LIVE @ THE EL MOCAMBO
By: Fridae Mattas
Tiny Danza are still remotely unknown and by sneak attack this band of characters won Indie Week Canada 2011, the quintet will be off to Indie Week Ireland 2012 to jam out with those awesome Irish folk. This was my first time seeing Tiny Danza live on the stage and what better venue than the EL Mocambo a frequented venue, a Bar in Toronto where legendary musicians have played. The only thing that I will always dislike about the Elmo is the lighting; my camera refuses to take photos half the time because the lighting is so dim and unlike many photographers I do not like using flash, I prefer natural lighting. When the headliners are on stage there is a slight difference with lighting but not by much, at least the sound was consistently done well throughout the night.
Of course I was curious to see how these five from Toronto would handle the audience and stage, I Needed to see why they won Indie Week first hand. Didn’t even bother to refresh my memory of their music, the plan for this review was to experience them live before I heard the record and although I’ve listened to a track or two before it has been a few months since then. Tiny Danza is comprised of Andrew Craig – Emcee/Vocals, Andrew Santaguida – Piano, Galen Hogg – Emcee, Matt Russo – Guitar, Nick Shao – Drums.
They had a few supporting acts, Tawlst Santiago a fantastic singer and artist, unfortunately I missed his set but managed to catch him later with Tiny Danza and Rapper Blake Carrington who was on just prior to Tiny Danza. Honestly couldn’t wait until Carrington’s set was over the set was dragging on and to me he sounded like just another “Canadian Rapper” with mediocre flow trying to rhyme over recycled beats. His set was too long but I do give him credit for trying to hype the crowd at least there was the effort there but he has a lot of work to do before he plays with the big boys.
Now to the main event, I knew there were a bunch of white emcee’s in this group and I was a little apprehensive but once they started in I was actually enjoying their sound, especially vocals. Andrew Craig has a soulful yet fiery tone in his voice kind of like the Caramel of vocals rich and smooth like an R&B singer and he can kind of rap. Craig’s flow is a little delayed compared to Hogg’s which is smoother and tighter but practice will help improve. For me it was impressive at how fantastic the singing was and how together the band played, bouncing off each other without an awkward moment, it sounded so crisp and clear the rapping was a bonus. When they brought the Larry on the Saxophone to join the musical ensemble I was floored, this band has something completely different going on and does stand a part from other bands right now on the Toronto scene! So blatant was the talent, it was there all in your ears and face, no need for auto-tune which was extremely refreshing!I still am very surprised a major hasn’t grabbed this band yet. There was plenty of press and fans for me to maneuver so my shots are ass but that only means I have to see them again. Musically the band is on the same page, the beat was kept, the guitar sounded sick and the keys added an element of harmony tying everything together. The Sax was a welcome addition to enriching the Tiny Danza sound.The stage handling was interesting, the band managed to keep the crowd entranced and by the end of the set Hogg was topless and the audience was on the stage having a major rager while the band played out! The only thing I would recommend is to keep practicing the floetry and work on the songs to continually refine your sound. The verdict is…When in need of a talentfusion go see if these energetic characters are playing because they will definitely hit the spot, Tiny Danza is Fridae Approved!