By Sarah Kitteringham
CALGARY — The newest live music venue in Calgary has opened. Situated at 3828 Macleod Trail, the 280-person capacity room called Distortion is a rebranding of the Distillery, which was previously plagued by a variety of issues that resulted in their closing.
Helmed by Sean “Taco” Close, Andrew Jay, Mark Russell, Katie Bevan and Bonnie Parker, the cash bar only venue will be hosting shows on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights to start. Given that it is situated below a hotel, the venue owners hope to start bringing shows across the musical spectrum and will be able to host bands from out of town.
“We want to keep cultivating our music scene and keep giving local talent a place to showcase themselves, and bring in stuff from across North America,” begins Close. Close and his counterparts also helmed the Distillery, which was forced out of its popular location on Seventh Avenue thanks to a dispute between the property owners and landlords. It then rebranded and opened as The D (which was both a restaurant and live venue) in Eau Claire, but was forced out of the space by the community after noise complaints. Distortion’s staff has gone to great lengths to avoid similar problems at their current location and is committed to showcasing a variety of music genres. As their previous venues have been, it will also be the home of the Calgary Beer Core.
Aside from the zoning change, the parking situation at Distortion is better (63 stalls are available). In addition, the bar is directly beside the 39th Avenue C-Train station. Their approach is more aligned with the Distillery than The D, as the only food available is a few items, including French fries, onion rings, jalapeño poppers and more. Instead of selling beer on tap, everything is available in bottle or tall cans. As for why they decided to retire the old name, the reason was clear.
“We just thought it was time to rebrand,” explains Close.
“We thought we might as well fold that name up and start something fresh. With our experience we have now, it works.”
Check out Distortion at 3828 Macleod Trail. Their Grand Opening weekend starts on Friday, May 1st with Blackest Sin, The Borderguards, Julies Sumner Miller and Conniving Cadavers. On Saturday, May 2, head down for Electric Revival, Lucid Scream, Burning Effigy and Train Bigger Monkeys.AB, Alberta, distillery, Distortion, Distortion grand opening, new music venue, Sean Close, The D