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Posts Tagged ‘arts&crafts’

field trip

The details: On an overcast Saturday (June 8th) record label Arts & Crafts had their 10th anniversary celebration Field Trip Music Festival at the Fort York & Garrison Common (which I might add is actually an awesome venue for concerts– you can’t go wrong with history and music). The lineup (listed in the image above) consisted of all bands within the labels’ roster, and it was an impressive lineup indeed. I was particularly excited for Bloc Party.

My experience: I was lucky enough to be put on a guest list to the festival but unfortunately I wasn’t able to get out of work for the day. So, although the doors were open at noon, I wasn’t able to show up until after 5 pm. So sadly, this wont be a full festival experience review.

I was most excited to see Bloc Party (quirky British indie-rock band), in fact they were essentially the only band I wanted to see, although later I discovered I enjoyed the other bands more than I anticipated. We (my girlfriend and I) arrived at the venue while Bloc Party were on, we were hoping to catch the end of their set.

Unfortunately, because we were on a guest list, we had to go to another entrance on the other side of the venue. So as we walked a couple blocks to the west entrance (in hopes of seeing Bloc Party— I’m sure there’s a joke in there somewhere), we could hear them perform (it was amazing to hear ‘Helicopter’ from a distance). However, by the time we got to the other side, found our way to the tent, got our tickets, went through security and took our first step into the festival, Bloc Party was JUST leaving the stage. Oh cruel world!

Next band up was Montreal indie-pop band Stars. Between sets we grabbed food from the infamous food trucks, and just wandered around the field trip and rustic themed festival. It was nice– they had art, free vitamin water and popsicles, little tents, a kids zone, a Drake General Store tent (which had some awesome merch and knick knacks) and a whole whack of stuff.

Stars: Too be fair, when Stars were on, my girlfriend and I were more concerned with getting food in our stomaches and taking in the surroundings. Not to mention neither of us were particularly fond of the band. I went through my phase where I listened to their album  Set Yourself On Fire religiously to the point that I can’t stand it any more. However, while sitting eating our shrimp and octopus tacos (from Buster’s Sea Cove), we found ourselves enjoying their performance.

Their synth-pop, dreamy, sex, relationship and booze drenched music came across completely different live. While listening to it, I found myself thinking this reminds me of REM, or Fleetwood Mac, or The Cure or any other band other than Stars. I guess this isn’t a trait a band generally tries to achieve, but it made me appreciate the performance more. Maybe it even added an element of surprise.

Feist and her full band @ Field Trip Music Festival

Feist and her full band @ Field Trip Music Festival

Feist: For the first couple songs Feist was joined on stage by a full band. By the third song the band left just leaving her (Leslie Feist), a drummer and a keyboardist. One may think having a full band sound would make for a better live show, but to me the show began when the extra band members left. Feist was able to shine when it was just the three musicians up on stage– her raw talent, impressive guitar skills and vocals were at the forefront.

Feist is a strong performer and she managed to impress even with her slower songs. It wasn’t until she started breaking out older material that the fans loosened up and started dancing and singing along. Fan favourites like “I Feel It All” and “My Moon My Man” were stand outs for me. Not surprisingly, she didn’t perform her breakout hit “1234” and instead she played a remixed dance-y version. It was a very drum and vocal loop heavy version of the song, and it got the crowd moving. Although it hardly resembled the original song, it was a successful and sneaky way to say she included it in the set without actually performing it. I honestly don’t blame bands when they don’t play their breakout hits, but good on Feist for incorporating it somehow.

Her performance started off kind of slow, and built up to a grand finally. I guess I just had to warm up to her, but overall, Feist is an amazing musician and live performer!

Broken Social Scene: I wasn’t sure what to expect from Broken Social Scene, especially since I hadn’t listened to them in years. When I last listened I had their album You Forgot It In People on repeat, to the point that I gained an attachment to certain songs. An attachment I completely forgot about until I heard the songs be brought back to life live.

They opened their set with ‘KC Accidental’, and from that moment I was hooked. Not only are they musically captivating, but the emotional bond I had with the songs jolted to the forefront of my mind. They’re all talented musicians (I was particularly impressed with the drummer), and their stage presence and showmanship are amazing. They’re a big band as is, but the entire set was a smorgasbord of musicians. There was a horn section, additional percussion, hand clappers (people who specifically did hand claps), and plenty of guest appearances. Feist appeared for a song (‘Almost Crimes’), Jason Collett played guitar on a couple tracks, Metric guitarist James Shaw came on stage for a song dedicated to him, and who knows who else showed up? There was plenty of coming and going on that stage!

The peak of the performance for me was when they played ‘Anthems For A Seventeen-Year-Old Girl’ and ‘Cause = Time’ back to back.  There has only been a handful of bands I’ve seen live that have successfully been able to transport me to a certain time in my life and sincerely have a musical/emotional connection with. I would’ve never guessed Broken Social Scene would make that list, but hearing those two songs one after another was an untouchable experience for me, strictly for sentimental reasons. For me, everything after that experience was mediocre in comparison.

They played quite an impressively long set, and a lot of fan favorites. We left early to avoid the crowd, but they were still going strong long after we left.

In Conclusion: Too be honest, I’m not sure if this will become an annual thing, but I kind of hope that it does. I can’t imagine the lineup changing much year after year (since it’s the labels roster), but it looked like it was a huge success, and it would be great if they could make something more of it. On a personal level, I enjoyed it way more than I anticipated, and although I was debating skipping it (due to work reasons) I’m glad I didn’t.

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I just wanted to write a quick post of what’s coming down the pike. It’s a busy week for me, musically and otherwise, therefore I have plenty to write about! It also means I’m too busy to actually write them, therefore I’m sure it’ll all be irrelevant by the time I finally press the ‘Publish’ button.

Coming up: 

field trip

Arts&Crafts Field Trip 10th Anniversary Celebration happened this past weekend and I was lucky enough to get on a guest list. It was short notice, so although the doors opened at noon, I didn’t show up till 5-ish. Damn work! Who needs money anyway? Expect a review of the last half of the festival.

chvrches

Chvrches will be performing at The Hoxton in Toronto on Wednesday June 12th, and I’ll be there! I’m beyond excited! It’s a small venue and a growing band;  it should be a good night. I do have high expectations though,  so here’s hoping I’m not let down. I guess you’ll have to wait and read my review to find out?!

Band-slide-Ludacris

NXNE is a music festival and conference now in its 18th year. I’m lucky enough to be working as a stage hand at the free Yonge and Dundas Square shows Thursday June 13th through Sunday June 16th. The shows will feature headliners Social Distortion (Thurs), The National (Fri), Billy Talent (Sat) and Ludacris (Sun).

I’ll be on stage working my ass off for all those shows. I’ll be sure to write either one big post for the whole experience or perhaps a post for each individual night. I’m ridiculously excited for The National though, I’m probably going to squeal like a school girl while they play, or if I meet them.

An idea I’m messing around with in my head: Now that festival season is upon us, I was thinking of doing a post on how to save money at festivals, as well as mention some little tips and tricks. However, most of it would be smart ass remarks and probably not very helpful, which, of course, makes me want to post it even more just for the humorous aspects.

Let me know what you think!

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