On a bitter cold night in the nation’s capital, a fire burned brightly at local watering hole and performance venue Maverick’s on Rideau Street. The Diamond Mine Agency hosted their annual holiday party, which included a food drive for local families in need, an ugly sweater contest, and even the infamous Egg Nog Olympics (which I am proud to say I partook in, and though I fought valiantly, I succumbed to the dairy Gods).

Southpaw performs at Mavericks in Ottawa photo by Dave DiUbaldo

The centrepiece of the event was Ottawa/Montreal metalcore band Obey The Brave. Celebrating their homecoming over beers and breakdowns, the band brought swagger, energy and aggression to each and every song they played. Debuting some new material from their forthcoming album, the band trumpeted their love for “the 6-1-3,” initiating circle pit moshing, sing along choruses, and enough jumping to leave any ugly sweater wearing eggnog enthusiast feeling winded.

Highlights from The 3rd Annual “WE WISH YOU A METAL CHRISTMAS FEST” at Mavericks in Ottawa photo by Dave DiUbaldo

The annual shindig was well attended considering it was a night of icy cold arctic-like temperatures, and other promoters from all over south eastern Ontario could stand to learn a thing or two from Brandon and his team at Diamond Mine. Maverick’s echoed with energy and a feel good fellowship that you can only find at a punk or metal show. There were breakdowns on top of breakdowns on top of breakdowns, but the frantic crowd remained respectful of one another, and helped make the show feel bright, in spite of the hard hitting soundtrack.

Obey the Brave perform at Mavericks in Ottawa photo by Dave DiUbaldo

Worth mentioning were the other incredible acts that played, such as We Were Sharks. If I had one criticism of this production, it was that many sounds began to bleed together, and if I wasn’t a follower of each individual act, it could sometimes be challenging to differentiate their catalogs. Maybe that’s just the egg nog talking, though.

With a wealth of talent like the one on display, it can be easy to get lost in the chaos.

But sometimes chaos is a good thing.

Until next time, Happy Holidays.

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