The Decemberists' Colin Meloy Calls Toronto’s History a "Big Dumb Rock Club"

"Seems like a strange name for a venue until you learn that it’s co-owned by Drake"

Photo: Kamara Morozuk

BY Allie GregoryPublished May 7, 2024

Drake can't catch a break. And should he? That's a question for another day... Today, amid all the strays he's been catching in the Kendrick Lamar thing (and, unfortunately, the as-yet allegedly unrelated gun violence that his security guard experienced), Decemberists frontman Colin Meloy has some relatively less-damning criticism for the 6ixgod.

Writing to fans in his ongoing Tour Diary Substack newsletter as the band head across North America on tour in support of their new album As It Ever Was, So It Will Be Again, Meloy wrote of arriving in Toronto without much border fuss ahead of their performance at Drizzy's own History yesterday (May 6).

Having initially been planned for the much more Decemberists-appropriate Queen Elizabeth Theatre, the venue was apparently changed at some point to have the Portland group perform instead at the East End venue.

"We're playing a place called HISTORY," Meloy wrote, "which seems like a strange name for a venue until you learn that it's co-owned by Drake and then I suppose it makes sense?"

He continued, describing the apparently Drake-themed green room:

There are photographs of Drake all over the backstage. The one outside my dressing room door has him walking through a crowd of onlookers. A child reaches out to him in supplication; Drake's arm is outstretched sidelong to meet the boy's hand. Inside the dressing room there is a giant photograph of Aaliyah leaning up against a flame-painted hot rod. This is Drake's history, somehow.

As if simply describing the scene weren't damning enough, the bandleader went on to dub the venue a "BDRC": "The building itself is a little uninspiring. It looks it's a converted business park warehouse. It's a Big Dumb Rock Club (BDRC), folks. At least the toilets aren't black." It was actually originally created for horse betting!

That said, Meloy admitted, "It [was] a fun show" and a "fun crowd," even though there were only "10 people for the Whole Shebang VIP party."

"Our guess is that Canadians don't go in for this kind of thing," he added. Actually, Colin, we can't afford groceries.

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