Prince George All Ages Venues
A Top Five Favourites List From Some Metal Chick
Growing up in Prince George was a pretty good time, with lots of ups and downs, and lots of metal, punk, and alternative shows. I entered the music in 2004, when I was 13, and I have seen a lot of venues come and go. I am too young to have witnessed the glory that was Growlies, or Pizza Rico’s when they actually served pizza. Honourable mentions go to Sound Entertainment, St. Michaels and Knox United – all the hardcore nonsense! With that in mind, here are my top five favourite Prince George venues from past, and present.
#5 – Connaught Youth Center
This venue was where I saw my first ‘big’ metal concert – the Adamant CD release show back in 2005. The Center has a lot of great aspects about it, the sound can be really great for metal bands because it is such a big venue. When Dying Fetus came here for Helloween II they sounded so big and fantastic inside the gym. I also found that this venue didn’t get as hot as some of the other venues, and it had a lot of great spots outside to take a rest after a lengthy mosh pit experience. I will always think fondly of the many concerts that happened at this venue. I’m not sure why it stopped being used as a venue, maybe it was that time someone dressed as Jesus and then set their costume on fire….
#4 – The Roll-A-Dome
This venue needs no introduction, as it has been a staple in the community since the 70s. When I was a pre-teen the All Night Skates were all the rage, and then as I got older the Prazma Entertainment shows became the biggest draw for me. I have witnessed so much epic music in this place. Swallow the Sun, Rotting Christ, Three Inches of Blood (like three times), Zimmers Hole…. The list could go on and on. I once fell asleep on the floor of this venue by the speakers because they were so loud it felt like I was being a massage. So many good times, thank you Roll-A-Dome.
#3 - The Artspace
This venue has been around longer than I can personally remember. Some very important formative moments of my life took place in this upstairs haven of art and song and life. I performed my first burlesque show here, cried to so many sad songs, headbanged to so much good metal, and above all, laughed and shared experiences with my friends. My only complaint is that it is so HOT. You cannot dance for longer than thirty seconds to two minutes without breaking a sweat. One of the greatest things about this venue is the $2 bookshelf that you can browse and buy books from while attending a show. Introverts rejoice! Unlike all the other venues on this list, this venue is still open and available!
#2 – Pizza Rico’s
I came too late in the game to ever get served pizza at this venue… but I definitely had time to enjoy it. For a while there was nothing else for metal, and I saw some crazy shows here man. The small risers in the windows were perfect for gazing out over the pit, in this tiny red dungeon of a space. Deadriver Wasteland, Hunger, Gyibaaw, Primal Stance, Necrobiosis… those are some of the most memorable sets for me, but there is so much more! This venue was great for temperature, great location right downtown, and even though there were sometimes altercations with the cops it kept the spirit of the metal and punk scene alive for years.
#1 – (of course) Third
If you don’t know, then I’m sorry for you, Third was the best thing that happened to the PG music scene in the 2000s. Tiny, dark, and spray painted with a hundred or more band names, when it was shut down in 2013, many hearts were crushed. In my humble opinion, small venues are the best venues. You could fill that room with 30 people, or it would be crammed with 100+ people when a show had a big draw. The bathroom sucked, there was nowhere to sit, and no one cared. It sounded great and it was a cheap venue for local and out of town bands to throw shows. Third brought us so many gifts, the most important of which was community and family. If you remember Third, toast your next drink to that beautiful little oasis of alternative.
Article by volunteer, contributor, and all -round'-solid-human Shannon Williams