The Wisconsin-native band Field Report played the Bootleg Theater on May 8 as part of their tour in support of their newest album. With the release of Summertime Songs on March 23, the group took to the road for a nationwide tour beginning March 27.
“Thank you guys for being here,” frontman Christopher Porterfield said. “We haven’t played LA for a minute.” Field Report immediately jumped into performing a slew of new songs, kicking off with “Healing Machine.” They followed with “If I Knew,” “Tightrope” and “Blindspot.” The set then segued into the especially downtrodden “Michelle,” from 2014s Marigolden.
The warehouse-like venue and small propped-up stage enhanced Field Report’s performance for the attending Angelenos. The intimacy and vulnerability that resulted from the setting, combined with sweetly imperfect vocals by Porterfield that were rough around all the right edges, minimized the sometimes cliches and artificialness that can plague folksy rock music.
Field Report ran through “60 Second Distance Run” and “Every Time” before Porterfield commanded the stage alone. He explained: “This is the part of the show where we take a break from the immersive environment.” The audience dictated the next few songs for the set, which included, “Fergus Falls,” “Pale Rider” (accompanied by singer-songwriter Noah Gundersen) and “Home (Leave the Lights On).”
Porterfield took this time alone to chat more with the audience. He thanked them for coming out and talked about their “groovy” LA day that featured a delicious meal. “I do think those cured meats are making me sweat a bit, though,” he said. Later, Porterfield got a bit more sentimental. Prior to hijacking the final request for his own choice of “Home,” he took the next step in explaining his gratitude: “ Thank you so much for trusting me and letting us in… it only works to its fullest potential when people like you guys are willing to be on the other side of it.”
The band made their way back for “Ambrosia,” where Porterfield introduced the other members at song’s end. It was a full swing back into the final portion of the set. The song got bigger as it went on and Porterfield jumped and shook his head to the beat with emotion. Field Report kept the energy up with the pop-laced “Never Look Back,” the first single off Summertime Songs. Porterfield sang as he strummed and waved his guitar in the air: “Cut my hair with your pocket knife. I trust you with my eyes closed.”
Field Report closed with the last track on Summertime Songs: “Everything I Need.” After a final goodbye and some final thoughts, Porterfield, before singing, bid adieu with one more memento: “This song has been encouraging to me… thank you for listening… the fact that you’re here means everything.” It was, after all, a Tuesday night.
- Healing Machine
- If I Knew
- Blind Spot
- 60 Second Distance Run
- Every Time
- Fergus Falls
- Pale Rider
- Home (Leave the Lights On)
- Never Look Back
- Occupied Mind
- Everything I Need