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The Ottobar opened in downtown Baltimore September 1997 at 203 east Davis St. in the former Chambers nightclub. With a VERY limited capacity, the venue provided an intimate showroom for live music and occasional performance art. National artists of note who performed: The White Stripes, Le Tigre, Fear, Bright Eyes, Lamb Of God, Death Cab For Cutie, My Morning Jacket, Jimmy Eat World, Of Montreal, Blonde Redhead, Queens Of The Stone Age, Man…Or Astroman, and Spoon, Mastodon along with local artists of the time: Goliath, Third Harmonic Distortion, Oxes, The Oranges Band, Lungfish, Candy Machine, Daybreak, The Goons, Mary Prankster, Roads To Space Travel and many, MANY more. Performances included: The 80's Prom, Smiths/ Morrissey Karaoke, Salute To Satan, Tiny Couch Night, The Death Of Vaudeville Night and The Annual Outdoor Music Festival "Bourbon Street Anti Fest." The Davis Street Ottobar closed in November 17th 2001.
That same month Ottobar reopened at 2549 North Howard street and olpened with the one and only Daniel Johnston. The new venue was considerably larger and offered a much cleaner and hospitable atmosphere (for the first few years.) Notable acts so far: Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Wye Oak, Drive-By Truckers, Dinosaur Jr, TV On The Radio, The Breeders, Maroon 5, Future Islands, Quiet Riot, Celebration, KRS-ONE, Jonathan Richman, David Cross, All Time Low, At The Drive In, Atmosphere, Dan Deacon, The Melvins, Wiz Khalifa, Beach House, Bouncing Souls, Animal Collective and of course, many many more. Other special nights include: "Underground" Dance Party, Ottobar's Shrunken Head, Super Art Fight, Pet Wedding, Butcher Knife Throwing Contest, Spelling Bee, Ottobar Boys and Girls Choir, Book Burning For Peace and more.