Boston Calling: Fall 2015

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BOSTON Boston Calling began in May of 2013 as the first large scale music festival based in Boston. The lineup has always had a wide range from big name classics, such as Pixies, Beck, and Modest Mouse, to upandcoming young pop artists, such as Halsey, Sky Ferreira, and MØ. The festival brings in a huge range of different music fans as well, from hardcore and pop punk fans of Brand New and Fidlar to the casual radio pop fans of fun., Lorde, and Bastille. From the teen cult followings of Twenty One Pilots, the 1975, and Gerard Way to the relaxed folk and indie listeners of Youth Lagoon, Daughter, and Jack Johnson. The house and electronic fans of Major Lazer, Flume, and Chromeo, to rap listeners of Childish Gambino, Nas X The Roots, and Kendrick Lamar. Since the first festival, there have been two festivals a year, one in the spring, and one in the fall. Critics have given the festival an allaround positive reception every year.

This fall, Gregory Alan Isakov, Of Monsters and Men, and The Avett Brothers will play on Friday, Grey Season, Skylar Spence, Doomtree, Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, Sturgill Simpson, Father John Misty, Walk the Moon, Chromeo, Chvrches, and AltJ on Saturday, and Dirty Bangs, Bully, Fidlar, Twin Shadow, Daughter, Misterwives, Nate Ruess, Ben Howard, Hozier, and Alabama Shakes on Sunday. I had the pleasure of seeing many of these artists over the weekend, and I will be reviewing AltJ, Daughter, Father John Misty, and Hozier.


 

Alt-J

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latest album: This is All Yours

AltJ was the headliner on Saturday night on the jetBlue Stage at 9:25pm, a well deserved spot for a band with such a large, monumental sound and live show. Playing the bulk of the tracks from both of their albums, with spineshivering notes and drum beats that you can’t help but dance to, the set was arguably the best that Boston Calling has ever seen. The band’s light show was aweinducing, leaving the band member’s silhouetted for the majority of the night as blues, reds, whites, and purples flashed behind them in a mist of fog, with the projection of lines, lights, and rippling waves on their 20+ screens. Their live renditions were a stunning example of true artistry and an incredible ability to recreate the atmosphere and sound of the studio on the stage. AltJ’s albums were already great, but this show solidified the fact that this band is a one to keep an eye on for a long time.


 

Daughter

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latest album: If You Leave

Daughter played on Sunday on the jetBlue Stage at 3:10pm a delivered exactly as imagined: not only bringing the audience to tears, but herself, as well. I have adored this band since they began in 2011 when I was in 8th grade and I hold them dear to my heart, but they have been flying under the radar lately. So, naturally, when it was announced that they would be at Boston Calling this fall, I was the most excited for them and planned to be front and center for their set. At the beginning of the set, the lead singer, Elena Tonra, fumbled with a new song that they planned on performing and it put her in a funk for the rest of the show. Despite clearly being on the verge of tears for the full 45 minutes, she 100% delivered. Her ethereal voice transcended over the crowd and captured the listener, bringing him into her solemn world and feeling her pain, identifying it with his own. Yet, there was still an undeniable energy from the band and the festival that kept the atmosphere electrified and captivated. If anything, Tonra’s mood only enhanced the experience and made for a long time childhood dream come true.


 

Father John Misty

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latest album: I Love You, Honeybear

Father John Misty went on at 4:55pm on Saturday on the jetBlue Stage and proved to be a pleasant surprise for the evening. This critic was a huge fan of his album full of slow folk music with a cynical bite, but expected him to perform like many other acts of the folk genre and stand relatively still with a guitar, bang out some fun tunes, and call it a night. I ended up being happily mistaken. He performed with the passion, intensity, and sexuality of a lead of an 80s hair band. His energy got me pumped for the remainder of his set and the night. He was constantly running around the stage, wiping the mic stand around in his hands and leaping atop the drum kit. A great deal of the show was also spent on his knees, belting into the microphone, or jumping down to the barricade to sing and lean over the crowd. He closed the set by throwing himself to his knees from the top of the drums and shoving the microphone down his pants. Father John Misty put on an exhilarating and entertaining show and I can’t wait to see more of him in the future.


 

Hozier

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latest album: Hozier

Hozier’s set began at 8:15pm on Sunday and, even though he wasn’t a headliner, he seemed to draw in the largest crowd of the weekend. He was also the only artist that I had had the pleasure of seeing before this festival, but his Boston Calling performance blew his show at the House of Blues earlier this year out of the water. Hozier himself seemed to have a lot more energy this time around, and he looked as if he was having far more fun. The light show, accompanied with the welltimed super blood moon eclipse, was beautiful and helped to foster the mystical atmosphere that comes with the listening of his music. While he played most of his selftitled album, he also did upbeat covers of the Beatles’ Blackbird and Ariana Grande’s Problem . The audience and the performers fed off of each other’s positive energy and excitement. Everyone around me was yelling every word, and it made Hozier loosen up and have as great of a time as we did. As always, Hozier put on an amazing show and was the perfect way to end my weekend.