This was my first year at Boston Calling, and it most certainly will not be my last. 60,000 people attended the 3-day concert, Boston Calling’s 3rd installment of what now feels like a music tradition on City Hall Plaza. Three times is definitely a charm.
The blue and red stages were positioned kitty-corner to one another with music playing alternatively on each. A quick 90-degree turn was all that was needed to move from watching one band on the red stage, to watching another on the blue stage. Ideal when you’re jockeying for position to see one of the 23 acts set to play.
Speaking of the bands, this May’s lineup was an indie rock paradise. Friday night’s Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros was by far the most engaging band of the weekend. Edward Sharpe made his way through the front row many times, encouraging a young woman to sing a verse of a song, asking another fan to tell a story to the crowd, and encouraging all the photographers to “put the cameras down and dance!” Our own WLBT Editor extraordinaire Dave even had a cameo on the jumbo screen. His smile said it all – Boston Calling is pretty spectacular. Jack Johnson was his typical, pleasantly melodic self. Saturday brought the fun Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls who also invited a fan onstage to play a pretty fantastic harmonica. Death Cab was perfection, dropping the sad bomb of “I Will Follow You into the Dark” at just the right time. And oh, they’re working on a new album! The final night of the festival gave us the delightful Tegan & Sara, the incredible and much-missed Brand New, and the trippy Modest Mouse. My soft spot that night was most definitely for Brand New. The festival’s vibe immediately shifted once they got on stage, bringing a heavy intensity that was missing from the mostly feel-good lineup. Their guitarist Vincent Accardi played his guitar with a utility light that he pulled from somewhere onstage… need I say more.
The festival wasn’t without its hiccups. Sam Adams ran out of all other beer besides their Summer Ale on Friday night (first world problems) and the porta johns ran out of toilet paper around 8:00 each night (not surprising). The beer lines were not in a designated area this year, allowing festival guests to walk around with their drinks. Good for everyone there, but bad if you’re wearing sandals. You had to keep an eye on the ground to watch for stray cups and cans everywhere. But in the grand scheme of things, when the only issue at a music festival is the lack of beer options, you’re doing something right.
Folks, it’s here. The official lineup for this weekend’s Boston Calling Music Festival. Can you feel the excitement oozing from my keyboard! See you at City Hall Plaza!
Friday May 23rd
- 6:45pm Cass McCombs | BLUE STAGE
- 8:00 Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros | BLUE STAGE
- 9:30 Jack Johnson | BLUE STAGE
Saturday May 24th
- 1:00pm Magic Man | RED STAGE
- 1:35 Maximo Park | BLUE STAGE
- 2:10 Walk Off The Earth | RED STAGE
- 3:00 Warpaint | BLUE STAGE
- 3:50 The Neighbourhood | RED STAGE
- 4:55 Jenny Lewis | BLUE STAGE
- 6:00 Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls | RED STAGE
- 7:05 The Head & The Heart | BLUE STAGE
- 8:10 The Decemberists | RED STAGE
- 9:30 Death Cab for Cutie | BLUE STAGE
Sunday May 25th
- 1:05 pm The Box Tiger | RED STAGE
- 1:40 Tigerman Woah! | BLUE STAGE
- 2:15 The Districts | RED STAGE
- 3:05 Kurt Vile & The Violators | BLUE STAGE
- 3:55 Built To Spill | RED STAGE
- 5:00 Phosphorescent | BLUE STAGE
- 6:05 Tegan & Sara | RED STAGE
- 7:10 Bastille | BLUE STAGE
- 8:15 Brand New | RED STAGE
- 9:20 Modest Mouse | BLUE STAGE
Eventbrite is already your go-to source for all the latest happenings in the city. But now it’s your go-to PLACE for events. During the month of May, they’re holding a collection of pop-ups at their temporary Brite Space Boston home at 73 Berkeley Street, just over the bridge over the Mass Pike. Consider your cabin fever cured.
If last night’s kick-off event was any indication, (KEYTAR BEAR WAS THERE!!!!) this is going to be a fantastic pop-up series.
Crash Line Productions, in partnership with Downtown Boston Business Improvement District (BID) and The Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy, announcesthe 2014 Boston Calling Block Party series. Kicking off May 8, 2014 and running through September 25, 2014, the parties will be held every Thursday evening from 5-8pm in Dewey Square, directly across from South Station. All events are free and open to the public, and are presented by Shock Top and Radio BDC. The Swinging Johnsons will perform this Thursday and fans can check the rotating schedule of local artists each week at www.facebook.com/bostoncallingblockparties; www.bostoncalling.com. The Block Party series is in addition to Boston Calling’s three-day music festivals, which take place May 23-25, 2014 and September 5-7, 2014 respectively.
It’s official. Summer is in the house.
The folks who put on Boston Calling Music Festival feel like Boston could use even MORE fun and music throughout the warmer months, those jerks 🙂
But seriously, this is a great move to showcase the beautiful Rose Kennedy Greenway, local artists and DJs, as well as some delicious local produce from the farmer’s market.
Mayoral Walsh also chimed in to offer his approval:
“We are excited about Boston Calling’s creative activation of the City of Boston’s unique open spaces. The popular Block Party Series’ move to Dewey Square, where food trucks and the Boston Public Market already bring people together, will add additional energy to the square. It will create a new environment for friends to gather after work, and will make the Rose Kennedy Greenway and our whole city even more vibrant.”
So kick off those wingtips and heels, flower children, and enjoy the green grass beneath your feet because Boston’s ‘summah’ just got ‘funnah’.
If you want to enjoy some other great events put on by the great folks at Boston Calling check out the Music Festival coming up: http://www.bostoncalling.com/
Looking for something to do Saturday that is a little different? Come and take part in a FREE, fun, experiential learning filled scavenger hunt that centers on team building and risk taking. You never know who you may meet while discovering the city together. The event promises a good time and chance to foster a deeper connection to Boston and its community.
When: March 22, 2014 from 1:00-4:00 (we will be indoors for part of the time at the Boston Common Conference Room)
Where to meet: On the stairs of the Boston Public Library at 1:00pm.
Rain location: Boston Common Hotel and Conference Center, 40 Trinity Place.
What to bring: Ability to document your findings (camera, smart phone etc.)comfortable shoes and appropriate clothing to be outside, also an open attitude!
This FREE event is Sponsored by: Stephanie Rincon and Lauren Gibbons: Leadership Trainees at the Coaches Training Institute, Sonoma, CA.