Boston Calling Day 2: Watch Mumford & Sons Get 'A Little Help From Friends' Brandi Carlile, Nathaniel Rateliff
With the sunny skies and warm weather putting the crowd in a significantly better mood, day two of Boston Calling felt even better than the first. Festival fashion was in full gear, with kimonos flowing, bare legs out and funky makeup glittering in the springtime sun.
More people showed up for the festival than on day one, making the grounds more crowded, but everyone still managed to snag spots to see their favorite bands. Here were some of the highlights:
2:30 p.m. Tensions run high as Russ, who was slated to go on at 2 p.m., still has not shown up. Chants of “We want Russ!” escalate to “What the f--- Russ?!” And yet, as his set time came and went, fans stuck around, holding out hope that he would come out to perform. Photographers in the pit are informed that his bus has broken down, and he is still intending to perform. Finally, around 2:45 p.m. (when his set was supposed to be ending), Russ runs onstage yelling the words to his most popular song, “What They Want.” After the song, in response to the chants, he side-eyed the audience, saying, “Y’all need to chill the f--- out.”
3:15 p.m. Singer-songwriter Moses Sumney brings his ethereal sounds and soaring falsetto to the green stage, wowing with his originals and a Bjork cover. Accompanied by only a small band and a loop pedal, he captivates the audience’s attention with his hypnotizing voice.
3:30 p.m. English pop duo Oh Wonder dances their way onstage playing familiar songs, including their newest single, “Ultralife.” Lead singer Josephine Vander Gucht grabbed the audience’s attention, not only because of her neon green bermuda shorts, but because of her bubbly personality that shone through as she bounced around the stage. The duo accompanied themselves on keyboards and trigger pads, creating an energetic vibe that spread throughout the crowd.
5:20 p.m. With inflatable set pieces in every color of the rainbow, the crowd was ready for an electric performance from Tegan & Sara. The duo kept it casual, making the audience feel like a part of their show. Tegan told a story about how Sara wanted to be a lawyer and go to Harvard (the festival is being held on Harvard’s campus), but concluded the story by asking the audience, “It’s OK that she’s not a lawyer, because doesn’t she make an awesome rock star?!”
6:25 p.m. Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats hit the ground running with their soulful bluesy country sound. Rateliff fronted the band with bravado, switching between rhythmic tambourine and twangy solos on his guitar all while singing lead. The band’s tight three-piece horn section served as the cherry on top of a killer rhythm section, as they kept the audience clapping and dancing throughout their entire set. An audience member remarked, “I’m not a huge fan of country, but these guys are incredible.”
8 p.m. Fans camped out the entire day to see the blue stage’s closing band for the day, English alt-pop group The 1975. Looking dapper in intricate suits, the band supported lead singer Matthew Healy as he bounced around the stage. For those who had never seen the band live before, Healy’s eclectic performance was a bit shocking, as he rolled his eyes into the back of his head and slinked around the stage. However, the band did not disappoint, playing songs like “Chocolate” and “The City,” which even casual fans knew the words to. The lights behind the band amplified the show even more, with technicolor LEDs illuminating the entire crowd.
8:50 p.m. With the entire field packed, the crowd eagerly awaited the arrival of the night’s headliners, Mumford & Sons. An ambient track played as the band made their entrance in the dark, with fans buzzing in excitement, until the lights finally came up with the strum of the first chord.
Throughout their two-hour set, the band kept their energy up so that the audience couldn’t help but move and sing along. The played favorites like “Little Lion Man” and “I Will Wait,” with the sounds of the audience screaming the words echoing off the Harvard coliseum. Lead singer Marcus Mumford even hopped on the drums during “Dustbowl Dance” and kicked them over.
The band closed out the night with a rendition of “With a Little Help From My Friends,” inviting Brandi Carlile and Nathaniel Rateliff to join them onstage.