AMATEUR CONCERT PHOTOGRAPHY HOUR: Blood Ceremony/Biblical @ Silver Dollar Room, April 29, 2017

The Silver Dollar Room is officially shutting its doors tonight…and to be honest, I’m not sure I’m gonna miss it. I’ve probably been to the place about a dozen times over the dozen years I’ve lived here, and, as far as concert venues go, it really wasn’t anything special. That’s not to say the place doesn’t have a history, but personally, it doesn’t have the same impact as The Big Bop or the El Mocambo shutting down (although the latter is supposed to be coming back soon?).

Aside from the bands, the most memorable thing about the Silver Dollar was that it used to serve four-dollar pints of Buzz Beer…although this is no longer the case. But when it comes to bands, the act that I most associate with this venue is Blood Ceremony. I’m pretty sure they played at least half the shows I’ve seen at the Dollar. As a matter of fact, the first time I ever saw the Ceremony was at the Silver Dollar–completely by accident, I might add. Back in 2006, The Atomic Bitchwax was supposed to be playing there, but they didn’t make it across the border, although nobody told me. So I walked in just in time to see this female-fronted, flute-playing traditional doom band…what the fuck did I just witness!?

I later found out who they were when the Bitchwax actually made it into town the following year, and Blood Ceremony was once again slated to open. That self-titled debut album is still a personal favourite, even if they’ve largely strayed from that sound on their subsequent releases. With that said, they still played “Return to Forever” last night, and that song, for one, has certainly aged well.

Anyhoo, there were also a couple other bands on the bill. I had never heard of the first band from Montreal, but someone told me they were big enough to headline. They also didn’t have a drummer, at least for the first few songs, so that’s all I’m gonna say about that. #NotHeavyEnough

The first time I saw Biblical was actually in Calgary, where they shared a bill with Red Fang and The Sword at Sled Island. They also have the distinction of being the local opener for the magical, mythical Kyuss Lives New Year’s Eve show, as well as being one of two bands that ever played with Graveyard in Toronto. So this was hardly the most memorable musical moment they’ve ever been a part of. But they were quite possibly the heaviest band on this evening, with their well-travelled stoner psychedelic jams. Methinks we might be about due for a new album?

I remember this one time, back in ’08, when my southern-doom bros in Diablo Red had the unenviable task of taking the Silver Dollar stage after Blood Ceremony. Suffice to say not too many people stuck around. So the moral of this story is that one should not have to follow Blood Ceremony at the Silver Dollar Room. There may be another final farewell gig tonight, but I don’t think Metz and company can top last night’s performance. (And hey, I’ve got nothing against Metz, but I’m just sayin’…)

Gruesome Greg

Seahawks/Stamps/Flames/Zags/Jays/Raptors fan and lifelong metal head with a beer gut and a self-deprecating sense of humour. Reviewer/blogger (Yon Senior Doomsayer) for Hellbound.ca.