Field Trip 2018 Day 1 – Metric, Damian ‘Jr. Gong’ Marley, Bahamas, The Barr Brothers, and more

Photos by Neil Van

A sunny Saturday at Fort York brings out some encouraging early birds for the afternoon lineup at Field Trip. After the obligatory hoola hoop and lounge in the grass, New Brunswick band Partner provided an enthusiastic set at the Fort York stage – bashing out queer rock and some sweet riffs. Their banter was as fun as their music – with the whimsical The ‘Ellen’ Page providing a fun and silly start to the day. Over on the Garrison stage, the smooth, lilting voice of Dizzy supplied the perfect backing for the glorious sunshine, with single Swim going down particularly well with the crowd. Montreal based Pierre Kwenders brings out some lively and enthusiastic dancing in the small crowd with his Congolese-soaked dance-pop. The drums and guitar from Kwenders’ band irresistably set many hips swaying. Staying in Montreal over on the Fort York stage, Charlotte Cardin drew a large crowd with her soulful, Winehouse-esque crooning. Her French tracks stand out boldly against her English ones, but it’s Dirty Dirty that prompts the crowd to sing along with the welcome addition of beats giving it a more RnB feel.

Aussie band Middle Kids provided a sweet and sincere, though forgettable, set of indie rock tinged with an almost Country sound. New single Don’t Be Hiding is a sweet message to the self conscious and Middle Kids provide a relaxed set that plays well into Bahamas on the main stage. Toronto based Bahamas draws a big hometown crowd and for the life of me, I can’t understand why. It’s a calm, smooth, Jack Johnson style set of self indulgent riffs and trite, simplistic lyrics delivered in a soothing, smooth voice. Not my cup of tea, but the crowd are having a grand old time. Damian Marley on the other hand brought a strength and power to the stage – starting with his spectacular grey bearded hype man and flag bearer waving the Rastafarian Flag in an impressive feat of endurance for most of the set. Damian’s energy and flow powers along for an hour and is softened by his ability to bring the crowd together with his words and a beautiful cover of Could You Be Loved, rounding out his set with the classic Welcome to Jam Rock.

The mighty Metric take to the stage for a trip down memory lane, playing Fantasies in it’s entirety. Haines hold a tambourine aloft and sends goosebumps of anticipation through the crowd as she asks about 2009: “Where were you? How were you? Who were you with? Who did you love?” before Kicking into Help I’m Alive. There’s a special electricity running through the crowd as the Fantasies tracks thump on and the crowd rocks out. As the album closed, the band showcase two new tracks, named Dark and Now in the shorthand on the set list. Youth Without Youth is particularly energetic and a spectacular set is closed with On a Slow Night – which this Saturday definitely wasn’t.

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