Boston Calling invites music-lovers to festival hosted at City Hall Plaza

Photos by Soleil Barros

This Memorial Day weekend united students and music-lovers from various schools and hubs around the city during the Boston Calling Music Festival. Hosted in Boston’s City Hall Plaza, the festival returned with many headliners of all genres including popular artists Kendrick Lamar, Vampire Weekend, Diplo, and Solange just to name a few of the famous acts in attendance.

Boston Calling also  cast light upon Boston-bred bands like Bearstronaut and Passion Pit, who were once-upon-a-time students at Emerson College and Berklee College of Music.

“I honestly went to Boston Calling because I was given free tickets which had me pretty excited,” said Suffolk sophomore Robert Heap, “Passion Pit was probably my favorite, they make really awesome music. I didn’t know about Bat For Lashes before attending Boston Calling, they had really awesome energy during their set – I was a fan.”

The two-day long festival took attention to Boston’s downtown quarters, drawing listeners of all ages to the box office and even the lining of the fences surrounding Government Center plaza where many spectators paused for a listen. Filling the streets with live music, allowing new students to the city of Boston to have the opportunity to experience a fun-filled musical outdoor event – all well worth the memories.

The essence of the festival seemed to present a perfect transition from the summer season into fall, as the day time performances had the perfect setting of sunshine and the financial district buildings in the background of the sporadically built Red and Blue stages. The performances that flowed from sunset into the later part of the evening drew even more spectators to the crowd as festival attendees raced between the two stages following each set hoping to get a glimpse of their favorite performer.

“I had passes for both days but was only super interested in the artists performing on Sunday,” said student Lindsey Clark, who attended Boston Calling along with a group of about 10 of her fellow classmates.

Sunday singer Solange lightened the spirit of the day by delivering soulful fun sounds, as she encouraged audience members to dance along with her funky bandmates. Sunday’s other performances included Wolfgang Gartner, Flume, Big Black Delta, Bearstronaut and Flosstradamous, who was set as Clarks’s favorite performance due to “the best music playing” – Major Laser and Diplo turned out to be her least favorite of Sunday’s sets.

“I’ve seen Diplo perform a few times before outside of Boston and this was my least favorite performance,” said Clark, “It’s a bit different because Major Laser is more of a party and when Diplo played it was more all about the performance.”

The swift drop in temperature the first evening of the small festival didn’t deter any interest of the few attendees joining the fest on Saturday evening to catch headliners Vampire Weekend. Excitement buzzed as Boston Calling came to an end, presenting Kendrick Lamar, a popular rapper of Compton, Calif. to deliver the final performance on the Red Stage of festival. “Anybody want to come back to California with me?” Llamar asked the audience before heading into one of his more popular tracks as the crowd swiftly grew fond and began to sing along.

“Boston, you’ve been with me for a long time, that’s why we flew  all the way from Los Angeles to Boston,” said Llamar expressing his happiness to have returned to the hub. “We’ve been hearing a lot about Boston lately, we had to make sure the turn up was very real.”

Days following the festival Passion Pit was deemed as the best performance by the listeners at Boston Calling, closing the festival on the Blue Stage. It seemed that most in attendance seemed to be swaying with the sounds of the locally-bred band. With the perfect atmosphere of the night and energy of the crowd, Passion Pit ended Boston Calling 2013 on a flawless note.