Boston Calling Closes Out Summer Downtown This Weekend
The popular Boston Calling music festival launches its summer bookend edition today. The festival, which runs from September 5 to September 7, is the companion to the Memorial Day weekend blowout that kicked off the summer music season in style. This weekend’s festivities are not yet sold out, so if you’re not ready to say goodbye to the casual fun of summertime, this could be a very good excuse to party outside one last time this year. Plan your weekend with t his guide to can’t-miss bands and festival logistics.
Top Picks to See at Boston Calling Fall
There are so many great names in music playing Boston Calling that it’s hard to pull out top picks. But these performers all have poise, critical acclaim, and talent that make them all must-sees:
- Lorde – New Zealand teen Lorde’s hit “Royals” was one of the top songs of 2013. Her debut and second album are both well-reviewed. Lorde’s performance at the Boston Calling music festival is a must-see for pop fans.
- The National – The National has been building a fan base over the last 10 years, and attracting critical acclaim since 2007. If you haven’t been converted to a fan of The National, see these indie rock stalwarts now and you might discover a new favorite.
- Nas x The Roots – a 20-year vet of the hip hop scene, Nas has lyrical talent and an amazing stage presence. The Roots round out his live performance.
- Neutral Milk Hotel – Kings of indie rock, Neutral Milk Hotel all but invented the lo-fi sound with their 1998 release “In the Aeroplane Under the Sea.” The band reunited in 2013, and have been delighting fans with rare performances since.
- The Replacements – 1980s alt-rock band The Replacements influenced a generation of indie rockers and music lovers. The band reunited in 2012, and have been touring since. Catch them for a lesson in music history.
If you’re looking to catch some up-and-coming performers, you’ll want to make sure to catch these bands:
- S. Carey – S. Carey (the S. stands for Sean) came up playing with the indie legend Bon Iver (also performing at the festival with new project Volcano Choir). If wistful, earnest crooning and intricate musical arrangements are your thing, you’ll want to see Carey perform live.
- Lake Street Dive – A local underground favorite, Lake Street Dive combines a pop sensibility with Conservatory training and strong songwriting. Catch them while they’re still local.
If You Go
The crowd will split between the red and blue stages, which makes that it will be easier to get closer to the music. Performances are scheduled not to overlap, so you can really hear everyone. In between performances, you can hit up the food and drink tents or chill out in the beer and wine area. Event management company CrashLine Productions has thoughtfully spaced out the tents and the stages to allow for crowd flow through the area.
Both 3-day festival tickets and weekend-only passes are available. Or you can buy tickets for individual nights, like Friday night performance, which features Future Islands, Neutral Milk Hotel, and The National. The full-day weekend shows feature nine acts on each day. There are also VIP tickets, which come with complimentary catered snacks throughout the day, but these have sold out for each of the three days.
It’s great that Boston Calling sells such granular tickets, since you can pay to go to the whole thing or just pay for the performances that you really want to see. If you plan to go, prepare for crowds throughout the Downtown Boston area. Backpacks are not allowed in the festival, but you can take a clear plastic bag to store belongings.
So get out there and revel in the season’s last outdoor music event. As Nas says, “Throw your hands up cause [you] wanna dance. Don’t be afraid, just take a chance”. Enjoy!