It was hot Sunday, the type of heat that just clings to your body like a warm sweaty blanket and doesn’t let go. In the midst of this blistering solar attack, Field Trip Music and Arts Festival took over old Fort York in Toronto. I wondered what would have gone through the head if one of the soldiers that had been stationed at this fort 200 years ago if they had seen the army of people in cut offs and sunglasses and who, armed with picnic blankets and sunscreen, were swarming onto the fort’s grounds.
The act I was there to see was Brendan Philip, who I had seen before at The Drake Underground. While the band set up changed slightly between that show and the present, the caliber of music had not. Drawing from a wide array of sounds and styles, like reggae, classic RnB, and funk as well as others genres the sound was artfully arranged by BP and his co-producers. The music was full of melodies and counter-melodies over ambient sounds with a combination of live and programmed drums that gave it all a slow, sultry vibe and left a real feeling of distance. The crowd, baking in the sun, relaxing on their previously mentioned picnic blankets took in the sounds coming from the stage like a cool breeze on a scorching hot day.
Being a ginger at an outdoor music festival can come with its own set of complications since some of us react to sun like vampires do in classic literature (we burn, if you thought I meant sparkling or anything Twilight related, I’m very disappointed in you). This was a good set by some really talented musicians, still enjoyable even after the heat stroke set in.
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Review by Tristan Johnston