The party was well worth the wait as The Cardboard Crowns, Ottawa’s ska punk darlings and Big Money Shot winners, finally released their debut album Friday night at Maverick’s.

Maverick’s was jammed packed with people sporting homemade crowns and their dancing shoes Friday night. Not to be outdone, the boys of The Cardboard Crowns were all wearing their crowns and three of the four were wearing one-piece spandex suits. The night was a blast as The Cardboard Crowns played a great set full of tracks off their debut album Global Citizen.

They played with so much energy and were such great showmen. The Cardboard Crowns opened with two new tracks “Your Son” and “Bounty on His Head.” They then informed the crowd that all sales of their new album at the show were being donated to Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders), to help with their efforts in Africa to fight Ebola. The Crowns cover some serious political and world issues in their lyrics, but also find time to have fun by getting everyone to whistle with them as they cover songs like the Robin Hood theme song and the Arthur theme song. Their new single, “Pulling Teeth,” quite heavy lyrically, was also quite the crowd-pleaser.

The entire set felt like a party, especially when what seemed like half the crowd was on stage with them as they played “Hats Off” a second time, much dancing and singing ensued. (video above) As the crowdleft the stage, the boys launched into “Root Radical” by Rancid and instigated quite the mosh pit. They crowned the night a success closing with a Sublime and Maytals medley. It may have been a brisk fall night outside, but inside Maverick’s it was a big sweaty celebration of another great local release.

Finding Chuck getting us in a dancing mood at Maverick's in Ottawa.
Finding Chuck getting us in a dancing mood at Maverick’s in Ottawa.

Setting the stage for The Crowns, was local alt-rock group Finding Chuck. They play upbeat dancy rock which was perfectly on display during their second song,”What We’re Looking For.” To further complement their sound they did a cover of a pretty popular band. “We didn’t write this one but it’s a killer…” said lead singer Phil Que, as the first chords of The Killers’ “Somebody Told Me,” could be heard. Finding Chuck were very excited to be opening for the Crowns and to be back on the Maverick’s stage which was where they played their first ever show. Their set was pretty solid, but what scored them a bunch of points in my book was seeing them skanking, singing and dancing during The Crowns’ set. Love to see the openers getting involved in the experience after their set.

Ol'CD rocking out at Maverick's in Ottawa.
Ol’CD rocking out at Maverick’s in Ottawa.

When I walked in Ol’CD was on stage. The rock n roll band is based out of London, ON and had me right away with the track “Now’s the Time.” Such a great rocking tune with quite the opening line, “When I was young I knew I would eventually die.” It was also a special night for Ol’CD as the first show they ever played was with The Crowns and they were so pleased to be a part of the album release show. I really dug the ol’ school vibe of their sound, especially their track “Dancin Shoes.”