Road Rituals: Blood Ceremony Tour Diary, Part 1

***As chronicled by Alia O’Brien, singer/flutist/organist for Canada’s finest occult rockers, from their current tour with Kylesa, White Hills, and Lazer/Wulf. Remaining tour dates listed below; preorder their phenomenal new LP, The Eldritch Dark, here
Two days and ten degrees (Celsius!) stood between our homes in Toronto, Canada and our first date supporting Kylesa on their Ultraviolet tour alongside White Hills and Lazer/Wulf. We pulled up to the High Dive in Gainesville, Florida at the end of a particularly long haul that left us in famished pursuit of nourishment beyond Waffle House “salads” and shameful McBreakfasts. The balmy weather and beautiful patio at the venue provided us with the perfect environment to get to know our soon-to-be partners in road warriordom, and it was not long before our appetites got the better of us and conversation turned toward the almighty FOOD. We received a tip-off from L/W that lead us to Flacco’s, a delicious sandwich joint located around the corner from High Dive. Cuban sandwiches all around and with veggie-rich variants for the meat-avoiders among us. Fully sated, we met up with merch master Shane of Monster Press, who hooked us up with a bountiful offering of brand new Blood Ceremony tees. We were officially ready to get out on the road!

Conjuring suds in the streets of Orlando

Our second destination was Orlando, where we managed to sample a few craft beers and take in the local wildlife (namely day-drunk tanning bed victims, although we also spotted a few anoles) before a flash storm ushered us into the venue. We also engaged in the very un-brutal act of frolicking by a public fountain that had been transformed into an overflowing bubble bath via liquid detergent. When you’re on tour, opportunities to bathe are scarce, so you take what you can get. We were all in good spirits at the end of the night so we capped off our second show with a good old fashioned tailgating session.

Merch table madness with buzzard!

Unfortunately, our foray into parking lot bacchanalia came to an abrupt end when six police officers on bicycles pulled up and curtly asked: “Do any of you want to go to jail tonight?” The general consensus was “no,” and so all vessels containing alcohol were sadly vacated onto the asphalt. It was great while it lasted! Special hails go out to Buzzard, our new party spirit animal and a stand-up fellow, and to Matt for putting us up and providing us with midnight snacks and coffee and bananas for the road! Ye rule!

Photo booth villainy

Our gig at Churchill’s in Miami introduced us to the world of freelance parking lot attendants: essentially, we paid a gentleman to ensure that our beloved van would remain safe. The vehicle emerged unscathed, so perhaps it was a worthwhile investment! The crowd was wild and rowdy, which made for a fun and memorable show, and local support from the crushing ladies and gentleman in Shroud Eater added an additional layer of radness to the night. At the stroke of midnight, Sean, our guitarist, turned a year older, and so we ended our evening with a hearty, Jameson-fueled Pentagram singalong as we drove into the night.

Enjoying some "Purple Haze" craft brews in Orlando

Our next show in the historic cigar-rolling district in Ybor City lay in stark contrast to our Miami excursion. No parking “insurance” purchase necessary! We took a stroll through town with our new buds in White Hills, and discovered a mutual interest in rummaging through vintage shops. Lucas picked up some green Lennon shades at a store called La France, and now closely resembles Uncle Acid’s family practitioner. Long stretches of highway driving provide ample time for journal writing, and so we’re wrapping up this entry while winding westward through Florida toward Louisiana. 666 kilometers currently separate us from the heart of all that is weird, magical and musical in America. New Orleans beckons, and we heed its call!

666 km to NOLA!

w/ Kylesa, White Hills, Lazer/Wulf
05/21 Denver, CO Marquis Theater
05/22 Salt Lake City, UT Urban Lounge
05/24 Santa Cruz, CA Catalyst
05/25 San Francisco, CA Slim’s
05/27 Portland, OR Star Theater
05/28 Seattle, WA Chop Suey
05/29 Vancouver, BC Electric Owl
05/31 Calgary, AB Dickens
06/01 Regina, SK The Exchange
06/02 Winnipeg, MB The Pyramid
06/03 Minneapolis, MN Triple Rock Social Club
06/04 Iowa City, IA Gabe’s Oasis
06/05 Chicago, IL Bottom Lounge
06/06 Grand Rapids, MI Pyramid Scheme
06/07 St. Louis, MO The Firebird
06/08 Columbus, OH Ace of Cups
06/09 Lexington, KY Cosmic Charlies
06/11 Toronto, ON Lee’s Palace
06/12 Ottawa, ON Maverick’s
06/13 Montreal, QC Il Motore
06/14 Brooklyn NY Northside Fest (Music Hall of Williamsburg)
06/15 Albany, NY Bogie’s
06/16 Boston, MA Middle East Downstairs
06/18 Philadelphia, PA Underground Arts
06/19 Washington, DC Rock & Roll Hotel
06/20 Asheville, NC Asheville Music Hall
06/21 Atlanta, GA The Earl
06/22 Savannah, GA The Jinx