Student Snippets


Thank you, Boston! - Boston Calling September 2015

Between a full-time job, a part-time job, and graduate school, I don't have much time for vacations.  So this weekend at Boston Calling, a music festival at Government Center, I decided it was time for a little three-day holiday.  Throwing my budget out the window (gulp!), I prepared to enjoy myself as much as could while surrounded by young amorous undergraduates in the first throes of their first semester romances.

I'm not much of a music festival person.  My brother loves them: Bonnaroo is his mecca and it seems like he's always planning another trip and collecting more amazing experiences as he dances to any and all types of music and musicians.  Despite his many efforts, I've never attended any of those massive, multi-day fests full of music, drinking, and other miscellaneous vices.  I love music but I'm a fuddy duddy: I like to enjoy it at home or in small venues rather than while being jostled to and fro by sweaty, drunk, painted people. But I couldn't resist Boston Calling: it was right in my backyard and the lineup featured a ton of my favorites: Of Monsters and Men, Avett Brothers, Daughter, Hozier. I had to go.

Friday night opened the weekend perfectly.  I somehow managed to find my friends in the crowd and we danced while Of Monsters and Men put on an amazing show.  The Avett Brothers, one of my favorite bands of all time, were incredible.  The night ended with both Brothers jumping off stage, Scott Avett greeting the fans pushing against the partition while Seth Avett continued his epic guitar solo propped up against wild hands.  I bought their overpriced merchandise with no regrets. Saturday, Walk the Moon, all energy and joy, brightened up everyone's afternoon and closed with their infamous "Shut Up and Dance with Me."

By Sunday, I was tuckered out.  Somehow I managed to roll out of bed and attend one last day.  After two days of long lines, crowds, and overpriced merchandise, I had misplaced the love goggles I was wearing for the last two days had spent half of Daughter's set bitterly counting how many times the couple blocking my view kissed each other before I realized that I was missing some awesome music!  Thankfully, Hozier's concert kicked out my inner angry old man, with an amazing set peppered with two awesome (though surprising) covers: "Blackbird" by the Beatles and "Problem" by Ariana Grande ("That one was just for fun," he said).  His set ended as the super blood moon started to rise, and while it was hidden behind the grey, concrete mass that unfortunately is Boston City Hall, he told us all that the crowd in front of him was "a fine sight, a fine sight indeed."  Ditto, Hozier.

Finally, Alabama Shakes closed the night, Brittany Howard's incredible and unique vocals completely setting the mood for the lunar eclipse.  Something about her Janis Joplin-esque screams made the super blood moon all the more impressive and sent chills down my spine.  As Brittany said, "There you have it. A blood moon and a lunar eclipse. That means it's time to get weird."  She was right in the best possible way.

While I was exhausted and broke by Monday morning, Boston Calling September 2015 was definitely worth it!  I loved the smaller acts, the smaller venue, and the fact that I could walk back to my apartment from the festival grounds in 15 minutes.  But nothing beats that concert-only moment when you are in the middle of a crowd listening to your favorite song and, from the musician out to the last person in the audience, you hear the echo of every single person singing every single word with you.  Now that's magic.