This past weekend, Boston radio station Mix 104.1 threw it’s annual free music event, entitled MixFest at the DCR Memorial Hatch Shell in Boston. Even with the event being free, that didn’t stop the station from bringing big name acts. The show featured three big name acts in fact, Gavin DeGraw, The Backstreet Boys, and folk rock giants Of Monsters & Men. The large name acts involved drew tens of thousands of people out to the Esplanade, even early in the day.
By 2pm, a full two hours before the show even started, access to the Hatch Shell had to be shut off due to the area being filled to capacity. Many fans however still lined up along the banks of the Charles River, and even lined up across one of Boston’s most heavily trafficked roads, Storrow Drive. Police were forced to shut down the main thoroughfare because the amount of people trying to catch a glimpse of the show from the road was simply too large.
Alternative rock singer Gavin DeGraw kicked things off just around 4:30pm and roared through a hit-filled set. Rock radio staples like “I Don’t Wanna Be” and “I’m in Love with a Girl” had the massive crowd singing along. DeGraw was all over the place during his set, climbing off the stage to sing while standing on the barrier, going into the VIP seating area, and even climbing an ambulance that was parked on standby not far from the stage. DeGraw played his latest hit, “Best I Ever Had” which almost everyone in attendance had already learned the words to.
After a brief break to set up, legendary pop act Backstreet Boys took the stage to mass hysteria. The band was told they were not to leave the stage to sing in the crowd by Boston Police who feared too much chaos would take place if fans got the chance to rush the band. The band’s set was short but sweet. Classics like “Backstreet’s Back” and “I Want It That Way” were mixed with new songs like “In A World Like This” for a crowd pleasing set that many had waited for all day.
Finally, Icelandic folk rockers Of Monsters and Men took the stage for what was the final show of an 18 month tour. The band has seen tremendous success in the United States after the release of their major label debut “My Head Is An Animal” which reached number 6 on the Billboard 200 charts last year. Of Monsters and Men played all but one of the songs from their album to the delighted Boston crowd, songs like “Mountain Sound”, “Love Love Love” and “Lakehouse” turned the crowd into a massive choir. The encore featured the monster hit “Little Talks” and the album concluding song “Yellow Light” which has become the standard final song in the band’s typical setlist. The day as a whole was one filled with huge crowds, angry concert-goers who settled for being able to hear, not see the show, and top notch live music.
The day was a huge success for Mix 104.1 and the City of Boston, the buzz in the air – and the traffic backup – was felt all throughout Boston creating a unique, special day that anyone who was there would tell you they were glad to be a part of.