The members of The Cardinal Dream have been vibing off the local Toronto music scene for just under 3 years now, and although I met them in the early spring, I haven’t had the chance to attend one of their shows until the height of summer – in the back room of one of my favourite Toronto bars.
The Garrison wasn’t full, but there was a steady group of supporters out to listen, thrash-dance, and love these boys. I patiently waited for them to start their set as the space filled up with strangers and friends alike. Dan Falconi (vocals), Rob Taylor and Chris Copobianco (guitars), Mitch Conrad (bass) and Michael Volpe (Drums) caressed their instruments, closed their eyes to feel the music, and wildly danced on the stage. The guitar solos in 1000 Faces and Neuron to Nebula were intricate, driven and this time, I noticed an interesting array of pitches used, not an easy feat. My favourite song of the set was determined by the instrumental build that defined the intros and outros of the song – each being over a minute long, respectively. The song was The Universal Round/ We Are So Young and I was captivated. Not many others were dancing along with me, but when I’m at a live show I like to be fully present – and being a music lover, and an avid musician, that means moving when the music moves you. That succinct creative drive that allowed each song to phase in and out of our collective consciousness reminded me of my early twenties when I would go to countless shows that included headliners Thrice, Finch, Taking Back Sunday, and The Used. The crowd can never lie when it comes to deciding the effectiveness of a show because it is a reflection of what the performers are doing on stage. I believe that is what makes The Cardinal Dream so appealing.
Michael Volpe totally nailed his first time on backup vocals , and as the drummer, I think it requires a certain courage to do so. If something goes wrong, you either mess up the beat, or sound like a cat wailing – and he was steady all the way.
The set ended with a song called Interdimensional Spacecraft and it embodied the same addictive, rhythmic welcome as their first song. It was a great idea to bookend the set with the solo percussion because it gave closure, as if it were the punctuation after a long, complex, beautiful sentence. Have a listen to The Cardinal Dream.
Review by Stefanie Romano |