Field Trip 2015 – Saturday review with Alabama Shakes, Purity Ring, Arkells

June 9, 2015

Purity Ring - photo Brian BanksPurity Ring at Field Trip

Who: Field Trip
Where: Fort York Garrison Creek Commons
When: Saturday, 6 June 2015
In One Word: Amazing

Field Trip 2015 was a major success. What a trip!

What an amazing way to kick off the Summer 2015 Festival series; it will be interesting to see how others compete with this event. The day was fulfilled with everything you could possibly want to do – whether it was hula hoop in a field with bubbles blowing around in the process, or eat a fully loaded poutine while jamming out to the Arkells, it was all there.

Field Trip food trucks


Food prices ranged approximately from 7-15$ , which is a fair price for a meal. There was just about any type of food you could imagine – seafood, greasy goodness, or even a kale salad. Not only was there a ton of food however, food from different cultures as well which added some dynamic. The only part that Field Trip organizers fell short on was a “sweets” truck. The only noted option for something sugary was Gelato, which was 5$ per serving. Otherwise, the food was D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S for ALL!


If you entered the Festival through the West entrance, the first “shop” you will notice is the Field Trip marketplace – which was kind of talked up prior to the festival. It was made out to seem to be a large area with lots exclusive of merchandise however; it didn’t differ much from other concert merchandise tables. It consisted of few merchandise options for each band, and some Field Trip items. However, the record and cd section was something that was admirable and “different” about it. After viewing this area, it was kind of a let down but as you continue to walk, this changed. In Discovery Village, there was a great selection of vendors. There was a great variety of items to purchase, even including Fair Trade clothing. This area was most definitely a hit between sets.


What a great day of music and fun, and a fantastic lineup. The Belle Game had a small crowd, for such a great set. They started the day off with a relaxing and mellow vibe. Most people sat on the grass and enjoyed the set. The beautiful vocals of Andrea Lo blew the audience away during all songs, specifically in “River”. This set definitely deserved a larger audience, but the band did not perform any less due to this, and the smaller audience was appreciative.

Calvin Love

Another band with a smaller group but amazing set was Calvin Love. The lighting coincided with each song perfectly, making it a good overall show. You could really tell that the band enjoyed being there, making for a better connection with the audience. Calvin had a “different” and “smooth” voice, which was very enjoyable and went along with their clever rhythms. They played their new song “Automaton” that “just hit the inter web” on June 3rd, which had great riff changes and amazing rhythm. The first bit of the song has no lyrics, leaving the listener interested in what is coming. They announced their new record Super Future that will be released on June 16th by Arts & Crafts.

The War on Drugs had an amazing set, and you could sense the calmness that they brought to the crowd. Although it was a crowd of thousands of people, they made you feel as if it was an intimate setting because of their low maintenance (not in a negative way). The band did not have much to say in between songs, but the music spoke for itself and it was not a necessity. They played majority of songs from album “Lost in the Dream”, which is such a moving album. It speaks to so many people because it describes heartache and loneliness so intensely, and to hear that live was effective on many people including Arkell’s front man, Max Kerman. He tweeted the following day, “Highlight of @FieldTrip: watching @TheWarOnDrugs. Listened to Lost In The Dream a million times. Amazing to see it live.”

Arkells - photo Brian Banks

A lot of the music throughout the day before the Arkells set was very “low key” however, Arkell’s had no problem pumping up the crowd. They opened the set with favourite “Come to Light”, and it was all uphill from there. Max Kerman was extremely excited to be performing at Field Trip, and he made this very clear to the audience. After the opening song, they continued their high energy set with songs such as “Michigan Left”, “The Boss is Coming”, and “Leather Jacket”, which was the most responsive song. Max Kerman also played a set on the TD Day Camp stage earlier that day for younger ones. He played “Ol’ Macdonald”, and referred to himself as the “Black Sheep” of the childrens stage. It almost seemed to me that Max enjoyed that set possibly more than the Arkells one. It was a much more intimate setting, and an easier crowd. Kerman can take over any stage, and any crowd; this was made extremely clear this weekend playing for two diverse crowds.


Purity Ring stole the show. Although the power went out not once but twice, this didn’t stop them from entertaining the crowd. They opened with “push pull” and played favourites such as “heartsigh”, and “Fineshrine”. Purity Ring had every aspect to make it a good show. Megan James had an interesting choice of apparel, but it added to the entertainment aspect. Their usual set with advanced lighting and effects did the trick as usual, and they had amazing stage presence and handled their disadvantages extremely well.

Alabama Shakes - photo Brian Banks

The day closed with Alabama Shakes, and the crowd grew vastly large specifically for them. Brittany Howard’s beautiful voice graced the grounds of Fort York, and amazed all of those watching. Although she was accompanied by eight other musicians, all eyes were on her, but this isn’t to say the band didn’t do a phenomenal job as well. The set list comprised of songs from Boys & Girls and Sound & Colour, with Fort York Garrison Creek reverbrating to the soulful sounds of the Shakes.

© Gemma Mastroianni, Music Vice

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