by WRBB Media Team
There is always a buzz around the station before Boston Calling, and as the festival grows in size in both performers and attendance, there is even more excitement than before. Now entering its second year at the Harvard Athletic Complex, many attendees (us included) are hoping for a smoother festival experience as last year’s location debut didn’t fare well for many festival-goers. Many complained about the long lines and congestion around the center of the festival. We heard horror stories of eating the free granola bars and snacks being given out just to avoid the lines near the food trucks. However, at the risk of sounding annoying, we are still excited for this year’s Boston Calling. Even with all of those inconveniences last year, the artists proved to be well worth the trek and it gave us pride to host them in our city. And though music’s focal point should stay where it is, we are super excited for the two full days of talks, podcasting, and all-around curation by Natalie Portman. New food vendors have been added, and range from local weekend heroes, Union Square Donuts, to the meatball monarchs at IKEA. The truly hybrid atmosphere of mixed media and colloquium-style hangout is something it seems only Boston can pull off in good taste and we can’t wait to be there.
Though this year’s lineup has seen come under scrutiny for its apparent lack of uniqueness, there is still no shortage of sets that we are excited to see. Festival homogenization might very well be a pressing issue for the music industry as a whole, but Boston Calling seems to have mitigated this some by focusing on curating a boisterous and worthy undercard. For each of the three days, there seems to be a solid lineup of mid-tier artists who have made a quick ascent to the ears of many, not looking to slow down any time soon. Venerable Brooklyn-based Big Thief looks to add to the number of people who see them once and become instantly obsessed, coming off of 2017’s wonderfully crafted release, Capacity. Toronto staples Alvvays drop just in time to soundtrack the setting in which their music thrives, while artists such as Daniel Caesar and Noname add some of the brightest young lyricists to the mix. Though the usual suspects litter the top of the lineup, The National provides a strong anchor, as last year’s effort, Sleep Well Beast, showcased the band’s stability while simultaneously adding to their sonic arsenal. NYU student-turned-star Maggie Rogers will bring her accessible, yet forward thinking pop to the table, while staples like St. Vincent, Tyler, The Creator, and Fleet Foxes give a resounding oomph to a packed roster. There should be no shortage of highlights as we head into the weekend, eager to see how these sets play out.
This year, we’re sending out our largest team yet to bring you more reviews, photos, interviews and more. Keep checking our site and Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for the latest. You can also catch us on Northeastern CAMD’s Instagram (@northeasterncamd) and Northeastern University’s Snapchat (@northeasternu) throughout the weekend! #wedareyoutocall.
Of course we made a playlist! Here’s some of the artists we’re jazzed to see at Boston Calling 2018.