Garage-rock festival Field Trip South hits like a cannonball in its return

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Field Trip South - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Field Trip South
THIS LITTLE UNDERGROUND
Field Trip South, Will’s Pub, Feb. 16-17

Last year, I gave this magnet event put on by lifer garage-rock label Hidden Volume Records an Undie award for “Best New Festival” and, this year, it made a prescient man of me in its big return.

Being a showcase of high-quality music is already enough to be worthy of note, but Field Trip South is much more than that. It’s not so much an event you attend as a total experience in which you swim.
Field Trip South - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Field Trip South
Field Trip South - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Field Trip South
Field Trip South - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Field Trip South
MC Nadeem Khan at Field Trip South - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • MC Nadeem Khan at Field Trip South
Garage rock culture is one of the most distinct and dimensional scenes there is. And between the imagery, the aesthetic and the flair of its believers, Field Trip South doesn’t simply occur, it takes over a place like a cultural coup.
The Untamed Youth at Field Trip South - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • The Untamed Youth at Field Trip South
Opening night launched like a rocket with acts like cult titan Deke Dickerson (with the Untamed Youth), Philadelphia Hidden Volume Records band Groovy Movies and the Woolly Bushmen, young guns who still rule even among the storied giants.
The Woolly Bushmen at Field Trip South - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • The Woolly Bushmen at Field Trip South
The Woolly Bushmen at Field Trip South - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • The Woolly Bushmen at Field Trip South
But it was the peppering of some peripheral bands that gave fresh infusion to what can be a pretty traditionalist scene.
Sash the Bash at Field Trip South - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Sash the Bash at Field Trip South
Sash the Bash at Field Trip South - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Sash the Bash at Field Trip South
Atlanta duo Sash the Bash certainly were not the most finished of the bunch, but they stood out and added splash and slash to the party. On drums and double-neck guitar, they pack some of the sexy sleaze of the Cramps, bashing out raw rock & roll with vampy attitude.
Baby Shakes at Field Trip South - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Baby Shakes at Field Trip South
Delivering an absolutely superlative performance in their Florida debut, however, were NYC’s Baby Shakes. As decent as their recordings are, it’s easy to underestimate their full impact. Exponentially more punk live, they’re deadly in their accuracy, efficiency and power on stage. The discrepancy’s such, in fact, that they could be on a whole other level if they captured more of their live turbo on record.
Baby Shakes at Field Trip South - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Baby Shakes at Field Trip South
Baby Shakes at Field Trip South - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Baby Shakes at Field Trip South
They’re a total package that’s vivid and tight. And what they’ve got going on stage right now is pure rock & roll marksmanship, like stars ready to shoot.
Baby Shakes at Field Trip South - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Baby Shakes at Field Trip South
As the legacy of the Hate Bombs attests, the garage-rock revival crowd was once vibrant in Orlando. These days, though, it mostly sits latent. But because of this festival – which is organized with taste, pedigree and influence – it now has annual reason to emerge from the woodwork in full force and glory for a travel-worthy weekend takeover. In only its second run, Field Trip South is showing the foundation and following to be a great tradition for both Orlando and the garage-rock scene at large. Get hip.
Baby Shakes at Field Trip South - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Baby Shakes at Field Trip South
Baby Shakes at Field Trip South - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Baby Shakes at Field Trip South

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This Little Underground is Orlando Weekly's music column, providing perspective, live reviews and news on the city's music scene.

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