All the buzz in Boston this weekend has been about one thing: Boston Calling. The music festival this year was taken a few notches up from past years. A new location, new performers, three stages, food venues and the very popular Ferris wheel all created a unique atmosphere that is now known as the Boston Calling experience.
The festival kicked off at 2:30 p.m. on Friday afternoon with rock group Vundabar, followed by Xylouris White, Lucy Dacus and Whitney. Later on, the progressive alternative rock and electronic band Francis and the Lights took the stage. To the crowd’s delight, Chance the Rapper appeared on stage to dance with Francis during “May I Have This Dance,” and Francis joined Chance later on during his headlining performance.
Artists Mac DeMarco and Migos performed shortly after Francis and the Lights, each creating a distinct atmosphere and crowd for their performances. Migos was only added to the festival the day before to replace Solange, who was unable to make the festival due to “production delays and complications beyond her control,” according to a tweet by Boston Calling on Thursday. With the addition of Migos, Friday was clearly rap-heavy, but Bon Iver hit the stage right after Migos, capturing the audience with his indie folk sound and unique lighting experience.
Friday was met with constant rain, but Chance’s performance put all worries aside. Chance’s vibrant colors and words cut through to the audience all the way back to the Ferris wheel, where people were dancing and singing along. With hip-hop and rap vibes infused in his music, Chance made sure to show his gospel roots as well. His performance was a highlight for many festival goers on Friday, and it rang clear in one of his last songs, “Same Drugs,” where tens of thousands of people sang the lyrics back to him in happiness.
Saturday was dominated by indie folk music, starting the day with performers Kevin Morby and Russ. Next up was London-based alt-pop duo Oh Wonder, who said during their performance that Saturday’s crowd was the largest they had every performed for. Later on, The 1975 and The xx were scheduled to perform at about the same time, creating some problems for fans that love both bands.
Closing off the evening was headliner Mumford and Sons, an English folk rock band that has been together since 2007. Fans were delighted to hear them play some less popular songs, as well as more mainstream songs such as “The Cave.” After a brief break offstage, Mumford and Sons rejoined on stage to play “I Will Wait,” closing with a cover of The Beatles’ “With A Little Help From My Friends.” To many people’s delight, fellow Boston Calling performers Nathaniel Rateliff and Brandi Carlile joined Mumford and Sons in this final song, ending the festival day on a high note.
Sunday kicked off with folk rock singer Mondo Cozmo, singing his hit song “Shine” and his new single “Automatic.” Throughout the rest of the day, it was clear that there was a significant amount of heavy rock influences, as Tool was set to headline Boston Calling and perform at the end of the day. Local bands Converge and Piebald took the Green Stage, with their hardcore punk and metal rock sounds dominating the festival grounds. The space was full of mosh pits and metal fans, waiting for Tool to take the stage.
While metal rock was very dominant at the festival, there were a few different performers that provided a nice balance. Alternative rock band Cage the Elephant was an obvious favorite, with lead singer Matthew Shultz and guitarist Brad Shultz launching themselves into the crowd, allowing fans to hoist them up in the air to sing and perform above them.
Shortly after, the popular electronic and dance group Major Lazer took the stage with color and fun. The crowd went absolutely wild, jumping up and down to the group’s music. Diplo, a member of the group, even made his way across the crowd in a giant clear inflatable ball. Meanwhile, thousands of people went to the Delta Blue Stage to hear the 1990’s alternative rock band Weezer perform. Weezer performed songs such as “Feels Like Summer,” “Say It Ain’t So” and “Buddy Holly” to a packed crowd, making it feel like summer was officially starting. Tool ended the night with heavy rock songs, closing out the three-day festival with a bang.
Check out our photo gallery by Olivia Falcigno from Boston Calling here: https://dailyfreepress.com/multimedia/