the area recently got rezoned and they might even be applying for a liquor license. That could potentially take the whole home-concert thing to a new level.