Playing Bowery Ballroom in Lower Manhattan this past week in a solo show, Field Report, named aptly from the anagram of lead singer Chris Porterfield’s surname, showed what makes up the heart and soul of the band.
A set that lasted about an hour, Field Report’s fans stood in a gazed awe, hanging on to every thoughtful word. The songs are lyrically driven and sometimes heavy and intense, yet they are so passionately melodic a calm washes over the listener.
Porterfield had some clever banter dispersed throughout the evening, thanking the crowd for being so attentive as, “it just works better this way”. He commented on how he was, “in a real ramblin’ man mode”, since he’s been out on his own for a bit, and that he could change up the set whenever it suited him.
As he transitioned into the popular “Home (Leave the Lights On)”, off the album Marigolden, the conversation changed to the weather and flowed right into the opening lyrics, “cold snap like a coiled spring, you can feel the frost is coming on…”. Towards the end of the song, Porterfield was engulfed in hundreds of spotted lights twinkling on the stage.
For his final song of the evening, a little audience participation was requested from the singer, but the crowd was provided specific instructions that they were to not sing their chorus until the signal was given, and not at all before. The lyric was a simple “oooooooo”, and Porterfield practiced with the crowd, but reminded with a stern grin, “ok, that’s great, but NOT before I give you the sign”. As the song progressed and each time the voices were ready to chime in, they were greeted with a firm head shake signaling “not yet”. Finally it was time – when the signal was given through a head nod from Porterfield, the crowd sang out their part, all the while the lights rising and falling above them until the last note dropped off and the room went dark.
/- Amanada Eckert
More on Field Report:
More photos by Amanda Eckert:
Upcoming Field Report Tour Dates:
10/13/15 – Atlanta, GA – Terminal West ^
10/14/15 – St. Augustine, FL – Colonial Quarter ^
10/15/15 – Orlando, FL – The Social ^
10/16/15 – Gainesville, FL – High Dive ^
10/17/15 – Ybor City, FL – Crowbar ^
10/18/15 – Tallahassee, FL – Club Downunder ^
10/29/15 – Milwaukee, WI – Pabst Theater
10/30/15 – Naperville, IL – The Union
11/11/15 – Minneapolis, MN – Turf Club
11/12/15 – Grinnell, IA – Grinnell College
^ Chris Porterfield solo w/ Noah Gundersen
Watch Field Report’s video for “Ambrosia”