Boston Calling Day One Recap

by Brooke Baumgartner

As Boston Calling Day One wraps up, here’s some of our favorite acts and some stuff that we wish would’ve been a liiittllee bit different. CH-CH-CHECK IT OUT!!!


Perhaps one of the biggest letdowns of the entire festival (calling it now) was that Solange bowed out at the last minute of the festival lineup and was replaced with rap sensation Migos. While we didn’t catch the whole set, the opening was typical of hip-hop acts of their caliber, in that the first 30 minutes was a DJ set of top 40 hip-hop hits with the actual act coming on much later. While this isn’t unusual, it still was quite disappointing nonetheless, especially in replacement of an artist that was so highly anticipated. Solange was one of the reasons why we were so excited to cover the festival, and to see her go so unexpectedly was quite a shock. Hopefully there will be a chance to catch her again sometime this summer, but with her sporadic touring schedule, it’s doubtful. Shouts out to Migos.

Mac DeMarco and Whitney

Two acts that didn’t let us down in the slightest were Mac DeMarco and Whitney. In typical Whitney fashion, they delivered a great set full of crowd interaction and an eclectic set list, including the Golden Girls theme song. Also included was a very mellow, new, and unreleased track from their upcoming release TBD. They didn’t neglect any of the old favorites, however, playing all of the crowd-favorites off their debut record Light Upon the Lake. Mac DeMarco delivered an incredible set as well, filled with energy while still maintaining technical proficiency, and was a perfect prelude to the main headliners. He absolutely filled the Blue Stage, which was isolated from the other two on one of Harvard’s athletic fields lending to the amicable environment. It felt like everyone in the crowd was in on the same inside joke in the best way possible. Also, shockingly, it seemed Mac DeMarco’s voice actually improved over the last few years from when we last saw him perform live. His soothing, deep voice flowed like honey over the audience filling our ears with gooey goodness. I guess there’s something to be said for smoking upwards of two packs a day. Advice for any aspiring indie/singer-songwriter.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Boston Calling is still trying to find its way into festival relevancy, and they’ve made some pretty key mistakes since they started up in 2013. Perhaps their biggest accomplishment aside from snagging a solid lineup was the venue change. Going from the Boston Government Center to the Harvard Athletic Complex in Allston, the festival grounds were noticeably more welcoming and spacious. There was even a ferris wheel to add to the setting. Unfortunately, every single food vendor had about an hour to two hour wait time during key times, as did the bathrooms. You would think that with all of the people waiting to eat, the crowds at the stages wouldn’t be too bad, but as the festival grows it seems that one lesson to be learned by Boston Calling staff is crowd control. At times, due to stage placement and the location of the amenities, it sometimes was a hectic environment to be in. I’m looking forward to tomorrow, since Hannibal Buress will be making a special appearance with a 45 minute comedy set. Bringing comedians out to festivals like this is genius, and more concert promoters should consider conquering the comedy scene.

All in all, 2.5/5, but I’m expecting some improvements in the next couple of days.

Be sure to follow us on Snapchat @wrbb1049. We’ll be updating all day from Boston Calling Day Two!

Signing off,

Brooke and Kenny, MD (Music Director)