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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Boston Calling got the people going

For two days, Boston City Hall Plaza was filled with music that echoed off of the surrounding buildings and flowed down the streets. Sept. 7 and 8 marked the second installment of the Boston Calling Music Festival.
Those in attendance were lucky to have a couple of beautiful days to listen to an array of live music. On Saturday fans slowly trickled in throughout the day. Those who arrived early got a taste of bands Viva Viva, Deer Tick, and Lucius.
Lucius was the highlight of the early bands. With an unusual set up of two drummers, a guitarist, and two lead vocalists singing harmony, Lucius stood out. The band set up may have not been typical, but the music was solid.
The afternoon bands played to an audience who may have been a little exhausted by the heat beaming down from the glaring sun. People stood and bounced their heads instead of dancing and bopping around.
There was no sign of exhaustion from the bands though. Okkervil River was high in energy, and their female guitar player had some gnarley riffs. After Okkervill River came the highly anticipated Deer Tick, followed by The Airborne Toxic Event, who played to a crowd almost at full capacity.
By the time The Airborne Toxic Event was finished with their set, they had the crowd ready to start grooving again.
Natasha Khan, better known by her stage name, Bat for Lashes, belted out beautiful vocals to haunting music that made the audience feel like they were floating. Before the next band, Local Natives, took the stage, Mayor Thomas Menino walked on stage to greet the crowd and introduce the band. Local Natives followed up the introduction with a rocking set.
The Gaslight Anthem was the penultimate band. They performed for an hour and a half, which may have been a little too long; folks seem to be restless and tired of waiting for Vampire Weekend.
When Vampire Weekend hit the stage, the crowd roared, and it was obvious who everyone really came out to see. From the front to the back, everyone was dancing to tracks like “Diane Young” and “Holiday.”
Diverse food options were an aspect Boston Calling distinctly promoted, but the options were not different from what you would see available at any other music festival. The only difference was the name brands like Flatbread and Tasty Burger. The names and prices were the only two things these two food booths had in common with the respective restaurants. Flatbread had pre-made pizza they warmed up in a brick oven, while Tasty Burger seemed nothing more than a barbecue thrown together at the last second.
Sunday was a different vibe with electronica and hip hop music. Kicking off was Royal Teeth, followed by local synth-pop sounding Bearstronaut. Next was Big Black Delta, another band that performed with two drummers.
The party really got going with Flume, who dropped the bass and started off a block of electric sets. Flosstradamus followed, and the DJ duo took breaks between songs to rile up the crowd.
Flosstradamus was going to be a tough act to follow, but Solange hit it out of the park. The soul singer spread some positive vibes with her music and may have been the unexpected highlight of Sunday’s performances.
The crowd was out of control by the middle of Major Lazer’s set. The DJ entertained with music and with crowd surfing in a bubble, throwing cash in the audience. He also had one of his female dancers give a fan a lapdance.
Kendrick Lamar, who played at UMass Boston in May, ran through a set with favorites “P&P” and “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe.” He may have performed too fast, as he ended a half hour early, but everyone eagerly awaited the headliner Passion Pit.
The band that came together in Boston performed classics for their hometown, including “Sleepyhead.” They ended with an encore of “Little Secrets” and “Take a Walk,” leaving fans anticipating next year’s festival.