The last day of a music festival might be thought of as mellow and low-key as the festivities wind down. Boston Calling, however, went out, not with a whimper, but with a bang. A stacked, diverse, and immensely popular lineup concluded the weekend in a fashion many fans will not soon forget.
Among the opening acts of the day, Canadian punk rock band PUP was all business on the Delta Blue Stage. After its opening song, lead singer Stefan Babcock stated plainly the band’s intention to capitalize on its short time slot.
“Less talk, more rock,” he said. “We are just going to rock through this set. Are you ready?”
Raging into songs like “Guilt Trip” and “My Life Is Over and I Couldn’t Be Happier” mosh pits immediately formed and threw its participants into the air. Dedicated fans thrashed throughout the entire set, with many surfing above the crowd proudly displaying their PUP gear and riling up the rest of the crowd. Such a spectacle must have inspired the band as Babcock himself rolled into the crowd during “The Coast,” singing all the way through his foray on top of the crowd.
Boston band Buffalo Tom followed PUP on the Delta Blue Stage, but gave a more toned-down performance, sticking to their alternative genre with songs such as hit “Taillights Fade.” There were no crazy mosh pits forming, but the vibe definitely suited those lounging on the turf to relax and enjoy the music.
Scottish band Frightened Rabbit kept a similar vibe going with its indie rock style, playing hits like “The Woodpile” and slowing it down with “I Wish I Was Sober.” The band’s mostly traditional indie songs were littered with unique details, adding an element to its songs that kept its audience attentive. Those listening were welcomed with a break from the harder rock theme of the day.
Contrasting much of the heavier rock of the day was indie rock artist Mitski. Many songs adopted a softer lyric quality while embracing harsher guitar riff and thorough shredding. Before ending on “My Body is Made of Crushed Little Stars,” Mitski echoed the feeling many smaller artists shared at the festival.
“This is really a dream come true,” she said. “To get to play for this many people is such an opportunity.”
Meanwhile, hip-hop trio Flatbush Zombies enticed its fans to get riled up as they performed two unreleased songs.
“I want to see at least two mosh pits,” Meechy Darko said to the crowd. Soon enough, the entirety of the Xfinity Red Stage were throwing their hands in the air as an intense swarm of people dominated center stage. Darko entered the crowd on foot soon after singing with his head raised in a sea of anxious fans.
While performing its last song “Palm Trees,” the group brought up a fan to sing the track along with them. The fan did not disappoint. Dominating the lyrics, energized and bouncing on stage with the trio, the fan capitalized fully on the opportunity—singing with his idols while documenting the feat on Snapchat. A legend, at least for the day.
Local bands Piebald and Converge gave performances on the Green Stage. Playing fan favorites like Piebald’s “American Hearts” and Converge’s “Aimless Arrow,” each band saw a wealth of local fans spur up from the crowds—surely a warming image for hometown bands.
Run the Jewels came on stage without hiding its ambitions to bring down the house. Parading into the scene to Queen’s “We are the Champions,” El-P and Killer Mike entered the stage beneath their renowned hand logos. Utilizing an impressive light display during several of their songs, especially “Blockbuster Night Part I” and “Oh My Darling Don’t Cry” the performance mimicked the soon to by setting sun over the large crowd. The Jewels crowd was so large it spilled into the Green Stage area as fans were readily queuing up for Cage the Elephant. Both El-P and Killer Mike unleashed an incredible amount of showmanship as each line came from mic to mouth with a considerable amount of love and tact.
As the sun set on the final day of Boston Calling, one thing was certain: This festival has set itself up for a mighty trajectory. The lineup, the energy, the fans all coalesced into a weekend that will have patrons of the event sifting through Spotify playlists for months to come—trying to relive the feeling of being there, if just for a moment.
Featured Image By Josh Mentzer / Heights Staff