Feature photo credit to Ty Johnson/ Boston Calling
Written by Sheila DeMoura and Alyssa DiCaterino
Boston Calling Music Festival returned to the Harvard Athletic Complex for an incredible 10th year in the perfect circumstances. Returning better than ever before with mouthwatering food, incredible music of all genres, and engaging activations, Boston Calling was the perfect way to kick off the summer break.
All of the food at Boston Calling looked so insanely delicious, and I wish we were able to try it all. However, I think our bank accounts and our stomachs were very glad we didn’t.
Handmade risotto balls. My little Italian heart flew out of my chest when I came across this food vendor. Options included the Classic Ragu (tomato sauce with peas and mozzerella), Bianco Verde (basil pesto with mozzerella), Buffalo Ball (chicken and gorgonzola), Pizza Ball (margherita tomato, basil, and mozzeralla), Bucantini Friti (Italian Mac & Cheese), and last but certainly not least… the Famous Nutella ball which was filled with the chocolate hazelnut goodness and coated in cinnamon and sugar. Try all six, or just get six of your favorite with their egg-carton presentation.
I don’t know if I’ve just been utterly unobservant, but I very rarely see ice cream vendors at music festivals. So needless to say, we were pretty excited for some at Boston Calling. Although it was a pretty chilly weekend, the plant-based ice cream shop helped get everyone into summer break mode with cones, cups, sandwiches, and lots of sprinkled for your FoMu Ice Cream.
The Smoke Shop
I don’t exactly know what was all in this concoction, but it looked like an entire BBQ feast stuffed into a waffle cone.
I had never heard of Honest before, the tea brand that took the cake for the best meeting spot on the festival grounds. They set up a giant sign that said Honesty lit up by a ton of light bulbs, it was the one sign that was easy to find and as a reward there was free tea being given out all weekend. They truly did it right, and now I am a big Honest fan. Plus, what genius branding, Honest Tea = Hones “t”, absolutely genius. They had such a simple name, simple concept, and really such a simple activation idea but yet had one of the biggest impacts. Great work, Honest!
Boston Calling brought quite an incredible lineup to Harvard University. With headliners like Twenty One Pilots, Tame Impala, ODESZA, Logic, and Travis Scott you can imagine that the weekend was well packed with good music.
Twenty One Pilots
Twenty One Pilots have one of the most dedicated fanbases around. Known as “The Clique,” members were seen running for their lives once the festival gates opened on Friday to get a shot at barricade for the band’s performance (which started a solid seven hours later).
Singer, Tyler Joseph, expressed to the crowd on Friday night that himself and drummer, Joshua Dun, did not feel like they deserved to be headlining such a festival as Boston Calling. “But we would like to earn it,” Joseph stated. And earned it they did, with one of the best performances I’ve ever seen the two of them give.
Tame Impala is an artist we could never ever possibly get sick of seeing live. With showers of rainbow confetti, trippy visuals, and Kevin Parker’s brilliant works of art being performed, you’re wrong if you say you didn’t enjoy every bit of this set on Saturday night.
Seeing ODESZA never gets old as they captivate the audience with their melodic electronic set infused with a variety of genres like pop, trap, future bass, and more. Their music can provoke almost anyone to want to get up and dance. Paired with their unforgettable stage design, ODESZA truly takes your breath away during their live performance. Their live instrumentation, choreography, drumline, live vocalists, uniquely crafted visuals, insane light design, and hexagon logo lit above them in LED all work together to create an unforgettable performance. Their ‘A Moment Apart’ tour has been taking the world by storm, and die hard fans have been traveling around to catch another glimpse of this unforgettable set. ODESZA’s live set has gained them immense popularity amongst the world of live music, selling out arenas, headlining festivals across the US, and even starting their own music festival – ODESZA is an act that no one will be caught missing. This was my fourth time seeing ODESZA and I can confidently say that they mesmerize me more and more every time.
A name that has been booming in hip hop, he is now headlining festivals across the US. Although it has been difficult for him to gain respect as a rapper, his speed, flow, and lyricism is impeccable. He has made enemies and gained fans, as everyone does on their way to the top. During his set, he had Joyner Lucas came out to perform their track ‘ISIS’ together. When they finished, Logic told Joyner to take the stage and perform a song of his own. This is something that I have never seen a headliner do, a set at this time at a festival of this size is so important for an artists career. But Logic is truly a good man and is doing arguably better than Joyner right now, so he gave him the spotlight. Joyner thanked him and said that although people make mistakes Logic is a ‘good dude’ (they had a disagreement in the past). On top of being such a stand up guy, Logic is in my opinion one of the best rappers in history. I saw him open up for Krewella years ago, sell out a world tour without ever having a song on the radio (and cry on stage because he was so grateful for it), to having a multi-platinum Grammy award-winning track all over the radio, ‘1-800-273-8255’. He closed his set with that track as well as ‘Everyday’. It was incredible to see Logic perform in front of a crowd of that size after seeing him perform in front of a room where no one knew who he was back in 2014. This was one of my personal favorite sets of the entire weekend!
The activations at Boston Calling were not only great because of the free gear they were giving away, but they were some of the most interactive and interesting activations we’ve seen yet.
Vans Comfy Cush
Vans probably wins the most fun award for activations as they had a foam pit attendees could jump into. They also win most useful as they were promoting the new Comfy Cush Vans. With these new soles, you feel like you’re walking on a cloud. After wearing Dolls Kill platform shoes all weekend, my feet were more than happy to slip into some Vans and enjoy the last day of Boston Calling comfortably.
Corn Hole and Giant Jenga!
Many of the activations included corn hole to get people over to their booth and play the game. On Memorial Day weekend, who doesn’t want to play corn hole? From Subaru, to JBL, to PAX, to Bulliet Bourbon, and more, corn hole must have been the main selling point to all of the brands. Additionally the Sam Adams beer tent had giant Jenga that people were playing all day, a truly entertaining game to watch!