Blog Boston Calling Music Festival

Boston Calling Music Festival

Posted May 29, 2014, 5:20 p.m. by Eli Zeger

Advertisement
KFAI - Roar of the Underground

Boston Calling Music Festival 2014

City Hall Plaza in Boston, MA

May 23-25 2014

 

(All concert photos courtesy of Mike Diskin)

boston calling logo.jpg

 

Over Memorial Day weekend, I experienced the third annual Boston Calling Music Festival with my cool bud David.  We jammed out to bands that we love on the sweaty, crowded pavement of City Hall Plaza.

 

David and I decided to skip the Friday show because there were only three acts playing - Cass McCombs, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, and Jack Johnson - and their music was too intimate to enjoy live while bunched between 19,000+ spectators (McCombs’ Wit’s End is a great album, though).

 

crowd.jpg

Crowd

 

 

Despite the hoards of ditzy, floral headband-wearing, Brandy Melville crop-topped girls, the towering clouds of Marlboro from pompous chain smokers, and the endless sea of littered Samuel Adams cups, the festival was pretty decent.  Here’s Scene Point Blank’s encapsulation of Boston Calling 2014:



Saturday

 

Magic Man did a stupendous job of revving up the festival.  Their mix of vibrant synthesizers and passionate disco grooves got the whole crowd dancing and in motion.  Although their lyrics were subpar (ex. - “It's been a while, and I've been alone/And you've been the only thing I've known”), Magic Man definitely knew how to put on a stellar performance.

 

Warpaint was blech.  The band’s lifeless showmanship included a few awkward sways and timid conversations with the audience.  The kick-drum was too loud, the keyboards were malfunctioning, and frontwoman Emily Kokal looked liked a seapunk Ms.Fowl.  I enjoyed their rendition of “Love Is To Die,” but other than that, they were horrendous.

 

Boston Calling was totally digging Frank Turner’s rockin’ poetry.  He sang about his childhood with the descriptive folk tune “Wessex Boy” and he initiated a mosh pit with the punk-energy filled “Four Simple Words.”  At one point, Turner even got the whole crowd to do jumping jacks.  Really wished I got closer to the stage.

 

frank turner and fan.jpg

Frank Turner with a fan

 

 

The Decemberists were a gigantic waterfall of great indie folk.  Literally.  During tracks like “Crane Wife” and “Down By The Water,” I tried to shield myself from an enormous downpour with a Decemberists shirt wrapped around my head.  David and I left their set early because the rain was too unbearable, but for the few songs we heard, the Oregon quintet was catchy and enjoyable.


colin meloy.jpg

Colin Meloy of The Decemberists

 

 

Sunday

 

The Box Tiger was a superb opener on the final day of BCMF.  Their addictive set combined indie pop’s cheeriness with post-hardcore’s incredible breakdowns and guitars - very similar to the style of Philadelphia trio Hop Along.

 

It would’ve been a sin to go to BCMF and not witness Tigerman Woah!.  These bearded folk punkers brought a raw, tough energy that the festival lacked: they played blast beats, did gang vocals, and even got a huge crowd chant going.  David really loved Tigerman Woah!’s set.  It’s a shame that the festival didn’t have more raucous bands like them.

 

kevin landry.jpg

Kevin Landry of Tigerman Woah!

 

 

Brand New was a cinematic sensation.  They got intense with “Sic Transit Gloria... Glory Fades” and calm with “Jesus” on a magnificently illuminated stage.  Vincent Accardi Hail Maryed his guitar into the air while Jesse Lacey belted out nightmarish lyrics like “Take apart your head/Take apart the demon, in the attic to the left.”  These guys and Tigerman Woah! were definitely the top two acts that David and I saw.

 

jesse lacey.jpg

Jesse Lacey of Brand New

 

 

Modest Mouse’s classic indie rock repertoire was a great closer to Boston Calling.  Highpoints included “Dark Center Of The Universe,” “Trailer Trash,” and “Float On.”  I enjoyed frontman Isaac Brock’s soulfulness and his varying between guitar and banjo.  They weren’t one of my favorites, but Modest Mouse definitely ended the festival on a high note.



isaac brock.jpg

Isaac Brock of Modest Mouse

 

Going to Boston Calling was a fun way to spend Memorial Day weekend; I just wished that there were more bands as insane as Brand New and Tigerman Woah!.  Hopefully, the curator for BCMF 2015 will include a lot more heavy acts.

 

Fyi, if you’re in the Beantown area this fall, be sure to catch the year’s second installment of Boston Calling on September 5,6, and 7.  Some legendary acts will be playing, including Neutral Milk Hotel, Nas, and The Replacements.  It’ll be three days of absolutely spectacular music.

Leave a comment
Share this content

Other recent blogs

Into the Night book review

Posted by T
Nov. 25, 2019, 8:13 p.m.

Into the Night Prestel Publishing   If you pay close attention to the portrayal of night clubs and specifically cabarets, the artistic portrayal thereof plays an integral part in creating ... read more

Virgil Abloh: Artwork book review

Posted by T
Nov. 24, 2019, 10:33 a.m.

Virgil Abloh: Artwork Prestel Publishing   Louis Vuitton’s creative director Virgil Abloh is a phenomenon by any standard. A phenomenon beyond hype and marketing. Abloh’s creative output seems boundless and ... read more

The No Meat Athlete Cookbook book review

Posted by T
Nov. 23, 2019, 8:34 p.m.

The No Meat Athlete Cookbook: Whole Food, Plant-Based Recipes to Fuel Your Workouts—and the Rest of Your Life The Experiment   I live a pescatarian lifestyle ninety five percent of ... read more

Art Lover’s Guide to Japanese Museums book review

Posted by T
Nov. 21, 2019, 7:41 p.m.

Art Lover’s Guide to Japanese Museums Yale University Press   Wow! I love Japan, Japanese art and Japanese museums but I did not expect such a quality book - in ... read more

What’s Sumatra With You? – Suntory Boss Coffee

Posted by T
Nov. 17, 2019, 9:53 a.m.

What’s Sumatra With You? – Suntory Boss Coffee   I remember the first time I touched down in Japan. Apart from the feeling you get as soon as you exit ... read more

Advertisement
KFAI - Root Of All Evil
x

Logo

Looking for the SPB logo? You can download it in a range of styles and colours here:

Click anywhere outside this dialog to close it, or press escape.