Road Rituals: Blood Ceremony Tour Diary, Part 3

Ramblin’ gamblin’ men.
***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

Although our highway blowout incident threatened the Albuquerque show, we made the gig and then set course for Denver, Colorado, home of some of the greatest craft beers in the United States. We played at the Marquee Theater a year and a half ago supporting Ghost, and it was a great feeling to return to a familiar venue–we already knew the lay of the land. Last time around the sound guy was wasted and got fired for throwing a pint glass at the bartender, so we were happy to see that his replacement was less volatile.

A day off fell between great shows in Salt Lake City and Santa Cruz and so we opted to stay in Reno for a night of gaudy excess. Fueled by an Indian meal and “espresscatinis” prepared by White Hills’ bassist and drink wizard Ego Sensation, BC and WH combined forces to take The Biggest Little City by storm. We managed not to fritter away too much merch money at the slots, and instead flocked to the dance floor at the hotel’s club. We were even comped a bottle of vodka! At first we were suspicious of the gesture, having had a misunderstanding about the price of pink lemonade at a club in Hamburg on our last European tour, but there was no catch–it was simply a slow Thursday night. While we were a bit haggard the next morning, we dusted off the cobwebs and had a quick swim before heading off to California.

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Dave W. of White Hills tearing up the dance floor with a mysterious stranger.

Our show at Slim’s in San Francisco was memorable not only because of the amazing crowd, but also thanks to the venue’s chef, Jose, a metal maniac who cooked us one of the best meals we’ve had on the road to date. We ended up with a bit of extra time the day after our show in San Fran, and so we grabbed a leisurely breakfast with White Hills and then sauntered down to Amoeba Records, where we met up with musical madman Scott Carlson (the Grindmaster General!) and his partner Erin, as well as old pal Carson Binks from Saviours. We spent a bit more than we should have. So it goes!

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Amoeba warlords! Left to right: Sean, Mike, Carson, Scott, Erin, Alia and Lucas.

More friends awaited in Portland, where we got a lot of love from the crowd at Star Theater. Nate and Rob from Witch Mountain put us up in their gorgeous bungalow, complete with crackling fire and heavy chunes on the stereo. Nate gave us a tour of Portland in the morning, which included Da-Pressed Coffee, Movie Madness, delicious (vegan!) breakfast, and some further record shopping–as if our vinyl binge in San Francisco wasn’t enough!

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The caffeine alleviated his da-pression.

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Blood Ceremony meets Whiskey the cat at Casa Witch Mountain.

The next string of shows wove through Canada, and we were happy to have regular access to our data plans and the almighty BBS (Bad Breath Special) from Tim Horton’s: an everything bagel with herb & garlic cream cheese. Our first Canadian date was in Vancouver, where the massive green room area boasted two ping pong tables but no paddles to be found, which lead to much frustration! We had a taste of the good life when my mom–who happened to be in town on business–took the band out for an Italian meal. It was also nice to reunite with some of our West Coast band buddies, including Shane from 3 Inches of Blood and Matt from Funeral Circle. Our night off between Vancouver and Calgary was spent nestled in the misty mountaintops of Revelstoke, BC, where Sean’s old roommate Alex hosted us and even built a massive bonfire!

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Celebrating our return to Canada with Matt from Funeral Circle!

We were happy to hit Calgary once again after playing a raucous show at the Noctis Festival last fall where we had a face-melting weekend with Venom, Nunslaughter, Manilla Road and other heavy pals! More faces were melted this time around, including ours, thanks to crushing sets from our tour mates, mixed drinks courtesy of Ego Sensation, and an off-the-wall Cowtown audience. To close this chapter of Road Rituals, I leave you with a picture taken at Noctis last fall of BC hanging with members of the almighty Venom!

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Noctis metal meltdown.

w/ Kylesa, White Hills, Lazer/Wulf
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