Toronto, Canada - Earlier this year, we featured a piece called "Why Live Music Matters". While the article doesn't specifically dive into the importance of "local" live music, it is critically just as important, and I may even argue that it's MORE important. The same elements are at play here, with the promotors, the venues, and the musicians that work tirelessly at their craft. They do this because they love music, but they also all play an integral role to bringing us this form of entertainment. It's an artform that every single culture across the globe, for centuries of generations, all have in common, and it's magical.
Something that always stands out to me is the fact that every single band that is famous the world over, started out as a local live act. They all had to start at the bottom, playing in small bars, and clubs, and they have all played countless shows where there were 5 or 10 people in the crowd watching. As a music fan, or more precisely, a live music fan, could you ever imagine seeing Metallica, U2, or Chris Stapleton in a smoky barroom, playing to a handful of rabid music fans? The reality is, people did in fact attend shows lie this.
Of course, the chances of massive success like the aforementioned bands is slim. Even getting to play venues of 2000 is few and far between. But there are bands that make it! And there are deep rooted fans that love their artists to be their own. They don't want them to achieve this massive success. All so they can see them perform in an intimate location. So how can we know which bands will reach this level of stardom? We don't. The world is full of amazing musicians that just never get heard. But just think... what if a band hits, and you could say "I saw those guys play at The El Mocambo in Toronto!"? On a personal level, I can say that I saw bands like Slayer and Megadeth perform in small music halls with less than 1000 people present. Not quite like seeing them in a bar with 15 people, but it's a pretty cool feeling to reminisce.
There's no better opportunity for fans to catch some of this potential history than at Indie Night In Canada. This year's event featured 18 independent Canadian bands, and having caught at least 15 minutes of each and every band on the bill, I can attest that there is some spectacular talent among this year's entrants. One of those acts was Toronto's own Frail Fragment, who closed out the almost 7 hour live music event on June 6, 2023, as they hit the stage at 1:15 am (actually, on June 7). Founding member Len Lamanna takes his music one step beyond, having scored the horror movie "The Last Slay Ride" in 2022.
Len Lamanna - Vocals, Guitars
Michael Mintchev - Drums
Matheus Caldes - Guitars, Vocals
Ian Rodriguez - Bass, Vocals
Unfortunately, at this juncture of the evening, the majority of the crowd had cleared out, but Lamanna was extremely gracious for those that had stayed late on this Tuesday evening. The band was determined to put on a performance for the die-hards, as they started into their set. Frail Fragment's sound is completely unique, highlighting the members' ability to transition from one style to another. It's an ability that showcases the talent for this 4 piece act.
The band started their set with the rocking track "Free Ride" which got the crowd primed and ready to rock out. Next up was the band's single "Time Thrown In", which was featured on Toronto radio station 102.1 The Edge. It's another high tempo track that transitioned perfectly from the opening number.
The band slowed the pace for "Rise and Fall" which featured drummer Michael Mintchev playing maracas and tapping the drums with his bare hands, maintaining the mellow beat. Mintchev is completely engaged throughout the whole set. Watching him react as he literally feels the beat, you can easily see that he is at one with the music, and it translates to the audible that the faithful is soaking in. The track is also a transition for vocalist Len Lamanna, highlighting the singer's range
The band's track "Away" was another slower cut that boasted a sweet, melodic guitar solo, and "Schizophrenia" displayed the vocal abilities of guitarist Matheus Caldes and bassist Ian Rodriguez as they accompany Lamanna's lead vocals with brilliant harmonies.
As the 30 minute set winds down, frontman Len Lamanna shares that the band will be performing live at Kensginton Market on June 24, and he shows his immense gratitude to Indie Night In Canada for the opportunity. A special shoutout to LOUDTO was also given as Lamanna graciously says "Thanks for considering us!" It's a simple gesture but completely shows the band's humbleness.
Frail Fragment closed their set with the grittier, alternative rock track "PMS" that contains grungier vocals that ends with an intense tempo of crunchy guitars, pounding drums and insane screams, classic of metal! It was an end that brought a raucous roar from the fans.
This was a perfectly selected setlist for the group, as it easily brought to light the talents of the members of this local act. With music industry professionals on hand, perhaps we've seen the makings of bigger and better things for these Torontonians. And for the fans that stuck it out, perhaps one day they can say "I saw Frail Fragment play at Indie Night In Canada in 2023!" And for those that missed this one, keep an eye out for a show near you!
Time Thrown In
Rise & Fall