For the last years, most of the music festivals have become a fashion show where you go more to be seen than to really enjoy the music. All together, it gives the impression that you can’t appreciate a band’s set if their songs aren’t filtered trough the biggest flowers crowns. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy my share of glitter and boho outfits as much as any festival goer, but I don’t think they should be your sole motivation to attend.

This is why Mayillah and I have been looking this year for a festival where music comes first for its attendees and we seriously think we found it in the Boston Calling festival. Along with a beautiful location – hello Harvard Athletic Complex – the festvial brings the perfect laid back vibe allowing you to totally immerge yourself into the music. Actually, a part of us thought for a minute, that maybe we should keep it a secret, and away from all the Coachella lovers.

Still need more reasons to be convinced to attend next year? Well, take a look below at what we humbly think were the best moments of the festival.

 

 

Bon Iver

 

Live every over sensitive human being pretty much into sad melodies and strong lyrics about heartbreaks, I almost lost my shit when Justin Vernon released in 2007 his album For Emma, Forever Ago.  And like every same sensitive soul, I spent the following months -hum ok, years- screaming the lyrics of Skinny Love at the top of my lungs. When Bon Iver, Bon Iver followed  back in 2011, I became even more certain that the singer was the only one capable of creating the perfect songs to fit my screwed up rainbow of emotions. Still, it took last year and the release of 22, A Million -aka the album I probably played more than 100 times on Spotifity- to make me realize how much I needed to see one of his live performances.

When he showed up on the Green Stage at Boston Calling, I was more than ready to witness an incredible moment. Little did I know, I was up for a disappointment. Vernon speeded through the first five songs, like someone was pressuring him to be done with his set as soon as possible. Trust me, I wasn’t there to listen to a shortened version of 33 God. I would probably have never put him on my list of best moments if it wasn’t for the last songs of his set, when he finally seemed to realize that no one was threatening him. When the rain started falling down as the exact moment he started singing Skinny Love, I took a deep breath, look around to see all the smiling faces around me having a total blast, and I totally forgot why I was even mad at him. Damn you Bon Iver, you did it again.

 -M.E.V.

 

 

The Food

 

 

Yes, there is more to fesitval food than an infinity supply of coconut water. This year’s tasty food options included many newcommers such as Smoke Shop serving waffle cone filled with mac and cheese and the famous Bostonian vegan ice cream vendor FoMu, who made us go a little crazy over their sweet lavender treats.

The festival  also added up a food-centric element to its VIP and Platinum tickets, offering a larger selection of vendors with special menus from chefs like Doretta Taverna & Raw Bar and Nookie Bar.

 

 

Mac DeMarco

 

 

You never know exactly what kind of performance you will get from DeMarco, until he steps up on stage. Half alien, half showman, he has this way of turning each of his performances into a hilarious moment until one of his songs make you sob in an unexplainable way. He has this soft charisma that makes it ok for most of his fans to indulge into his goofy universe and being compeled under his madness.

Starting his set with fan favorite Salad Days, he cracked jokes throughout his whole set while keeping the same level of nervous energy up from song to song. When one person in the crowd showed up a sign saying that he missed prom for this, DeMarco invited him to jump on stage with the band and him.

 -M.E.V.

 

 

The Comedy Club

 

 

The biggest particularity of Boston Calling was definitely their Comedy Tent, welcoming many big international names in the comedy world like as Eugene Mirman and Hannibal Buress.  This part of the festival got quickly organized after the Natalie Portman’s planned film festival initially planned got canceled an rescheduled for a future edition.

 Boston’s native Eugene Mirman of “Bob’s Burgers” fame took the stage, bringing along a collection of fake calendars he’s been leaving in tourist shops across Cape Cod. They included quotes like, “Not to brag, but Mitt Romney has showered on my boat twice.”

 

 

Run The Jewels

 

I first discovered them when Brooklyn rapper-producer El-P and Atlanta’s Killer Mike’s debut album dropped in June 2013. Immediately standing out with their statements and sharp lyrics, their contagious energy along with their way of communicating their passion for music, justice and politics, are many of the reasons why they are one of the most entertaining duos to watch live.

Their performance at Boston Calling was a must see for any hip-hop fan. Their music is relatable to anybody who listens to it, which creates a diverse crowd of like-minded people. Make sure to see them while they’re on their festival tour. Grab yourself a beer and enjoy the show!

-M.E.

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