So Coachella sold out in 40 minutes, and the tickets are going for almost six-hundred dollars a pop. And you’re on the East Coast, you’d have to fly to California, that’s another two-fifty. Or, you can stay right here and make the hike up to Boston for the Boston Calling May Festival.
Over three days at the end of May, Boston Calling is the way to go if you want to hit up a festival without emptying your bank. Tickets for three day passes are only $160 for GA and $300 for VIP parking is only like 20 bucks if you remember to get the coupon (I’ve forgotten each time I went). For that kind of money, you can bring a friend and hit up an AirBnB and still save some money.
And the best part about Boston Calling isn’t the savings. It’s the music. Every year they put together amazing lineups and May is no exception. After a scavenger hunt/hamburger party headliners reveal—I’m telling, they’re really awesome here—they made the official release this morning of the full line-up. Closers for the three nights are Beck, who is still touring off his incredible Morning Phase album from 2014; My Morning Jacket, who I believe I smell a new album with so many dates on the horizon; and hometown heroes Pixies, who put on one of the best and loudest shows you’ll ever see.
Rounding out the major attraction bands are Tame Impala, Ben Harper, Tenacious D (!), St. Vincent (whose album was one of the best from last year), TV on the Radio (ditto). Gerard Way and Jason Isbell are performing solo, apart from the bands that made them famous (My Chemical Romance, Drive By Truckers, respectively). While not as rap heavy as last September (Nas headlined), I’m excited for Run The Jewels, a rare group that lives up to the hype they’ve received.
If you are a veteran concert-goer like myself, you might be wary of festivals. It’s too crowded, too smelly, and how can you choose between bands—well that’s not Boston Calling. Like I raved in my Pancakes & Whiskey review of last September’s set, the location couldn’t be better. Set in the court yard of the JFK Government Center, there’s plenty of space even in a sold-out crowd to spread out, everything is clean (even the port-a-potty area), and no bands overlap playing times (if only Mark Kozelek played Boston Calling, he’d probably still like the War on Drugs).
So unless you need to be dead center for your favorite band, you can see every band you want without having to make a trek or awful decision (like that one year at some festival who shall remain unnamed that forced people to choose between Nine Inch Nails and Kanye).
And the best part is that you can leave and come back. At any point, you can go visit Historic Boston as you’ll be right on Boston Harbor. If you get in early on Friday, you can go to The Institute of Contemporary Art (you might want to spend some time here). Or you can shop at Quincy Market. Or you can just stay, listen to some great tunes, have a Sam Adams and eat Chicken and Rice (get the spicy BBQ) from the Chicken and Rice Guys.
That sound you’re hearing—the idea of a ton of great bands in a great city for a fraction of the price that these other festivals are charging, and Chicken & Rice—that sound is Boston Calling. Early bird tickets will go on sale today, January 14, 2015 at 12PM EST here and www.ticketmaster.com with promo code “BOSTON.”
Article by: Christopher Gilson