Skip to main content

10 Live Music Shows to Catch This October in Ottawa’s Original Downtown 

October 6, 2023

There’s plenty of events to plan for and participate in this month, from enjoying a Thanksgiving feast with friends and family to trick-or-treating this spooky Halloween season. But in between carving up the turkey and carving up pumpkins, you’re going to want to make sure you carve out a couple of evenings in your schedule this month to check out some live music along Rideau Street! Read on to learn all about the incredibly talented artists that will be gracing the stages in Ottawa’s Original Downtown this October! 

Neon Rise, Isøbel, Lessons in Crime, The Turning Lights 

Get your funk on this month by making your way to Café Dekcuf and catching Neon Rise’s performance on Rideau Street! This high-energy electro funk quintet has been dazzling audiences both in their native Montreal and abroad with their music and their custom-made light shows. Their sets regularly include original material as well as covers from artists you love like Michael Jackson, Daft Punk, Stevie Wonder and more! Be sure to arrive early to catch all of the local talent that will be showcased this evening as well, including synthpop tunes from Isøbel and pop rock sets from Lessons in Crime and The Turning Lights! 

📅 October 7 

⏰ 7:00 p.m. 

📍 Café Dekcuf 

🎟️ Tickets 

Neon Rise’s energetic on-stage presence is capable of turning any stage into an “electric disco jungle.”
(Image: Neon Rise) 

Yukon Blonde 

Kelowna-based indie rockers Yukon Blonde are promoting their release of their brand-new album “Shuggie” with a tour across Canada! For over 15 years, Yukon Blonde has written catchy indie tunes that have won them the respect and admiration of their peers throughout the Canadian music industry, having made appearances on the Canadian Alternative Rock Charts and receiving praise from the CBC and Chart Attack. “Shuggie” promises to be a masterclass in pop prowess, with new singles like “Up 2 U” and “Every Single Time You Fall In Love” already stoking their fanbase’s excitement. If you’re looking for something else to do after checking out the newly opened Jackson Café, you ought to catch Yukon Blonde’s performance at SAW right next door! 

📅 October 10 

⏰ 8:00 p.m. 

📍 Club SAW 

🎟️ Tickets 

Yukon Blonde will be performing at Club SAW as part of their cross-country tour to support their latest release “Shuggie.”
(Image: Yukon Blonde) 

Anoushka Shankar 

One of the most celebrated family names in Indian music will be making an appearance at the National Arts Centre in October! If her name sounds familiar, it’s probably because you’ve heard of her father Ravi Shankar, a world-renowned sitar virtuoso and one-time Beatles collaborator. Following in her father’s footsteps, Anoushka Shankar has built a name for herself not just as a nine-time Grammy-nominated sitarist, but also as a filmmaker, activist and recipient of a British House of Commons Shield – the first and youngest woman to do so. Fun fact: she even has an asteroid named after her! Visit the NAC this month and discover the stupefying beauty of Indian music as interpreted by one of its most talented performers! 

📅 October 11 

⏰ 8:00 p.m. 

📍 National Arts Centre 

🎟️ Tickets 

Like her father, Anoushka Shankar is a world-renowned sitarist and has been captivating audiences for years.
(Image: Anoushka Shankar) 

Featurette, Mute Choir 

Your next outing into the ByWard Market should absolutely include a trip to York Street to catch Featurette’s performance at The 27 Club! This dark indie duo hailing from Toronto lists acts such as Nine Inch Nails and Billie Eilish as their influences, using them to craft a sound that has earned them a JUNO Masterclass finalist selection, regular appearances at Canadian Music Week and many more awards and accolades. Their music is a combination of “luscious synths, assaulting drum machines and a layered world of sound design” that allows them to put on a spectacle unlike anything else you’ll see. The 27 Club is only a five-minute walk from Rideau Station and the perfect place to cap off an evening browsing the stores and restaurants in Ottawa’s Original Downtown! 

📅 October 12 

⏰ 7:00 p.m. 

📍 The 27 Club 

🎟️ Tickets 

Featurette’s dark twist on the indie pop genre has earned both their music and their performances a great deal of praise.
(Image: Featurette) 

Loversteeth, Grandmother, Martlet 

For those who love all things loud and heavy, don’t miss this showcase of Ottawa and Montreal-based atmospheric rock bands at Avant-Garde Bar! Enjoy an evening of gloomy doom metal and catchy post-rock with Ottawa’s Grandmother as well as Loversteeth and Martlet, both of whom are from one of Canada’s most esteemed cultural and musical capitals – Montreal! You can bask in the intensity of overwhelming guitars and ambient soundscapes while sipping on a kamikaze cocktail at Ottawa’s favourite Eastern European locale! 

📅 October 14 

⏰ 8:00 p.m. 

📍 Avant-Garde Bar 

🎟️ Tickets 

Loversteeth’s signature combination of hard-hitting rock with “lush synthesized soundscapes” is a feast for the ears of any fan of heavy music.
(Image: Loversteeth) 

Empathy Test 

Dekcuf has the great good fortune of playing host to Britain’s own Empathy Test this month! The band’s music is reminiscent of many of the classic synthpop acts of the 80’s such as Depeche Mode and A Flock of Seagulls as well as more recent bands within the genre like CHVRCHES and Purity Ring. Since they began composing together in 2013, they’ve been featured on shows from HBO, Netflix and other media distributors while also earning the praise of famed 80’s pop artist Boy George! Currently, the band is in the middle of an international tour and are gearing up to deliver an unforgettable night to patrons of Downtown Rideau! Don’t forget to treat yourself to a savoury Jamaican dish from Nu Caribbean in the same building before the show starts! 

📅 October 17 

⏰ 7:00 p.m. 

📍 Café Dekcuf 

🎟️ Tickets 

Making the 80’s synthpop aesthetic sound fresh and contemporary isn’t easy to do, yet Empathy Test pulls it off with ease.
(Image: Empathy Test) 

Elizabeth Shepherd 

Elizabeth Shepherd will be bringing her signature twist on soul and jazz music to the National Arts Centre! Over the course of her 15-plus year career, Shepherd has been nominated for six JUNO Awards, two Polaris Prizes and has appeared on stage with some of jazz’s most celebrated performers including Jamie Cullum and Victor Wooten. Her combination of her background as a classically trained pianist with jazz music helps to create a sound that is reminiscent of old-school hip hop with her use of sampling alongside odd-meter rhythms and unconventional song structures. For an evening of experimental, soulful, jazzy bliss, catch Elizabeth Shepherd after spending an evening on Sparks Street nearby! 

📅 October 21 

⏰ 8:30 p.m. 

📍 National Arts Centre 

🎟️ Tickets 

Inspired by her love of old-school hip hop, Elizabeth Shepherd has combined her training as a classical pianist with soul and jazz to create infectious and exciting music.
(Image: Elizabeth Shepherd) 

Guest Room Status, Scorpion King, Dart Trees, Pretty Good 

Looking to get into the spirit of Halloween as the big day draws nearer? Why not combine your love of Halloween with a throwback party featuring music reminiscent of early 2000s emo pop punk music? Guest Room Status are purveyors of that special brand of “sing-along emo” that you used to see every afternoon on MuchMusic back in the day! Supported by three other local bands, Guest Room Status will be throwing a Halloween-themed concert party where attendees are strongly encouraged to dress up in costumes! This is no trick, but rather an incredible treat for punk and emo fans throughout Ottawa!  

📅 October 27 

⏰ 7:30 p.m. 

📍 Club SAW 

🎟️ Tickets 

Guest Room Status’s sound harkens back to the days when punk rock and emo music ruled the airwaves across the world.
(Image: Guest Room Status) 

Geneviève Racette, Cinzia & the Eclipse 

With a catalogue that breaks genre barriers and language barriers with equal efficacy, Geneviève Racette’s undeniable talent has made her a renowned singer-songwriter in both English and French-speaking communities across Canada. Among those who have issued her high praise is Dallas Green (City and Colour, Alexisonfire), who appeared on her song “Someone” off her latest release entitled “Satellite.” Her music is comprised of delicate vocal performances, lush instrumentation and ethereal harmonies, all of which make for an enthralling live sound. See for yourself when Geneviève makes her appearance at Avant-Garde Bar this month alongside Toronto’s Cinzia & the Eclipse

📅 October 27 

⏰ 6:00 p.m. 

📍 Avant-Garde Bar 

🎟️ Tickets 

English and French-speaking audiences alike has become enamored with Geneviève Racette and her deftly crafted melodies.
(Image: Geneviève Racette) 

Gyptian 

Lastly, Ottawa’s Caribbean community is anticipating the arrival of Jamaica’s Gyptian to The Palace Night Club on Dalhousie Street! Gyptian is an award-winning reggae singer with hit singles such as “Hold You” and “Is There A Place,” Some of his work has even caught the attention of celebrities like Nicki Minaj, who appeared on a remixed version of one of his songs! Gyptian will be performing at The Palace, an exotic night club featuring opulent décor and high-end drinks for only the most refined tastes. Don’t miss this show if you’re looking for good vibes and great Caribbean music in a beautifully decorated nightclub setting! 

📅 October 27 

⏰ 10:00 p.m. 

📍 The Palace Night Club 

🎟️ Tickets 

Gyptian has made a name for himself in the Caribbean music scene with a string of hit singles that are sure to get you up and dancing.
(Image: E. Yamaguchi) 

Worried about where you are going to park? Click here for a handy tool to find all the parking options and rates in the downtown!

Be sure to also visit our Events page to keep on top of everything going on this month in Ottawa’s Original Downtown!