Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra's Long-Form Drone at Sons of Hermann Hall

Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra, The Angelus Sons of Hermann Hall Sunday, February 12

As snow flurries turned to rain Sunday night, Canadian five-piece Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra performed in Dallas for the first time. And they played for almost two hypnotic hours.

Frontman Efrim Menuck was quite chatty early into the set, marveling about the Sons' ballroom but expressing dissatisfaction over the Lone Star beer sign above the bar. Mid-set, Menuck asked the crowd if they had any non-musical questions.Turns out many on the half-full floor did, from serious (Canadian health care, Mitt Romney) to not-so-serious ("Where do pigs come from?"). He was happy to respond to most of them with sincerity and humor.

While Menuck's voice often left much to be desired (especially since he's more of a yelper than a singer), the key balance rested with violinists Jessica Moss and Sophie Trudeau. Locked in perfect harmony over the band's dirge, they made drones feel warm and rising crescendos feel heavenly.

The band performed some new material, including one song dedicated to Whitney Houston ("Take Away These Early Grave Blues"), as well as favorites like "There Is a Light" and "BlindBlindBlind." The crowd responded strongly, even though each song ran well over the 10-minute mark, with a variety of movements and dynamic shifts.

Earlier, Dallas trio The Angelus played 45 minutes of hymnal slowcore. They were a wise fit, setting the tone for an evening where brevity would have cheapened the vibe.

Personal bias: I was fortunate to see Godspeed You! Black Emperor at the Ridglea ten years ago. Around that time, I'd heard Thee Silver Mt. Zion as well, and was attached to them much more than fellow Godpseed-related project Set Fire to Flames.

Random quote: The best one-liner by Menuck, after the disco ball was turned on for the final song, was his answer to the question, "What inspires you?": "The disco ball."

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.