Boston Calling Music Festival returns to City Hall Plaza with 27 bands, a handful of comedians, and a whole lot of Boston Calling beer to distribute this weekend. The festival will span three days across three stages and feature some of the best indie, electro, pop, rock, country, hip hop, and emo artists in the music scene. Sufjan Stevens, Robyn, and These Wild Plains are just a few of the artists who will join the impressive list of past Boston Calling performers including Modest Mouse, Brand New, Kendrick Lamar, and Fun.
To ring in Boston Calling’s seventh installment and possibly it’s last at its Government Center location, the LIKEYOUSAID staff has hand-picked seven of the performances we are most excited to see ahead of Boston’s weekend-long celebration.
1). Sufjan Stevens
This is the man who gave us Illinois, one of the most masterful records of the century. This is a man who bared his soul on “No Shade in the Shadow of the Cross”, a gloomy yet gorgeous song about his short-lived relationship with his mother. This is a man who isn’t afraid to be vulnerable as he lays it all out on the table, both on his records and during his live performances.
In 2015 Sufjan Stevens released the critically acclaimed Carrie & Lowell, which many critics regarded as his best record to date (debatable, we know). Sandwiched between sets from Lisa Hannigan & Aaron Desner and Sia, Sufjan Stevens will likely melt all of our hearts and souls during Friday night’s must-see Boston Calling performance.
For fans of: Iron & Wine, Elliott Smith, following the Chinese zodiac, and watching the romantic comedy Serendipity over and over again.
Sufjan Stevens plays the Xfinity Red Stage on Friday, May 27th at 8:05PM.
Lifetime. My Chemical Romance. The Gaslight Anthem. The Early November. Midtown. The Ergs! New Jersey has a history of producing some of the best pop-punk and emo bands of our generation. Following the path of their predecessors are the Front Bottoms, a New Jersey success story that bares it all on sometimes oddly named tracks across five full lengths and five more EPs. While the Front Bottoms would have fit in much better with Boston Calling’s far more alternative 2014 spring lineup, they are an absolute must-see band that encourages the kinds of sweeping singalongs that could be heard from City Plaza all the way to Faneuil Hall.
For fans of: Modern Baseball, Frank Turner, Asbury Park, New Jersey, and Jimmy Eat World’s “Big Casino”.
The Front Bottoms play the jetBlue Stage on Sunday, May 29th at 4:50PM.
One of the most feel good moments of HBO’s Girls was when Hannah, who had just spent the episode fretting over her HPV diagnosis, sits down at her computer and ponders her crappy day. After updating her Twitter with a cryptic post, she puts on Robyn’s “Dancing On My Own”. By the first chorus, a no longer defeated Hannah is shaking and moving to the liberating track.
The beauty in Robyn’s often gender-bending electro-pop songs is the sense of freedom that it evokes for the listener. Her staggering live performances (see: dance parties) find the pop sensation belting hits like “Call Your Girlfriend”, “Hang With Me”, and “Do You Know What It Takes” to thousands of adoring fans. Now nearly two decades into her career, Robyn continues to give us a reason to dance all night and get outta line.
For fans of: Madonna, Lana Del Rey, girl power, Harper Ferry’s PAPER, and Billy Idol’s “Dancing With Myself”.
Robyn plays the jetBlue Stage on Saturday, May 28th at 9:20PM.
While country isn’t usually in our wheelhouse, for These Wild Plains, we’ll make an exception. This free-flowing quartet from Boston reminds us that music can be cinematic and veritable at the same time. The band whose lineup consists of Ben Voskeritchian, Ryan Bambery, Rob Motes, Chaimes Parker, and Nick Mercado (Ette, Christians + Lions, Dirty Bangs), is on the quest to reviving a genre of music that traditionally finds its home in the deep south.
Inspired by legends like Hank Williams, Willie Nelson, and Merle Haggard, this folky rock band has been making a name for itself since releasing their first 7″ in 2013. Earlier this month they even performed at Stagecoach Festival in Indio, California.
On Sunday afternoon, These Wild Plains will make their first appearance at Verizon’s brand new comedy stage along with Black Beach, Lady Pills, Nemes, and some of the funniest stand-up comedians in town.
For fans of: Hank Williams, Willie Nelson, Tigerman WOAH!, The Sharp Teeth Collective, and backyard BBQ’s.
These Wild Plains play the Verizon Stage at 3PM on Sunday, May 29th.