Boston Calling is only THE biggest multi-day music festival to rock our city to the core. Over the years Boston Calling has played host to bands such as Young The Giant, Bastille, Fun., Of Monsters and Men, Death Cab for Cutie, and The Shins. This year some pretty bad ass bands rocked City Hall Plaza, most notably Lorde, The 1975, The Replacements, and Childish Gambino. But that’s not to say the other bands didn’t rock out just as hard.
Just in case you missed the call…let’s take a look back at a few of the bands that played this past weekend at the September 2014 edition of Boston Calling; Future Islands, Neutral Milk Hotel, and The National.
These three bands kicked off the festivities as the line-up for Friday night.
Future Islands, from the awesome state of North Carolina (however, based in Maryland), formed in 2006 and is currently signed to 4AD. They have released four albums, with the most recent having been released in March of this year. They’ve been on shows such as The Late Night Show with David Letterman and Jimmy Kimmel. Their latest album, Singles, features a mellow, indie vibe with a hint of electronics. It’s definitely an album to consider listening to when you’re doing work and need something chill, but not enough to put you to sleep. Having never heard them before their show Friday night, I was definitely impressed. Give ‘em a listen!
Neutral Milk Hotel put on an amazingly energetic show and took to the stage with a very unique mélange instruments. They started with an announcement of no video or photography allowed, which was a little disappointing for me, since I was covering their show. However, as their show went on, the disappointment disappeared. Their music features an indie rock style with a definite folky vibe. The singer has a very distinctive voice that, in my opinion, is similar to that of The Mountain Goats. Throughout their show, they featured the French horn, an accordion, a euphonium, banjo, trombone, trumpet, and my favorite, the electric bagpipes. The amount of energy this band was able to produce was astounding. I’m 99% sure the band member playing the banjo/keyboard/accordion never once stopped moving and dancing across the stage. The trumpet and trombone players were absolutely amazing. (Not to mention the beauty that was the trumpeter’s beard…) And even though there were a lot of people on stage for one band, they flowed together to create an overall great show. Neutral Milk Hotel was a new experience for me, and it was one I would recommend to all those who like unique, indie music.
The National closed out the first day of Boston Calling with quite a show. Their music in general can be a bit on the mellow side which made me a bit nervous seeing them for the first time, but they certainly did not disappoint. Their energy on and off stage was unbelievable. At one point in the show the singer jumped off stage and made his way into the audience running around the crowd, continuing to sing the song they were playing. The production of their show was captivating, from the choreography of the lighting, to the video playback on all of the screens which showed them performing but with graphic overlays to give it an edgier feel. The National easily put on one of the best shows of the festival. 10/10 would recommend.
Friday night housed some awesome new (to me) artists that I’m glad I had the opportunity to experience. For me, festivals like Boston Calling are one of the best ways to discover new music and maybe even find your new favorite artist. If you get the chance, I would recommend seeing any of the three bands above or even just checking out their channel on Spotify. Check out the full line-up from this weekend’s festival below.