Boston Calling Festival Wraps With Wild, Weird Sets From Major Lazer, Tool
As the last day of Boston Calling came and went Sunday (May 28), fans and organizers alike celebrated a successful weekend. And though the weather looked questionable at the beginning of the day with occasional sprinkles of rain, audience members were able to enjoy their last day at the festival.
Another packed lineup closed out the Memorial Day weekend as thousands of Bostonians and visitors crowded the Harvard Athletic Complex one last time. Take a look at some of the highlights from day three:
2:20 p.m. Referring to the gloomy skies, singer-songwriter Mitski remarks, “I like this weather. It’s very much my aesthetic.” Her alternative sound and lyrically-driven songs shine as she plays bass and sings.
3:10 p.m. Converge lead singer Jacob Bannon states a disclaimer before their set: “We’re definitely the loudest band at this festival. And probably the weirdest and ugliest too.” The metal band plays an energetic set complete with mic swinging, head banging, crowd surfing and moshing.
4:50 p.m. Piebald bassist Andy Bonner’s toddler son comes out to dance around the stage, much to the audience’s delight. Bonner later jokes, “Thank you for entertaining my child. You’re the most reliable and affordable childcare I know.” As the alt-rock band plays their set, lead singer Travis Shettel continuously exclaims, “Thank you so much for being a part of the biggest audience we’ve ever played for.” Adding, “We take a great deal of pride in being from this area, and we’re honored to be welcomed home.”
5:50 p.m. The crowd screams “RTJ!” in anticipation of the hip-hop duo Run the Jewels. Killer Mike comes out dancing and yelling, “We’re gonna burn this motherf---er down!” As fans put their hands up in RTJ’s signature hand sign (a gun and fist), Killer Mike and El-P give an epic show. As is expected, they do not shy away from their political messaging (Killer Mike was an avid and vocal supporter of the Bernie Sanders campaign). El-P says, “You are absolutely encouraged to go f---ing apeshit bananas, as long as you pick someone up if you see them fall. And don’t touch anyone -- especially girls -- if they don’t want to be touched.” Killer Mike adds, “Music is about spreading love. So forget about everything else and love with each other today.”
6:55 p.m. Nashville natives Cage the Elephant take the stage for an electric show. Lead vocalist Matt Shultz yells into the crowd, “Let’s celebrate life, how about that?!” Contorting his body into Mick Jagger-like poses and moves, Shultz leads the band in a memorable set that leaves people dancing and screaming as guitarists Brad Shultz and Lincoln Parish take solos atop the stacks of speakers at the front of the stage.
8 p.m. Major Lazer and Weezer go on at the exact same time on opposite ends of the complex, forcing fans to choose which act they want to see. At the blue stage, Weezer plays favorites including “My Name is Jonas” and “Beverly Hills.” Audience members scream out the words and play air guitar as they reminisce with some of their '90s jams.
Meanwhile, Major Lazer is putting on an entirely different show, complete with multiple confetti bursts, smoke machines, pyrotechnics and backup dancers. Diplo crowd-surfs in a giant inflatable hamster ball, and projections on the big screen at the back of the stage blind fans.
9:20 p.m. Tool closes out the festival as the final headliner on the green stage, with lead singer Maynard James Keenan clad in military riot gear, complete with goggles and helmet. Fans scream out the word to favorites while the band rocks out onstage.
Many become puzzled though, as the band’s messaging becomes political. Keenan, a military veteran, states proudly, “We have the privilege to [be artists] because of active and former law enforcement and military defending our right to do so.” Then continues, “Those of you who are law enforcement and military, your job is to defend our right to act like whining, entitled snowflake assholes. Myself being one. And Snowflakes, your job is to respect that I’m f---ing doing that for you.”
Finally, he concludes, “Divided we fall. Don’t believe the hype, dumb-dumbs, we’re all in this together.”
11:50 p.m. Boston Calling hosts an after party at the secretive headquarters of the Harvard Lampoon (a satirical Harvard newspaper). VIPs -- including members of Cage the Elephant -- event staff and coordinators, and a select few Harvard students attend a party DJ’d by none other than Diplo. The air reeks of marijuana and beer as people climb up onto tables to dance and light their cigarettes on the candelabra chandeliers. Major Lazer’s backup dancers make an appearance, slinking their way through the crowd and joining the festivities. Diplo grabs the mic yelling, “Gonna make this a night y’all never forget!”