Not to make this about me (it is my blog!) but I’ve been feeling really out of touch with music lately. I’ve even felt turned off by a lot of acts I used to love and how corporate festivals have gotten makes me so very sad (especially after Newport Folk Festival, which I’m aware is a completely different beast) so as I was walking to Boston Calling on Friday night it might have been that feeling that filled me with dread…it wasn’t a great progression to see the stages now being called “Capital 360 Stage” and the “Jet Blue” stage. It might have been the long summer that filled me with dread, that September’s Boston Calling was the start to a long and cold season in Boston or perhaps that college kids would litter the City Hall with their crop tops and high waisted shorts. Well, it wasn’t really any of those feelings that I felt when I entered through the media area and saw the same friendly faces greeting me and as I looked over Boston Calling’s expansive revamped set up, I started to remember the magic of Boston Calling.
There was a little bit of magic throughout the entire weekend, that’s for sure. Yes, I might be getting too old and too bitter to really appreciate a festival anymore – I rather the crowd know all the lyrics to every song, I get tired after standing for 10 hours, and I’m not exactly a fan of listening to music that I dislike – that’s absolutely true. But, that’s also no reflection on the wonderful job that Boston Calling does bringing curated music to the masses in the middle of City Hall. In fact that sentence is magic. When I started my freshman year at Boston University, I didn’t even leave the freshman bubble of Comm Ave for months. Boston Calling pulls people deep into the city to explore new areas and have new experiences which would have been unimaginable years ago.
There was magic found in the older and wonderful crowd that attended on Friday that I look on with the thought WHY DIDN’T YOU ATTEND ALL THREE DAYS! The three bands on Friday were curated so perfectly. The flow from Future Islands’s obscure weirdness to the reunion of Neutral Milk Hotel and their incredibly long beards to The National back for a second time and visibly excited to see how far the festival had come.
I’ll admit it, I wasn’t super pumped and excited as the many tweens were for Saturday’s lineup ending with headliners Lorde and Childish Gambino. I was really excited for Volcano Choir who I had seen literally destroy my soul at Paradise Rock Club two years prior (to the point where I was so out of it that I broke my wrist on the way home on my bike NO RAEGRETS!) but unfortunately, there was a rain delay which I’m sure everyone and their mother has heard about from the sheer amount of tweets going out. Honestly, without Twitter I’m not sure this would be run so smoothly – props to the Boston Calling Twitter Handle Person aka “I’m a cool mom” twitter handle. With Girl Talk and Volcano Choir cancelled my heart was crushed due to not being able to see Justin Vernon. Even so, when you reference the whole “not excited” comment made above, Lorde brought down the fucking house, a house that was sad and depressed because of the storm and cancellations. I’ve never fallen so quickly in love with an act. She stole the day for me. It was like the rain had not even happened, it was like she was playing to a sold out festival instead of people running through the gates to get to her last few songs. It was by far one of the most captivating sets I’ve ever seen. She was endearing and commanding, cute and sexy, she was fierce and powerful and she sung her gosh darn heart out. It’s safe to say I completely understand her and her art now.
Sunday was utterly gorgeous but it was also the start of football season and I’ve got mad cash invested in my fantasy football league so to be completely honest with everyone, I listened from the VIP section with TVs for the first two sets. Again, no raegrets. Sets from San Fermin and Lake Street Dive were highlights for the folk-obsessed older lady living inside of me because the vocals were oh so wonderful and the sun was beating down the exact right amount unlike the 90 degree humidity we had to endure Saturday.
All in all, as far as I can tell there is still a little bit of real magic left in Boston Calling but we’ve got to be careful to hold it and keep it every time we have another one because you can lose magic just as quickly as Harry Potter apararates.