Boston Calling Gets a Makeover

By Lilly Kallman

Boston Calling, a biannual music festival which has grown significantly in recent years, rocked the city for the eighth time this past Memorial Day weekend. This time around, the event moved from City Hall Plaza to the Harvard Athletic Complex in order to accommodate larger crowds and create a more typical festival atmosphere. Harvard's fields became home to three stages, as well as areas where festival goers could relax, get a bite to eat, or even take a ride on a ferris wheel. Spanning over three days, the lineup featured a range of musical genres, from EDM to rap, and everything in between. Although I wasn't able to see every performer, here's a rundown of who I enjoyed and who you can look out for at upcoming festivals this summer...

FRIDAY

Francis and the Lights

My friends and I kicked off the weekend with Francis and the Lights, who started in 2007 and has been gaining attention recently with his collaborations with artists such as Bon Iver and Chance the Rapper. Francis' upbeat personality and wild dance moves had the crowd on its feet despite the clouds and rain. If you haven't heard any of his music, make sure to check out his biggest hit "May I Have This Dance", both the original version and the remix featuring Chance.

My friends and I kicked off the weekend with Francis and the Lights, who started in 2007 and has been gaining attention recently with his collaborations with artists such as Bon Iver and Chance the Rapper. Francis' upbeat personality and wild dance moves had the crowd on its feet despite the clouds and rain. If you haven't heard any of his music, make sure to check out his biggest hit "May I Have This Dance", both the original version and the remix featuring Chance.

Sylvan Esso

Sylvan Esso, an indie pop duo from North Carolina, kept the energy high with a set list full of innovative dance tunes. Their latest album, "What Now", came out at the end of April, and they will be touring throughout the summer and fall.

Sylvan Esso, an indie pop duo from North Carolina, kept the energy high with a set list full of innovative dance tunes. Their latest album, "What Now", came out at the end of April, and they will be touring throughout the summer and fall.

Bon Iver

The sun set as the mood switched from pop and rap to Bon Iver's calm but captivating indie folk sound. It was only fitting that the sky opened up again during his emotional hit "Skinny Love." However, no one seemed to mind the rain and it was as if the sky was crying along with the fans who were moved by the performance.

The sun set as the mood switched from pop and rap to Bon Iver's calm but captivating indie folk sound. It was only fitting that the sky opened up again during his emotional hit "Skinny Love." However, no one seemed to mind the rain and it was as if the sky was crying along with the fans who were moved by the performance.

Chance the Rapper

The first headliner of the weekend, Chance the Rapper, didn't disappoint as he played hits both old and new, such as the catchy "Sunday Candy" and "All Night." Francis, of Francis and the Lights, joined Chance on stage and the pair performed a choreographed dance to their collaboration "May I Have This Dance."

The first headliner of the weekend, Chance the Rapper, didn't disappoint as he played hits both old and new, such as the catchy "Sunday Candy" and "All Night." Francis, of Francis and the Lights, joined Chance on stage and the pair performed a choreographed dance to their collaboration "May I Have This Dance."

SATURDAY

Oh Wonder

This alt-pop duo from London injected life and energy into the crowd on the sunny Saturday afternoon. Josephine and Anthony, along with their backing band, brought listeners to their feet with tunes like "Technicolour Beat" and "Lose It." They even announced that they will stop in Boston this fall on their next tour, featuring their upcoming album "Ultralife" (out July 14th). 

This alt-pop duo from London injected life and energy into the crowd on the sunny Saturday afternoon. Josephine and Anthony, along with their backing band, brought listeners to their feet with tunes like "Technicolour Beat" and "Lose It." They even announced that they will stop in Boston this fall on their next tour, featuring their upcoming album "Ultralife" (out July 14th). 

The 1975

The 1975, an English rock band from Manchester, made its second appearance at Boston Calling on Saturday night. I was one in a horde of super fans all elbowing to get to the front, and I loved every minute of it. Within the one hour time slot, lead singer Matty Healy and the rest of the group captivated the audience with slow ballads and upbeat dance numbers alike. The set started and ended with tracks from the latest album, "Love Me" and "The Sound", and older songs like "Chocolate" and "Girls" were sprinkled throughout.

The 1975, an English rock band from Manchester, made its second appearance at Boston Calling on Saturday night. I was one in a horde of super fans all elbowing to get to the front, and I loved every minute of it. Within the one hour time slot, lead singer Matty Healy and the rest of the group captivated the audience with slow ballads and upbeat dance numbers alike. The set started and ended with tracks from the latest album, "Love Me" and "The Sound", and older songs like "Chocolate" and "Girls" were sprinkled throughout.

SUNDAY

Cage the Elephant

As someone who is familiar with Cage the Elephant's most popular music, but who has never seen the group perform live, I found lead singer Matthew Shultz's enthusiasm extremely engaging. Shultz worked up a sweat as he ran around the stage, belting out crowd favorites including "Trouble" and "Ain't No Rest for the Wicked." He even ran through the crowd towards the end of the set, high-fiving fans and encouraging them to sing along.

As someone who is familiar with Cage the Elephant's most popular music, but who has never seen the group perform live, I found lead singer Matthew Shultz's enthusiasm extremely engaging. Shultz worked up a sweat as he ran around the stage, belting out crowd favorites including "Trouble" and "Ain't No Rest for the Wicked." He even ran through the crowd towards the end of the set, high-fiving fans and encouraging them to sing along.

Weezer

The final headliner of the weekend drew teens and adults alike, due to Weezer's longtime success and plethora of hits. Some listeners stood and danced, while others sat back and relaxed, making this performance a great ending to the festival. The audience showed its love for the group as it belted out the lyrics during "Beverly Hills" and swayed to the summer classic "Island In The Sun."

The final headliner of the weekend drew teens and adults alike, due to Weezer's longtime success and plethora of hits. Some listeners stood and danced, while others sat back and relaxed, making this performance a great ending to the festival. The audience showed its love for the group as it belted out the lyrics during "Beverly Hills" and swayed to the summer classic "Island In The Sun."

If you're a fan of music festivals, make sure to keep an eye out for the Boston Calling Fall 2017 lineup, as well as the post that I'll be writing about Osheaga, a music festival in Montreal, this August!

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