Boston Calling Day Two: The Recap

Of Monsters and Men
Of Monsters and Men

When I rolled out of bed Sunday morning, still tired (though exhilarated) from a wet, but killer, inaugural day of Boston Calling Music Festival, it was already clear that day two was off to a good start.

The sun was peeking its sheepish head out from behind the clouds (where were you yesterday, bro?) and I didn’t have to put on galoshes and wool gloves to venture out to City Hall Plaza, so I was in business. As were the roughly 20,000 other people swarming the Plaza yesterday afternoon, the increase in attendance having skyrocketed with the improvement in the weather. (Where were you yesterday, bros?)

And we were all pretty damn glad to be there. Those of us who stuck it out in the freezing rain Saturday night might have found ourselves forcing the  cheer between sets — Sunday, the good times they were rolling. On Saturday, many of the less stalwart fans (this one included) watched the stages from the relative shelter of the two beer gardens. Sunday’s crowd spilled out into the sunlight, lounging on the concrete steps in front of the side stage to watch charmingly earnest indie-kids Ra Ra Riot perform, which is right around when I showed up. The last time Ra Ra Riot played a venue this big here in town, they were opening WFNX’s Seaport Six show at the Pavilion last summer to a sparsely populated audience, more of whom than not, I suspected, were there for heavier hitters Two Door Cinema Club and Cake. Not so this weekend.

Every band on Boston Calling’s bill, from local funk darlings Bad Rabbits to the festival closers The National, held their own. Ra Ra Riot were visibly pleased to be there (they always are) and their good vibes spread through the Plaza like so much sunlight.

Heading over to the Main Stage for The Walkmen’s mid-afternoon set (after a not-so-brief detour at the beer garden — the lines of people queuing up for Carlsbergs and summer ales were significantly longer this time around. Also, they ran out of IPAs!) I was amped. I’ve heard naught but good things about their live shows and was prepared to be impressed. And I was, though not entirely floored by their energy. The Walkmen kept it fairly one-note, though perhaps their very chill set was just what the crowd needed to ease us over the midday hump. Andrew Bird, up next, was similarly chill — though that was expected. I watched his set from the tree-lined beer garden, leaning against the railing along alongside other lazy fans, nodding along in matching aviators.

Before Of Monsters and Men hit the main stage, I made a run for wall of Porta-Pottys set up to the left of the side stage. A note about the Porta-Pottys: this was a survival of the fittest situation. I waited with the two or three other people who were attempting to be civil before forgoing common courtesy and dodging past those suckers. All’s fair in bathrooms and big music festivals, and Of Monsters and Men had finished their sound check.

I was prepared not to be impressed by Of Monsters and Men. I dig them, but have heard lackluster reviews of their live shows. Instead, I was entirely floored by their energy. They stirred up the crowd easily, their lilting indie-folk proving surprisingly danceable. “Am I the only one who thinks they sound exactly like Arcade Fire?” this dude my friend came with asked. Yeah, pretty much, I told him, until realizing that, at that moment, he kind of had a point. That’s not a bad thing, by the way.

When the National finally took the stage around 9 pm, darkness had fallen and a chill was in the air. Good thing, then, that I’d drank half my weight in Carlsbergs by this point. The jazzed up, similarly boozy crowd pressing up around me toward the stage provided any extra warmth I needed.

Anyone who’s seen the National perform before know that a) they put on one hell of a live show and b) Matt Berninger has this thing for coming down from the stage and wandering through the audience. Both of these statements proved true last night. I can’t think of a more fitting end to what turned out to be a bonafide music festival smack dab in Boston’s city center than the image of Berninger making his way through a howling crowd of fans, phones held high to capture the moment like so many beacons of city pride.

Boston Calling, I’ll see you in September. Sun, you’d better be there too.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Activists, public advocate, announce new MTA measures to…

The MTA is taking new approaches to combating sexual harassment, including adding cameras in new trains and an improved reporting system for victims and witnesses.…

Local

Mayor reveals new tech hub Digital.NYC

Mayor Bill de Blasio revealed Digital.NYC on Wednesday, a new online platform aimed at connecting all things tech in New York City. The public-private partnership…

Local

Falling debris hits two men in Times Square

Two men were taken to the hospital Wednesday morning after being hit by falling debris from 110 feet above Times Square. Nancy Greco from the…

Local

Queens Assemblyman William Scarborough accused of misusing campaign…

Queens Assemblyman William Scarborough has been indicted on state and federal charges for allegedly withdrawing campaign funds as cash for personal use. Scarborough, a Democrat…

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, Oct. 1: 'Criminal Minds,'…

The "Criminal Minds" team adds some supernatural assistance, as the "Ghost Whisperer" herself, Jennifer Love Hewitt, joins the show. She's playing an FBI agent, but you never know when someone…

Music

See the most popular Pandora station in your…

Who knew Bachata music was so popular?

The Word

The Word: Twilight just won't die

You thought our "Twilight" days were behind us, didn't you? Well think again. Series creator Stephenie Meyer (who would rather you not ask about "Twilight"…

Going Out

Which NYC restaurant lost its three-star Michelin rating?

A record 73 restaurants in New York City collected coveted Michelin stars on Tuesday as a mix of trendy spots and fine-dining stalwarts underscored the…

NFL

John Conner back with Jets for second stint

He'll be back. It's "Terminator 2" for the Jets, who brought back John Conner to the team on Tuesday after placing fullback Tommy Bohanon on…

NFL

Fantasy football: Ben Tate to break out, Larry…

Fantasy football: Ben Tate to break out, Larry Donnell will stay solid

NFL

Source: Drafting Geno Smith was '100 percent' John…

It might have been a “Jets decision” as general manager John Idzik likes to say, but it wasn't a unanimous decision to draft Geno Smith last year.

MLB

Mets 2014 report card

The Mets wrapped up their eight straight season without a playoff appearance last weekend. Needless to say, they fell a bit short of general manager…

Style

Saint Laurent

Our review of the Saint Laurent Spring '15 show at Paris Fashion Week.

Style

Céline: Paris Fashion Week Spring 2015

Our review of the Celine Spring '15 show during Paris Fashion Week.

Style

Chloé: Paris Fashion Week Spring 2015

Our review of the Chloe Spring 2015 show from Pairs Fashion Week.

Parenting

What to eat if you're trying to get…

The guru who helped Cate Blanchett, Kate Winslet and other celebrities get pregnant shares her tips.