Natalie Kfoury – Co-Editor-in-Chief
The fourth Boston Calling Music Festival was held September 5-7 in City Hall Plaza. The festival holds two events each year in May and September. This Boston Calling featured: The National, Neutral Milk Hotel, Lorde, Childish Gambino, The Replacements, and Nas x The Roots, among other artists.
On a whim, I purchased a ticket for Satur- day. The big names of that day were Lorde and Childish Gambino, with the likes of Girl Talk, Volcano Choir, Bleachers, Sky Ferreira, and The Hold Steady also performing. This was my second Boston Calling outing, as I attended the inaugural festival in May 2013.
Since May 2013, the festival has grown and improved greatly. I arrived at the festival around 3:00 p.m., with enough time to see the larger and more popular acts perform. The wait times at the entrance gates weren’t as long as I remembered them in May 2013. In addition, the stage set-up has improved.
The festival now features two large stages, the JetBlue stage and the Capital One 360 Stage, an improvement from past years. The red stage was much smaller and in a more crowded area. The new set-up allowed for the crowd to watch the
action on both stages without having to move far. I arrived on time to catch Sky Ferreira’s per- formance on the JetBlue stage (which would also feature The Hold Steady, Girl Talk, and Childish Gambino later in the night). Ferreira played an en- ergetic set, including many of her popular hits such
as “You’re Not the One.” Bleachers were up next on the Capitol One
360 Stage (which would also feature Volcano Choir and Lorde) and played a non-stop dance party of a set. They raced through most of their first album, the recently released “Strange De- sire.” Led by Jack Antonoff, who is also the gui- tarist for Fun., Bleachers’ strength showed with tracks such as “Rollercoaster” and their break- through hit “I Wanna Get Better.”
Good vibes and good music were surging through the air at Boston Calling when tragedy struck as impending storms threatened the skies. Stage equipment was covered and all attendees left the area and sought shelter as a short, but powerful storm passed through.
After the storm, which lasted around 45-min- utes, festival-goers expected to be able to return immediately and see Volcano Choir and Girl Talk. However, Boston Police swarmed the area and prevented attendees from getting close to the gates.
Through Twitter, Boston Calling explained that they were checking for storm-damaged equipment and that another storm was going to be passing through, so the delay continued. The storm never manifested.
The crowd angrily waited near City Hall Plaza. What was once thought to be a one-hour wait turned into a two-hour wait and police enforcement grew as the crowd was forced to disperse as they waited.
Finally, the crowd was let back into City Hall Plaza. Due to the delay, Lorde’s orig- inal hour and fifteen minute performance was shortened to 50 minutes, and Childish Gambino’s hour and a half scheduled performance was shortened to an hour.
Despite the storm and the wait, Lorde’s performance was mesmerizing. The singer captivated the audience throughout with her pristine voice, dancing, and interactions with the crowd. “You have made magic tonight,” she told the crowd, thanking them multiple times profusely for waiting through the storm and joining her in song.
Childish Gambino ended the night with an electrifying performance. Childish Gambino ran through his set powerfully and skillfully. He performed many of his hits, including mash-ups of a few. The crowd was energetic throughout as they danced and rapped along, despite the long day. He finished at 11 p.m. on the dot, due to city curfew.
Overall, Boston Calling was another great opportunity for music in Boston. The festival was off to a great start and finished strong, despite the force of Mother Nature that caused a slow down to the event and the disappoint- ment that Volcano Choir and Girl Talks’ sets were canceled. The performances of Lorde and Childish Gambino helped ease the disappointment and made the night magical.