The 2017 edition of Boston Calling Music Festival kicked off Friday afternoon. Cold, drizzly weather welcomed festival goers to the fest’s new location, the athletic fields at Harvard University. Long lines everywhere, bag check delays, and RFID chip issues plagued the festival on it’s opening day, but ultimately it was a success. No big change will ever come with flawless execution, but the way things were handled and adjusted on the fly went a long way to making Boston Calling a giant success.
The Green stage had the best action on Friday especially as far as hip hop acts and mosh pits were concerned. Lucy Darcus, the lone indie rock act on the Green Stage Friday kicked things off shortly after 3pm with a short but sweet set warming folks up after local rockers Vundabar kicked things off on the Red Stage. Folk rockers Whitney rocked the Red Stage with their drummer/vocalist Julien Ehrlich and his Neil Young-esque voice.
Hip hop took over for the remainder of the day after that for the most part with Francis & the Lights who’s early day set was highlighted by a surprise appearance from Chance the Rapper at the end of his set. Not long after that it was last minute addition Migos who took things up a notch on the Green Stage, revving up the weekend’s first mosh pit – yes they happen at hip hop shows too – with their high octane hip hop. Migos were added as a last minute replacement for Solange who cancelled her appearance late on Thursday.
By the time headliner Chance the Rapper took to the stage the crowd had swelled to enormous numbers with people as far as they eye could see. The lights went down and a loud howl that sounded something like “Awwwooooooo” was the first sound the audience heard. It was the voice of Chance hyping up his crowd, a crowd that needed no hyping up. The next hour plus was near hysteria as Chance the Rapper delivered one of the most memorable headline performances in the history of Boston Calling Music Festival.
Chance played almost entirely through his Grammy award wining mixtape “Coloring Book” and the crowd ate up almost every minute of it. Chance’s performance was one that will be talked about for years around here, it was the show Boston needed to solidify Boston Calling as a major festival contender. Chance himself is the future of hip hop and of popular music in general, an independent artist with only four self-released mixtapes, he has already become one of the most popular artists of the era. His stage presence and showmanship are the stuff of legend and there’s no doubt anyone around Boston will point to his Boston Calling set as a pivotal point in his young career.