With the festival only having debuted in 2013, this year's Boston Calling was truly a breathtaking sight to see. Thousands of fans gathered for the kickoff of our beloved music festival in the Harvard Athletics Stadium. Although a noticeable amount of attendees were local, it seemed like the festival has started to gain traction with a more global audience - all of which seamlessly taking in this new environment, and showing genuine appreciation for this developing event. With a larger artist and food bill, along with an ever-growing community, we just couldn't wait to jump right in. Here's what we saw from our first day on site.
Maggie Rogers Makes Beantown Bounce
Some artists, especially at a festival, don't always give off a sincere upbeat energy; sometimes hindering the crossover of their personality and artistry at a show. Maggie Rogers and friends were one of Boston Calling's many exemptions to that concept, with her and her band performing one of the most energetic sets of the day. Maggie's bubbly personality has an elegant voice to match, which was internationally made clear on her NPR concert. However, Boston Calling got a show that was more fine-tuned, and Maggie seemed much more in her element. Energetically running back and forth on stage, getting close to the crowd, and even joining us for a song or two, festivalgoers got a colorful taste of what this rising star has to offer. She sung out many of her classics, one of the most notable ones being "Alaska", where the crowd joined her to wave and sing along in unison.
Portugal. The Man Are This Year's Charisma
A man named Portugal, a Portuguese man, or both? Regardless, this soft-spoken Portland-based band took the red stage with swagger, and forever engraved their name into Boston Calling history. With band members having briefly spoken to the crowd once or twice, a majority of the show was non-stop performance. They seamlessly transitioned between songs like masterful DJs, which is ironic given some of the banter written on the screen behind them. Although some familiarity with their music could have been nice beforehand, Portugal didn’t leave any concertgoers hanging. One of their first songs was a deliciously whacky cover of Metallica’s “For Whom the Bells Toll”. To end their time of, Portugal. The Man allowed many of their fans' dreams to come true by playing their hit single “Feel It Still”. Not a single person was seen standing in place.
The Killers Slay Boston
The Red Sox are up, the Celtics are up, and The Killers are back in Boston. These were the words of frontman Brandon Flowers, who although has strong solo work, is most well-known for his part in the globally acclaimed rock band, The Killers. As the first day drew to an end, thousands of fans, both young and old, gathered at the mainstage to see these legends in action. What followed was an hour of their greatest hits, including a special incorporation of the crowd with my personal favorite song, “Mr. Brightside”. A video of this moment can be found below. No areas in their catalog were left unexplored, whether it be older summertime pop vibes from songs like “Somebody Told Me” or a glimpse into their newer music, such as “Run For Cover”, any fan of The Killers got something they were hoping for.
The Killers were a perfect end to the first day, as they curated the ultimate Boston Calling experience—bringing together the different members of this bizarrely cool city’s community to jam out in unison.
Food Of The Day: Moyzilla
A newer addition to the Boston Calling food lineup is Moyzilla, a food truck service for Asian cuisine. Our pick for the day were the "Hand-Folded Classic Dumplings", containing pork and laying on top of napa cabbage. While the presentation of these dumplings could have been a little better, they tasted incredible. A perfect quick and easy snack to drop by and grab before you run on over to the next stage.
With the first day having wrapped up, it's clear that Boston Calling has significantly grown and learned from years past. Solid sound improvements, shorter queues in lines, and just overall better management. We can't wait to see what's in store for the weekend!