REVIEW | Boston Calling Music Festival | Part 1| Rose Rundown


By: Kristen Fiandaca

IMG_5737By noon of the second day of Boston Calling Music Festival, hundreds were already beginning to gather around the two stages smack-dab in the enormous area of City Hall Plaza, awaiting what would be a day of sunshine, and live music. Having never been to Boston Calling, I only had the slightest idea of what to expect. I’ve attended music festivals before, but Boston Calling is truly unique—offering a diverse lineup of folk to alternative and taking place right in the heart of the city. With past lineups including bands such as The Shins, and Vampire Weekend, and Death Cab for Cutie topping this year’s bill, I couldn’t pass up on the chance to go and witness all the musical greatness that was Boston Calling.
Just as the sun was beginning to peak, Magic Man took to the red stage, opening their set with their song “Waves.” They aren’t a band I would normally seek out but their smooth electronic-pop sound is easy to listen to and sing along with. In the middle of their set, the Boston-native band announced to the crowd: “We are Magic Man, and it’s good to be home!” Other songs played included the pop-dance track “Everyday,” and they finished with their super-catchy hit “Paris” (which was still playing in my head, hours after they finished). British alternative rock band, Maximo Park, is a band that I’ve heard here and there on my college radio station. They were a nice, alternative touch to the day following the more electronic Magic Man, and their set included “Girls Who Play Guitars,” and the ever-popular “Apply Some Pressure.”
Throughout the day, many decided to lounge on the grounds of City Hall Plaza as if it was an actual field, inflatable beach balls were tossed amongst the crowds, and girls wore flower wreaths on their heads in true festival style. My excitement peaked when Walk off the Earth took to the red stage by mid-afternoon. I caught them for the first time at a smaller music festival in Devens, Massachusetts last year and immediately fell in love with their energized pop sound that day. They are a band who are brimming with an endless amount of energy, and know exactly how to get the audience involved—often times having them act as “percussion” to a song or singing along to the lyrics. Their set included many songs off their 2012 album R.E.V.O. Warpaint was an interesting choice to the lineup this year and they definitely stood out amongst the other acts— adding a “ghostly”-electronic sound that echoed throughout City Hall Plaza. Tracks included their popular song “Love Is To Die,” along with a cover of David Bowie’s “Ashes to Ashes” (which I absolutely loved).

Death Cab For Cutie

Death Cab For Cutie

Death Cab for Cutie (who I had been anxiously anticipating to see throughout the entire day) announced their presence with their melodic track “I Will Possess Your Heart” by nightfall. The extended introduction of the song was just as heavy and powerful as I had expected it to be. Hearing front man, Ben Gibbard, sing the lyrics: “You got to spend some time love, you got to spend some time with me,” over the thousands of us gathered at Boston Calling felt almost surreal to witness and be a part of. The band performed a relentless set that included popular tracks like “Crooked Teeth,” “Soul Meets Body,” and some older songs including “Title and Registration.” I assumed the set was winding down when Death Cab for Cutie paused for a few minutes after “The Sound of Settling” and the stage went dark, but the band returned with full force cranking out a few more songs and ending beautifully with “Marching Bands of Manhattan.”

Rose Rundown