Boston’s bi-annual music festival returned over Memorial Day weekend and took the city by storm. Over 20,000 music fans turned out for three spectacular days of live music. Now in it’s third installment, Boston Calling is coming into it’s own as a major music festival. The city of Boston has embraced the festival with open arms, working to create an exceptional experience for everybody involved. 2014’s first edition of Boston Calling was perhaps the strongest yet.
Friday night’s line-up consisted of Jack Johnson, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes and Cass McCombs. Jack Johnson who has put out three consecutive number one albums captivated the crowd with a lengthy set of over 20+ songs. He concluded his set by performing a pair of covers with Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes. The collective group of musicians performed “Rocky Raccoon” by The Beatles and “I Shall Be Released” by The Band making for fun, crowd infused finale to night one.
Saturday things kicked off with local favorites Magic Man bright and early in the day. The up and coming synth rockers gained a lot of new fans with their performance and got the crowd fired up for a long day of music. The day was full of standout performances, such as English rockers Maximo Park who invoke thoughts of The Killers. The Neighborhood took the stage a little later in the day, drawing high pitched screams from the crowd. Neighborhood frontman Jesse Rutherford used the entire stage and then some to entertain the Boston crowd. Late in the day, folk rockers The Decemberists returned to the stage for the first time since 2011 and played through the rain to excited fans, who were lucky enough to be there for the band’s return to live music. The night was capped off by an amazing performance by indie rock legends Death Cab for Cutie. Their set was opened with the 8 minute rock piece “I Will Posses Your Heart” and continued on through their hit filled career.
Sunday’s line-up began with Sonicbids winner The Box Tiger who won a battle of the bands to get on the bill. After they performed, local band Tigerman WOAH! took to the stage and drew quite a surprised reaction from the crowd. The Lynn, MA natives look more like they’re from Nashville with their upright bass, large beards, and overalls. Late in the day breakout band Bastille took to the stage and captivated the entire festival grounds. Frontman Dan Smith went into the crowd during the set, thrilling the fans who had waited for hours to see Bastille perform. By the time Bastille reached the point in their set where they were playing the smash hit “Pompeii” nearly everybody involved with the festival was paying attention, vendors and security were seen holding up their phones to grab a quick video of all the commotion created by the British Alternative rockers. The highlight of Sunday, and perhaps the weekend overall was elusive Long Island post-hardcore rockers Brand New. A band who’s performances are few and far between, many fans in the region traveled to Boston to catch the bands’ set. Brand New did not disappoint, playing a wild set that ended with guitarist Vincent Accardi smashing his equipment and climbing into the crowd. Modest Mouse ended the weekend, throwing a massive dance party that had all of Boston Calling shaking their hips.
Boston Calling’s spring 2014 edition was a huge success. Perhaps the best yet, the festival is making a name for itself both in the music industry and the city of Boston. The sold out crowd and nearly perfect weather created an ideal weekend for all. One of the best features of Boston Calling is that they do not create overlapping sets, so fans have a chance to catch every band performing throughout the weekend. Boston Calling is a unique festival that will soon be known as an elite festival. Take it on my recommendation and make sure to be a part of it, this fall when the festival returns.