When Venom, Inc.’s Vancouver show was cancelled last Saturday due to the weather conditions en route from Colorado, it seemed that all was lost for metal on the lower mainland that night – that is, until we remembered Vancouver’s much-maligned sister city to the southeast, Surrey. Although venues appropriate to live music performance are few and far between, the occasional metal show occurs at Olympia Pizza: nestled in a strip mall near Surrey Central Station, it is a modest family dining space with a drop ceiling and a portable gantry lighting rig bordering its small stage platform, perfect for a no-frills, all-ages show in the suburbs.
With the majority of its members based in Surrey, Brimstone were literally right at home. Despite a show-stopping technical problem early on, the band’s thrashy doom pulled a strong crowd of enthusiastic local supporters that moshed hardest to signature track, “Sacrifice”.
Admittedly we only caught Maiden BC‘s first two songs but it was enough to see that the outfit is a seasoned band of musicians with an established stage presence, dutifully paying homage to classic Iron Maiden tracks with focused exuberance, especially from vocalist Travis Green.
It’s not often that we get to see a show in our own backyard – Factory Worker Media remains focused on Vancouver despite our relocation to Surrey as a slightly more affordable alternative to Van’s high cost of living – and one hopes to see the Surrey metal scene grow and flourish (honourable mention to Surrey’s new tech-death trio Ganglyon, who made an impressive debut the previous night at Funky Winkerbeans.)
While regional bands must play major cities to both test their mettle and build their following, hometown support is the cornerstone of a new band’s career and we hope to see more of it from the otherwise quiet communities throughout the lower mainland this year.