Now in its fifth year (but ninth iteration because it started as a biannual gathering), Boston Calling Music Festival is hitting a stride in its new home at the Harvard Athletic Complex in Allston.
After two sweltering days, cold temperatures and evening rain dampened the final day of this year's gathering, but crowds still showed in full force for headliner Eminem.
The day started out with acts with local connections — hip-hop act STL GLD and indie rock trio Weakened Friends. Boston-based rapper Cousin Stizz performed later in the day. Indie folk rock throwbacks like The Decemberists and Fleet Foxes took the stage in the evening before the energy grew for rising R&B artist Khalid and Eminem.
The second day of the festival this year was heavy on rock of all styles, with a couple of rap acts sprinkled in.
Rappers Westside Gunn and Leikeli47 started the day off. California rock band Thee Oh Sees, Atlanta indie rock outfit Manchester Orchestra and Boston's '90s alt-rock band Belly pushed the afternoon forward. St. Vincent's deeply personal pop rock set capped off the afternoon, focusing mostly on songs from her latest album.
Tyler, the Creator, balanced the evening acts out — drawing a decidedly younger crowd over the hill to the Blue Stage while another crowd formed for Queens of the Stone Age at the Red Stage (which bled into the adjacent Green Stage crowd for Jack White's finale).
Boston Calling Music Festival jumpstarted the unofficial beginning of Boston summer Friday afternoon under the scorching hot sun.
It seems like the organizers made some strategic changes to the layout of the field, opened more food booths away from trafficked foot paths and added a few more bathroom pods to respond to complaints of exceedingly long lines last year.
Top names on Friday's lineup included the feminist protest band Pussy Riot, on its first North American tour; rock band Paramore; The National, a band including Aaron Dessner who is one of the main curators of Boston Calling's lineup; and Brandon Flowers-fronted rock band The Killers. Ending the first night of the festival, Flowers, like most of the performers on Friday, made some pointed efforts to thank Boston for its support and show off his knowledge of our sports teams.
This article was originally published on May 26, 2018.