Field Trip celebrated its sixth anniversary at Fort York and Garrison Commons in Toronto on June 2nd and 3rd with a wide range of acts from Canada and around the world. The weekend had its share of ups and down; a rainstorm on the Sunday afternoon putting a literal damper on the event, but for the most part, the sizable crowd gathered at the site for the weekend seemed to enjoy themselves. That’s not to say that the weekend was completely devoid of lowlights. With Field Trip’s sixth year in mind, here are the six moments that were great, and the six we weren’t feeling.
01. FEELING: The Diversity on the Bill
– From Pierre Kwenders’ blend of hip-hop, reggae and Afrobeat to Partner’s fun LGTBQ-positive indie pop songs, Field Trip represented genres far beyond indie rock this year. Other highlights included Jacob Banks’ powerhouse Soul and R&B and NoName’s old school, storytelling hip-hop. Damian Jr. “Gong” Marley’s energetic set also stood out. Women were also strongly represented at the event with a good portion of the acts being female-fronted or solo acts.
NOT FEELING: The Second Stage Line-up on the Day 2
– Outside of Lizza Anne’s strong set, the acts on the Fort York Stage on Day 2 ranged from merely alright (Gabrielle Shonk, Haerts, Deer Tick) to boring (Cuco) to downright awful (Allan Rayman).
02. FEELING: The ‘90s Revival
– Over the course of the weekend, a grunge revival seemed to be happening. Listening to Partner, Middle Kids and Lizza Anne probably left a lot of Gen-X’ers feeling nostalgic. Lizza Anne especially put on one of the best of the weekend.
NOT FEELING: Metric Playing Fantasies in its Entirety
– Admittedly, Fantasies isn’t one of my favorite Metric albums so I’m a bit biased. The band was tight as usual with Emily Haines showing why she’s one of the best front woman in Canadian music, but it would have been nice to have heard songs from some of their other releases.
Festival images shot by Andrew Horan at Field Trip on June 2nd and 3rd.
03. FEELING: Middle Kids Playing through Jet Lag
– The Australian trio were troopers, showing no signs of jet lag as they played their first Canadian gig. Their grungy tunes were a lot of fun and singer Hannah Joy has a great stage presence.
NOT FEELING: The Slight Overlap with Set Times
– For the most part, Field Trip allowed for “travel time” between the two stages, but there was also slight overlap which meant missing part of Reuben and the Dark, Charlotte Cardin and Gabrielle Shonk’s sets.
04. FEELING: The “I was there when …” Moments
– Field Trip also serves as a spotlight for under-the-radar artists. After their spectacular sets, we’re predicting you’re going to be hearing a lot more from Chris LaRocca, Ellevator and Allie X in the near future. They may just be headlining next year’s event!
NOT FEELING: The Rain
– While the event’s organizers couldn’t be blamed for the inclement weather, things were somewhat subdued during the Japandroids and Alvvays sets. The audience didn’t seem to mind though. Toronto radio station Indie 88 deserves a shout-out for handing out rain ponchos as well!
Check out CityNews Toronto’s coverage of Metric headlining the festival.
05. FEELING: The Outstanding Mainstage Line-up
– The Garrison Stage had an “All Killer, No Filler” line-up that had too many great moments to name. From Trombone Shorty’s jaw-dropping display of musicianship that had the audience dancing to their skillful blend of jazz and funk to Japandroids playing in the pouring rain and Bahamas providing the “easy-listening portion of the evening”, there wasn’t a single dud on the mainstage. The “new kids” Dizzy and The Barr Brothers also turned in strong performances.
NOT FEELING: Allan Rayman’s Set
– Taking on the persona of a singer who was returning to his hometown after some time away, the Toronto’s artist’s meandering set was a disappointing finish to an admittedly mediocre second day on the Fort York Stage.
06. FEELING: Yeah Yeah Yeahs Wrapping Things Up
– There was no doubt that the reunited Yeah Yeah Yeahs were one of the biggest draws at Field Trip. Karen O commented that the group has a rich history in Toronto. They capped the weekend off in spectacular fashion playing all their hits including “Gold Lion”, “Zero” and “Maps”, which Karen dedicated to all the parents in the audience. They wrapped things up with “Heads Will Roll” before coming out for a short encore that saw her both repeatedly slam her mic on the stage, and come to the edge of the stage to sing with the audience.
NOT FEELING: The Missing Spirit
– Whether it was due to the lack of guest appearances that were a big part of previous events, or the fact that it seemed like no one from Field Trip organizers Arts & Crafts were present, though the label was represented thanks to Ellevator and Lizza Anne, the event just seemed to be missing something this year….
– Hopefully this was just an off year and the community spirit that makes Field Trip one of the summer’s can’t-miss festivals will return strong in 2019!