There's something special about festival shows, isn't there? An outdoor concert on a night with nice weather out by the lake or in a field somewhere, a bunch of bands, I love that kind of thing. Over the years Toronto has played host to countless music festivals in a variety of genres, and I've been lucky enough to see touring shows, city specific events, a whole ton of different things that all speak to the joys of getting outside and listening to some music under the night sky.
Field Trip is one of the best of those city specific events, an annual festival held on the grounds of Historic Fort York down by the Lakeshore. Field Trip is unquestionably a music event, but it also encourages kids and families to attend and enjoy the show along with other activities like arts and crafts and stuff, and it's a really great fun summer vibe. Over the years it's played host to an impressive list of bands like Metric, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The National and more, and based on those bands and the idea of it being a cool family event, Field Trip has gained a strong reputation as one of the best festivals in the city.
The 2014 edition of Field Trip had Interpol as the Saturday night headliner and I kind of love Interpol, so Carolyn and I made sure that we picked up a pair of tickets. June in Toronto is pretty much Goldilocks weather, not too hot and not too cold, just right, and that evening was particularly glorious. On the way in we had the good fortune of running into my friend Wardy working at the box office and that seemed like an auspicious beginning to the day. Carolyn and I wandered around the grounds looking at vendor booths and checking out food trucks and stuff, and we spent a little while playing hula hoop which is when I learned that Carolyn is actually pretty good at hula hooping. We also learned that I am not nearly as good at hula hooping as she is and there is photographic evidence of this disparity in skill for those of you who are interested.
We checked out A Tribe Called Red who were really great, and I was really impressed with The Kills' set, swampy Blues-y Garage rock that intersects with Nick Cave and PJ Harvey. We got dinner from a booth set up by the people that run Kanga, and that began my long time love for Australian pies, particularly the ooey gooey delight that was their Mate's Masala. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. But as much as we enjoyed everything else going on that day we were mainly there for Interpol's set and I'm happy to say that they totally delivered.
My first introduction to Interpol was through my friend Janet, who
suggested I might like them and played their first album "Turn on the Bright Lights" for me as we drove through the city one winter's night. She was
right, I did like them, and from that point on I've been a solid fan of their Post Punk artistry and technique, a sound that really
transcends styles and becomes something more. Their show at Field
Trip was a great example of that artistry and technique in action, featuring a
selection of fan favorite tracks mostly from "Turn on the Bright Lights" and
"Antics", along with a couple of songs from "El Pintor" which was scheduled to come out later that Fall. Evil and C'mere are always solid additions to any Interpol set, and I'm always up for seeing them play Narc and Take You on a Cruise, a pair of tracks from the "Antics" album that stand at the top of my list of favorite Interpol songs. Lights was performed as an encore, an epic spiraling take on the song, fully dramatic and fully impressive, a piece of music that I could easily get lost in under the right circumstances.
Interpol played a great set that night, a really great performance that highlighted all of the qualities that made me a fan. After the show Carolyn and I walked home from Fort York, stopping at Smoke's Poutinerie at Queen and Bathurst where they were offering a special samosa poutine that I've only had the one time but remains the standard by which all later poutines have been compared, and y'know, between hula hooping and Australian pies and Interpol and samosa poutine it really was a great time that sticks out in my memory as a pretty much perfect day. I'm very much looking forward to getting back to Field Trip and other festivals in the future, and making more memories of perfect days and beautiful nights spent outside seeing bands under the night sky...