By 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).