(I got the idea for this series while sifting through the ‘piles’ of digital photos on my laptop. It occurred to me to share some of these great pics from some of my favourite concert sets from time to time. Until I get around to the next one, I invite you to peruse my ever-growing list of concerts page.)
Artist: Julien Baker
When: August 4th, 2018
Where: Fort York Commons, Toronto
Context: It’s hard to believe that only four years have passed since the summer of 2018. Indeed, it feels like a millennia has flown by since those days but I guess the calendar doesn’t lie. That particular summer, I forewent the usual big festival pass at both Ottawa Bluesfest and Montreal’s Osheaga in favour of a couple of smaller lineup shows in Toronto that boasted some pretty great fare. The first was Arts & Crafts’ annual June weekend, Field Trip. And the second was a stacked card headlined by The National at the height of summer, that also included Father John Misty, Jenny Lewis, Julien Baker, and Dan Edmonds. My friend Mark and I spent the afternoon beforehand sampling the wares on the patio of Bellwoods Brewery. After being satisfied that all their beers were good products, we ambled down to the lawn of the Old Fort York historic site just in time to catch the back end of the opening act’s set. Julien Baker was on next and I had definitely wanted to catch the whole of her set given my successful explorations of the two albums she had released to that point. She was only supported by violinist Camille Faulkner but her stage presence and honesty had me (and a boatload of others) rapt on that warm August afternoon. I became a fan in that 30-40 minutes. Of course, Baker has become much bigger since then, partially because of her association with Phoebe Bridger and Lucy Dacus and partially because of her incredible third record, “Little oblivions”, released in 2021 and will now likely be a bigger draw at future festivals. For this, I am thankful I got to see such an “intimate” performance.
Point of reference song: “Appointments”