Calgary’s Commonwealth Bar and Stage celebrates six years of making memories, ready to make many more

Six of making memories.

Here’s to many more.

On Wednesday, Nov. 29, local sounds and spirits emporium Commonwealth Bar and Stage will celebrate a half-dozen years of their doors open and the music banging with a week of shows and special parties.

Things kick off with an upstairs-downstairs of live music and DJs on the Wednesday night, with local acts including Port Juvee and Citysleep, before the weekend ramps it up with hyperized anniversary versions of their World Famous Fridays and Modern Vintage Saturdays.

They’re also showing off some recent renovations as well as a new installation from Vancouver artist Rory Doyle.

So, yes, more memories will be made and had.

But before they are, theYYSCENE asked Commonwealth marketing manager Colin Canning to share with us six of his favourites from the many that have been made in the past.

James Murphy, who played the first anniversary party

“We’re all big LCD Soundsystem fans and he was amazing. He was a really exceptional person but also he just put on an amazing show. He was playing old disco records until late in the night, and was just really cool. It was sort of a throwback.”

The Constantines and Ladyhawk, October 2014

“The Constantines were doing a bit of a reunion show and Ladyhawk was touring with them. It was a lot of old buddies, so like a show at (former club at the same location) the Warehouse in the ’90s. It was a little bit of a throwback as well, so it was really cool.”

Questlove, July of this year

“That was amazing. In all honesty, it was really similar to James Murphy in that an iconic artist came and just played records. Again, he played a lot of old disco and old back catalogue of hip-hop music, too. It was awesome. It was musically one of the best nights we’ve had in the room.”

Viet Cong/Preoccupations, Feb. 2015 and July of this year

“They played twice. The first time was their album release for their (first) self-titled album, which was an amazing show. It was awesome, you know, Calgary band kicks off world tour and blows up, so it was really cool to host that show. And they came back this summer and they played for the Stampede and it was really cool because after two years of touring they just sounded so much tighter … so much better. They really put on a great show.”

Hip-hop shows through the years

“Man, we’ve had so many good hip-hop show and this is where I really struggle. I was trying to come up with my favourite hip-hop show and I’m really stuck on it. Souls of Mischief was amazing, Ghostface Killah, The Pharcyde — really some classic shows like that. They’re all amazing so it’s hard to pinpoint one. They all blend into one.”

Sled Island 2013

“My most memorable show isn’t even a major headliner … Every venue had closed for Friday and Saturday (because of the flood), and we were, luckily, one of the venues that was unaffected. So we opened up Sunday and it was $10 at the door and we said we would match all of the proceeds and donate it to the Red Cross. I think by the end of it we had 30 bands donate their time. We had other venues — Broken City, the Ship & Anchor, The Palomino, all these other venues — donate their staff that were available. And it literally went from 1 p.m. to 2 a.m. — it was a 13-hour band party day, we ended up raising $20,000, and it was a really feel-good, fun day. It was community, it was music, and it was just amazing.”

(Photo of Questlove courtesy Harrison Neef @harrisonneef.)

Commonwealth Bar and Stage celebrate their six-year anniversary from Wednesday, Nov. 29 to Saturday, Dec. 2. For more information please check out their Facebook page