Cai.ro is not just a city in Egypt. It is a locally adored 5-piece orchestral folk group with hauntingly familiar vocals and unmistakably new sound. If you blinked, you probably missed it, but they played a free show at Tattoo on Friday. Not just any Friday, but appropriately named GOOD Friday. It was their first show since they headlined the Big Smoke Fest at the Garrison in January and since then they’ve been slaving away in Vancouver, BC recording their new EP after receiving a FACTOR recording grant earlier in 2013. Pretty cool, huh?
I first discovered my love for the band when they played a Live in Bellwoods session during NXNE in 2011. That year was when they also released their first EP “Young Love” and started a myriad of shows around the city. That night at Tattoo was no ordinary night. Some people escaped family dinners to be there, some lied about their whereabouts, and some had it marked in their calendars for weeks. No matter how everyone made it there that night, they knew they were in for something special. I never had so much fun as I did dancing in that crowd; strangers became friends, even if only for a little while.
Nate Daniels, lead vocals, walked up to me with ease before their set and with a huge smile came in for a hug. From across the dark room, he had mistaken me for an old friend of his, and I could have mistaken him for guitarist, Dante Berardi Jr (perhaps on a wilder hair-day). Both men rock luscious long locks that give them this air of christ-like trustworthiness; but thankfully when they open their mouths to sing, their sound resonates with the visual experience. Alongside Matt Sullivan on drums, Catilin Grieve on violin, and Joel Dalton on synth/bass, Cai.ro is one of those bands that can pull off on an electric smoke show, or a laid back picnic jam. Cai.ro is for everyone.
They began their set with tribal drumming and acapella harmonies and carried on with their devastatingly gripping tune, Addict. The repeated lyrics in the chorus makes the compassionate listener sing out at the top of their lungs. For Nate, it seems obvious that he wears his heart on his sleeve, but the other members are just as emotional while they are performing. Caitlin grips that violin and doubles over when drawing the bow and it is certainly an element that cannot be missed; Dante has his hands up in the air when he’s singing as if he’s summoning the gentle spirits – his voice is the perfect complement to Nate’s and it’s also apparent that they have a strong friendship, a brotherhood, when Nate acknowledged him on stage and even the crowd blushed. Their tight sound is a sure sign of compatibility, companionship and work ethic.
The band performed 2 new songs that night, and both left the crowd wanting more. Sultry rhythmic riffs, honeyed vocals that for sure left half the crowd slack-jawed and moved, and I sensed the anticipation for their next EP started to grow. I cannot wait to hear what’s next from Cai.ro.
They ended their set with Nate declaring that he wanted us to leave the floor wet when it was over. The song was called Extinguishing Fires and it was definitely one of my favorite songs. I was the girl singing almost every lyric at the front of the crowd. One thing is for sure, we hope Cai.ro is back in the local bars soon enough. Summer is too sweet a season to go without them.
Stefanie Romano |