Concert Review: Field Trip Day 1 (Saturday)
The 2nd edition of Field Trip was launched yesterday under the amazing sunny skies of Toronto, held once again at Fort York and Garrison Common. There was a good mix of people in the crowd, even youngsters and wee ‘uns, thanks to the free admission policy that is nice to see. Enough about the weather and little kids – what the hell kind of boring blog is this – let’s get down to the sex, drugs, and the rock and roll (minus the first 2, in case my Dad is reading).
The Toronto band was explosive from the get go. Thankfully, they were in the shade, since they were wearing sports coats and jeans. Okay, I can’t not write about the weather it seems.
The falsetto parts came off flawlessly, and the band seemed tight throughout their set. They played their stellar singles, including stand out track Horses Fell.
They didn’t manage to cram in 21 minute track Hymn for a Missing Girl into their set but maybe that’s not surprising. A solid way to start the afternoon.
Not solid was (not soberly) kicking around a CBC Music beach ball. Hitting a few good natured and friendly people made the security guy freak out, tell me he’s security and he could kick me out, as his voice got increasingly louder. Thanks pal.
Another Toronto act, Austra, followed The Darcys. Their music was noticeably louder and bassier which was much welcomed. Painful Like kicked things off. Twin backing singers Sari and Romy Lightman were not present, so their backing vocals were piped in unfortunately.
Forgive Me followed and kept the dancing electronic vibe alive. The band harked back to first record with The Choke, which also came across nicely. Singer Katie Stelmanis borrowed a piano for Home since hers somehow broke. That’s what friends are for.
The band kept the upbeat set going, unaffected by the sun beating down on them. The band played a slower version of Lose It which actually presented an interesting direction that the band could take for their third album.
I pretty much loved the set from start to finish. I did think that the bigger setting (compared to when we saw them at Danforth Music Hall) and missing stage members led to a bit of a less engaging show, but the band are still a live force to be reckoned with. And how about that voice?!
Half Moon Run
The band opened with 21 Gun Salute, the closing track on their breakout debut album, Dark Eyes. More weather tidbits for you, since I’m a weather blog – the three piece wore all black in the hot Toronto sun. Ill advised, but it looked rad.
They busted out a relatively new song for their third track, and led by the aggressive bass line and band harmonies, proved to be a good one.
Apparently the band have a large supply of harmonicas as they threw one in the crowd mid-song. I want that kind of expense account for my job.
The band livened things up with Call Me in the Afternoon, a great song in their catalogue, and the crowd reacted that way. Next, the band even dedicated a love song to us, the lovers of the outside. Maybe I’m on to something with this weather blog writing style I have going on…
Full Circle was the penultimate song and elicited cheers from the crowd. Half Moon Run had the crowd sing parts of the song, too, which turned out well.
The band closed with She Wants To Know and assured the stage manager it was a quick one. The song had the high energy that the middle part of the set was missing, and closed out an efficient set from the band.
Quadruple percussionists, dyed blonde hair and a guitar assault. How does that sum up The Kills? Quite poorly, I know.
The band played rock from the get go but the depth of percussionists didn’t always add another layer of appreciation. I admittedly don’t know a lot of songs by the band, but the tracks didn’t blow me away. They did have a bit of edginess and stage presence about them.
The band did a good mix of songs with both Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hincesinger sharing vocal duties at times, with the songs having a distinct groove about them.
As the set went on, the beats and rhythms stood out a little more. Alison commanded the stage well and as the songs grew in intensity, so did her presence.
This short review is in no relation to my sobriety level at this point in the festival…
The New York City veterans opened with Say Hello To The Angels, bathed in red lights. Evil followed the opener, and the band were still in relative darkness, backlit by colourful and moody lights. There were no video screens at Field Trip to aid the performers, but the venue is relatively intimate that the sightlines were all great anyway.
Hands Away had a driving beat and urgency to it, while NYC was a great, classic song by a vintage indie band. The band played their songs without too much deviation from the studio versions.
The band played Narc, and further demonstrated that their outros are one of their strong points, and Narc definitely had an amazing outro. The band played a new number from recently announced album, El Pintor. The song was called Anywhere, which was appropriate, as it could seemingly fit anywhere on their catalogue.
The band kept the buzz going with the excellent Slow Hands. They went off for an encore and came back with vintage Interpol. Some people were flooding out and missing the genius of the classic indie rockers. This included tracks like Stella Was a Diver, which excited the crowd (and me!), and also Obstacle 1 from their debut album (which I would put in my top 10 debut albums of all time list).
Despite being away for awhile, I was pleasantly surprised at how good the band sounded, and how much they played from their early catalogue. My expectation level for El Pintor has now gone up.
Check back for Day 2 coverage, and follow us on Twitter @PeteHatesMusic.