Day Two of Boston Calling was in full swing when I arrived around 3, and this time, it was even more packed than before. Twenty two thousand people were expected to show up to City Hall Plaza that day, and they arrived with a vengeance. There were seas of people, both sitting and standing, some already drunk and others already exhausted and dehydrated.
I joined those sitting on the ground to listen to Kurt Vile and The Violators, who was a pretty big name and drew a pretty big crowd. His indie-rock definitely pleased the loyals, and it was obvious that people were enjoying his easily listenable sounds. He’s a pretty scruffy character but charismatic just theme. The music was simple to get into, and it wasn’t flashy or smoke and mirrors, it was a basic blending of instruments that just worked and was heavily appreciated by the masses. Generic is too harsh a word but it served as fine background music.
Built To Spill and Phosphorescent weren’t really of interest so once again I was exploring the festival grounds during their sets. Something I loved about Boston Calling was how the constant beat of music pulsed through everywhere you went, keeping the vibe strong and keeping everyone happy. Even if you weren’t in a crowd and fully invested in a band, you could definitely make out what bands were playing and it was a good indication of how music doesn’t have to be in your face for you to enjoy it.
Brand New was on the Red Stage after Tegan and Sara were, so there was a mass exodus from the corners of the grounds up to the stage. BN fans were forced to suffer through T&S, a Canadian girl rock group who try to hard and are so generic i couldn’t tell them apart from any other singers on Disney Channel. It wasn’t too too painful, but I couldn’t say that for who was up next.
Bastille was on the Blue Stage, and BN’s crew was setting up their equipment right in front of us. Bastille isn’t even a band, mind you, just some drum kits and a synthesizer and possibly a bassist. The reason for their popularity is that they’re British and probably sponsored by Urban Outfitters- his banner behind him had a giant triangle on it and he was wearing a hoodie with a wolf on it. I mean c’mon, can you be more pre packaged cliche’? But we carry on and the teen girls screamed- suppose that was good enough.
Brand New stepped onto stage, opening with “Sowing Season (Yeah)”, a track off “The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me”. This was it. This was the band that had inspired me enough to get one of their album covers on my body forever and really inspire me musically. The crowd was intense, pushing everyone and at one point I kept getting nearly knocked over and I knew I had to get out. I weaseled my way out of the crowd, avoiding the massive anxiety it was causing, and watched from afar. It was just as good and I had a better view, and I was safe. They played two songs off the widely-hated “Daisy” in a row, “Gasoline” and “At The Bottom”, which seem to be the only two they ever play. I had no issues with their setlist, however, they didn’t play a single song off of “Your Favorite Weapon”, their first record.
I could sense a bit of disappointment because of this, but no one was really complaining. Seeing Brand New seemed to be a once-in-a-lifetime thing, and we were doing it, and nothing was gonna stop us from having a good time. Sweeping effortlessly through tunes like “Jesus Christ” and “Sic Transit Gloria”, I was very surprised and very teary-eyed when they started to play my favorite song, “I Will Play My Game Beneath The Spin Light”. That was all I needed for the evening. It was a fantastic experience, hearing the tune that made me decide to get that album cover on my arm, and hearing Jesse Lacey’s voice travel over the crowd and directly into my heart. (Cliche. Just go with it.) At the very end, they closed with “You Won’t Know”, an odd closer, but the guitarist Vincent Accardi seemed to be belligerent, ending up falling on the ground at some point and ending up off the stage and being chased back on by security. He was a mess and I wasn’t quite sure what that was about, but it was clear he was obviously very drunk or very messed up on some kind of drug. That tainted the memory a little bit but to be honest I didn’t mind much because I had just seen one of my favorite bands. They’re still human, they still can make a scene.
Day Two was exhausting and taxing, surrounded by way more people than the day before and the relentless heat beating down. However, it was memorable and it topped off what was the best festival experience of my whole life (thus far, I’m young, I have time).