Written by Nilabjo Banerjee and Tiana Feng
Fucked Up @ Field Trip 2014

Day one of Field Trip wielded perfect weather. The sun was beaming rays of heat. Day 2 contrasted in all aspects as it was cloudy, occasionally spitting with rain and a tad chilly. However, this did not stop people from coming to the bigger of the two days.

Zaki Ibrahim @ Field Trip 2014
The very humble and pregnant Zaki Ibrahim was a delightful start to Day 2 at Fort York stage. The Polaris nominee has the sort of luring voice, that will make you stop what you are doing, and draw you in closer for the experience. The South African Canuck thanked the early birds for coming to see her play. The set was heavy on songs from the last release Every Opposite including personal favourites “Go Widdit” and the ballad ‘Kids are Talking’. You could hear faint chants of an encore as her set came to an end. That’s quite a feat.

River Tiber @ Field Trip 2014
A more sizeable crowd gathered by the time  River Tiber began their set. The much buzzed-about Toronto band melds dark electronic samples and instrumentation to Tommy Paxton-Beesley’s swooning vocals. The general vibe of the band was tough to isolate, sometimes sounding like Radiohead’s In Rainbows or a less emo How To Dress Well. John Mavro’s Michael Jordan shirt often stole the show, if his guitar solos weren’t already rocking your world.

BADBADNOTGOOD @ Field Trip 2014
Ride the Tempo has watched BADBADNOTGOOD grow from playing restaurants to big shows. Could they handle the Fort York stage? The real question was whether Fort York stage could handle these Humber Jazz grads. The prog-rock jazz trio, lead by Alexander Sowinski on the kit, stayed close to material from III, the band’s first album of original material. Known for their creative hip-hop interpretations, the boys threw in covers of Flying Lotusand Gucci Mane. Guests on stage included a saxophone player, members of River Tiber and Leo the lion, who crowd surfed during the last song. That may have been our highlight of the whole weekend.

Over on the main stage Gord Downie rocked out with The Sadies. The always-animated Downie played through the supergroup’s debut Self Titled release. Downie’s stage demeanour was more of a dramatic interpretation of the songs. That made for quiet an entertaining set even for those who may not be terribly familiar with his new material. Wonder how many were there to see the Tragically Hip frontman or jsut securing a spot for the much anticipated act to follow: The Constantines.

The Constantines @ Field Trip 2014
The reunited Cons received the warmest reception from the Field Trip faithful amongst anyone else. And rightfully so! 11th anniversary (and reissue) of the band’s 2003 release Shine a Light was one of the most influential records of the 2000s, and a mainstay in several playlists. Bry Webb and co. played through the hits from their 4 album discography including our personal favourites “Young Lions”, “On to you” and the ballad ‘Time can overcome’. The introverted Webb refrained from much banter, except periodically thanking the crowd for making this reunion a reality. The Garrison stage collectively roared back in appreciation, for coming back into our lives.

Chvrches’ synthpop was sandwiched between the alt-rock sounds of the Cons and the festival closer Broken Social Scene. The trio from Glasgow satisfied their fans with album-tight renditions from The Bones of What You Believe. The babyfaced Lauren Mayberry’ gentle vocals pierced through the electro-pop upbeat numbers ‘We Sink’ and ‘Gun’ & the ballad ‘Tether’. Mayberry’s sheepish energy was no match to Martin Doherty’s untamed dance moves as he took lead vocals on ‘Under The Tide’. Mayberry, admitting that she is not known for witty banter, listed her favourite Canadian artists like Metric and Shania Twain, before her bandmates rallied the crowd to coerce her into singing Alanis Morissette. Sadly, that never came to be.

Fucked Up @ Field Trip 2014
One of the best parts of the festival was Fucked Up’s set (which we learned that day would be one of 3 consecutive shows). Damian Abraham as always broke the barrier between audience and band, jumping off the stage to flail crazily with everyone. Kevin Drew of Broken Social Scene would later banter mumbo jumbo about the music scene being cruel and egotistical but it’s Abraham that remains truly down to earth. Fucked Up’s set ended with the loveable frontman hugging random members of the audience as if they were all long lost friends.
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On the subject of friends, we finished the night off surrounded by the Toronto twitterverse watching Broken Social Scene. Unlike last year, they pulled songs from different albums and it looked like there were more than 9 people on stage at times. Special guests included members of AroarA, Feist, Andy Kim, Stars and more.

Fucked Up @ Field Trip 2014
What we enjoyed about Field Trip that there was always something to do: get your hair done, go shopping, eat some food, explore and be reunited with friends. The atmosphere was warm and inviting from all the staff, to vendors and sponsors and performers. We really hope that we’ll go on another Field Trip again.