After a long night of partying I made my way to the festival ground for the third and final day of Boston Calling a little bit late but was lucky to find I made it in time to catch Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever ripping up the Blue Stage. It was sweltering hot, easily above 90 degrees out, but the guys, with two on drums and 3 alternating, and sometimes even combining vocals made it look easy.
A short while later at the Red Stage, Cautious Clay made his way onstage and made sure the sax awaiting him was ready for action. Aside from singing duties, his sax playing was top notch, and I was puzzled as to how I hadn’t heard of this multi-talented artist before this day.
Ravyn Lenae strode out onto the stage looking polished and fresh despite the heat and delivered some of the best vocals the festival had heard thus far. Making jokes about finding love in the digital age – “Any of y’all on Black People Meet?” – the songstress was relatable and at ease on the stage and her banter helped her connect with the audience of familiar and unfamiliar people.
Later, SOB x RBE brought out everyone’s “turn up” potential. The DJ played tons of hip-hop staples to get the crowd hyped up, as if their earnest yelling of each lyric word for word at the top of their lungs somehow urging the group to come out even faster. Finally, one by one, members emerged reciting their lyrics over a backing track so the crowd stayed engaged even as they paused to take a breath after running back and forth across the stage.
Marina also had her fair share of fans waiting on pins and needles for her to emerge from the wings. Faces were speckled with glitter, stars and makeup of all shades. Colorful and clever outfits all designed with one goal in mind, as one guy asked, “Do you think Marina will notice me in this outfit?” He wore a flowered, net shirt with matching crown to match, and seeing the glee on his face, I surely hoped Marina would. As her dancers poured onto the stage in pink gauzy outfits, twirling light batons around, Marina joined them in their choreography in front of a white mic and stand, smiling brightly as her fans screamed. Behind her a huge video screen displayed bright splashes of color and star fields and for a second, I didn’t feel as if I was sweating buckets in the middle of thousands of people.
Cranking back into “turn up” mode, Sheck Wes’ set was more of the same high energy, relentless running back and forth across the stage that we had seen in similar hip hop acts previously. Behind him a backdrop with the familiar NYC Subway colors made it clear he was there to represent NY, Harlem to be more specific. He did not disappoint us.
Afterward, that same energy transferred over onto all the fans waiting for Logic and never waned. Logic is having a great run right now, fresh off the heels of his latest album release, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, and he was in great spirits as he commanded the stage for the entirety of his performance. Again, as another scheduling conflict was sure to be inevitable, Brandi Carlile delivered a powerhouse folk performance to the unfortunately sparse crowd. Making ample time to talk to the crowd, relating stories about her family and her experiences, Brandi’s performance was incredibly moving and really showed off the power of her voice, as I heard it clear across the grounds from where as I made my way to the final act of the night.
Travis Scott. That name is pretty recognizable whether you’re a hip-hop fan, or a fan of Kylie Kardashian. The crowd was here solely for the hip-hop influence, as I could see people walking around in various Astroworld merch all day. His stage, full of gigantic, glowing neon carnival props loomed over Travis as he rapped back and forth across the platform, threatening to “go all night, I dunno what time curfew is, but we’re gonna go til 4am, cuz this sh*t is lit!” I tapped out well before that time, but I’m sure it was another great end to another great year at Boston Calling.
Article: Lesley Keller