With Sunday being the last day of Boston Calling, attendees wanted a strong finish to the festival. I also wondered, with SIA's epic performance on Friday, Odesza's show and Julian Edelman's appearance on Saturday, what could possibly make Sunday any better? Well, it turns out a lot of things did. Here's everything we learned and realized at the end of the weekend, along with some of the last performances to blow us away.
Vince Staples Deserves More Credit
This was definitely a highlight for the festival. Vince came out and proved himself to be the hip-hop act Boston Calling desperately needed. Although most hip-hop fans probably weren't satisfied with this year's lineup, Vince Staples could've been a ray of light that convinced them to go. He delivered an incredible performance with an energy that I could only compare to The Vaccines from the previous day. He performed songs like "Smoke & Retribution", "Norf Norf", and "Lift Me Up", all of which the crowd bounced along to. He exceeded my expectations and set a very high bar for all the other acts. The question remains though, why was he on so early? I strongly believe in getting to a music festival early for some hidden gems, but Vince's energy seemed more fit for a later time slot. Not only that, but he's also started to make a big name for himself, working with the likes of Earl Sweatshirt, Mac Miller, and Flume. The time slot doesn't matter too much, but it would've been nice to see how he could feed off the energy of a bigger crowd. On a completely different note, Vince also proved that he's a pretty cool guy. After all, not many people get to meet and take a picture with Batman after their performance!
The Front Bottoms Gave Major Throwbacks
The last thing I would've thought Boston Calling could do to me was make me relive my Middle School years (shouts-out to Pollard Middle School) The Front Bottoms hit the stage with a pop-punk vibe, you could tell that they loved what they were doing and they loved doing it together. There were a lot of entertaining jokes and banter, including the lead singer talking about his ex-wife from Boston, and someone heckling the bassist; to which he responded with some legendary solos. To me the most impressive member of the band was the drummer, who looked and jammed like the spirit of rock had possessed him throughout the entire show. However, all the members of the band were great, and I got some serious throwbacks to when I religiously listened to this type of music. Bands like Blink-182, Green Day, and Reel Big Fish were a core part of my childhood, so it was a pleasure to relive those times once more. The crowd during this show was especially great, everyone was really friendly while simultaneously rocking out to what's going on in front of them. One notable experience was when I was taking a picture for two people and it turned into a big group photo, this was the moment I truly felt being a part of the Boston Calling community.
The Verizon Stage Gets Lit
There was a short period of time where I wasn't feeling some of the acts on the main stages. So instead I went to take a look at the Verizon Stage, which was completely barren the past few times I was there. This time was different, a group of people that barely knew each other were all dancing to whatever music the DJ was spinning. EDM, pop, rock, you name it, everyone let loose in their own way. The dancing was so contagious that most people who walked by joined in, some of which were planning on leaving the festival but stuck around for another half hour. Later that day there was a performance by a local band called Black Beach. Despite not being on a bigger stage, they played some of the hardest rock I've heard in a while. The lead singer sounded very unique, but due to some technical problems it became very hard to hear him over the guitars and drums. There were a few other slip-ups here and there, but the boys did a good job of recovering and continuing the flow of their distinctive distorted sound. If this stage is around next year, I recommend dropping by it at least twice. One of my biggest regrets was having only stopped by on Sunday, there were probably many other acts that I would've been equally if not more pleasantly surprised with.
Food Of The Day: A Zinneken Waffle Can Go A Long Way
Whoever said you can't eat waffles for dinner? Zinneken's Belgian Waffles offered a variety of styles and toppings to their already fantastic doughy base. The Gourmand is a choice on the menu that offers a Belgian waffle topped off with bananas, whipped cream, and caramel. Although a little pricey, it's well worth the money. While most other places looked like they focused on giving you more, that isn't necessarily a good thing. The Gourmand felt more like a snack that would keep someone going for a few more hours, rather than making them feel bloated and tired. After downing this bad boy I was ready to tackle my last feat for the day; Disclosure.
The Deepest Place On Earth Is Wherever Disclosure's Playing
Disclosure's ability to blend in with Pop music while maintaining their own style is very commendable. With tracks like "Latch", "When A Fire Starts to Burn", and "White Noise" it's no surprise that these fellas were closing out the festival. Hundreds of jetBlue glowsticks were raised in the air for them. Some swinging around sporadically, and some bobbing in unison. What followed their intro was some of the loudest and most bassy house music I've ever experienced. Rather than doing some generic DJ set, they included a lot of live elements, such as singing, different percussion, and MIDI drums with samples from all their songs. After playing some of their new music, they took the crowd on a nostalgia trip with some of their older songs. Hearing tracks like "Just Your Type" and "Carnival" again reminded me of how I discovered their music, along with how their sound has evolved throughout the years. At the end of their performance they brought out a special guest singer; who helped them perform a new track. It wasn't incredible, but it was a good way for them to transition into "Latch"-- which required a decent amount of cheering from the crowd for them to play it. Hearing this song united everyone in the crowd to dance, jump, and sing one last time before closing out this incredible weekend. Disclosure was the icing on the cake to an already great set of shows, making this one of the most memorable days out of any festival I've gone to.
Friends Are Everywhere!
Since I attended this festival solo, I was worried about fitting in with the crowd and not sticking out like a sore thumb. But along this 3 day journey I realized something. Whether you live in Boston or are traveling in from out-of-state, you're bound to make friends. Being a local, I saw familiar faces everyday, and it was great to reconnect with some of my older and newer friends. There were some periods where I ended up hanging out and chatting with complete strangers because of a similar interest in music or some other topic. It's almost as if this type of environment brings out the best in people, making them much more approachable and easy to talk with. I think this is a more subtle, yet one of the most beautiful aspects about any type of festival.
I would like to give a big thanks to the Boston Calling and 44-Communications crews for having me come out and report on the event. I had an incredible time getting to report this local festival and sharing everything I experienced with you guys. Along with my twitter handle, you can also find reports on Friday and Saturday of Boston Calling down below. Hopefully I'll see you guys next year!