Boston Calling VII In Review

For those of you who were unfortunately unable to attend this year's spring session of Boston Calling, which ran from May 27-29, allow me to recap the unforgettable experience for you. Instead of going through each and every performance individually, I am going to give you a little rundown of the top 6 most fun performances to watch and be in the audience for (in my opinion of course).

1) Janelle Monae
This performance was definitely jam-packed with fun! Being in the front row at barricade for this performance felt like an absolute dream. Janelle and her crew definitely took us to Wondaland for the experience of a lifetime. The energy in the air was electric as the whole audience swayed along to every song and belted out the lyrics. I definitely felt blessed by Janelle's radiant black girl magic.

2) Lizzo
Speaking of black girl magic, Janelle wasn't the only one who graced us with it at Boston Calling this year. On Saturday, May 28th, I arrived at Boston Calling around 1:00, just in time for a performer that I had previously never heard of called Lizzo. Lizzo is just one person, an unapologetic and energetic black woman who absolutely exuded confidence every second that she was on that stage. As soon as we walked over to the stage, we were greeted by Lizzo's backup dancers twerking upside down in handstands, followed by them squirting the first three rows of the audience with giant gold water guns. It didn't matter that the majority of the people in that crowd did not know the words to Lizzo's songs because everyone there was having fun. It was unbearably hot that day, but that did not stop my friend and I from having a blast!

3) Christine and the Queens
I had never heard of Christine and the Queens prior to this year's festival, but after seeing them live, I am sorry to say that I have definitely been missing out! Aside from Christine's beautiful voice, one thing that definitely set Christine and the Queens apart from the other acts were their amazing dance moves. Christine and their dancers had the most intricate and interesting choreography that was complex, yet executed with the utmost carefree grace and ease that captivated the crowd. In addition to that, Christine also added representation for the LGBTQ+ community, as artist Heloise Letissier, the woman behind the stage character Christine, is bisexual.

4) Haim
Of course, this list wouldn't be right if i didn't put my favorite indie rock band of sisters in it! For years, I have eagerly awaited the day when I would get to see the beautiful Haim sisters live in concert, and this year's Boston Calling finally made that dream come true. To sum it up in one word, the Haim sisters are badass, and they exude it through their live performances. I found myself screaming the lyrics and tossing my head around wildly to every song, almost to the point of giving myself whiplash. The Haim sisters made it a point to talk to their Boston fans, commenting on how beautiful everyone looked and giving the audience quick anecdotes that coincided with each song they played. They even took it a step further and performed a couple of unreleased songs that are going to be on the new album, which of course made everyone ecstatic. Overall, the Haim sisters are dedicated to doing their thing and making people happy while they do it, which I love about them.

5) Vince Staples
During Vince's set, there was no way to ignore the high energy and brash confidence that he embodied. Vince wanted everyone on their feet at all times--not just the audience directly in front of him, but the festival-goers who were sitting idly by, relaxing and nodding their heads nonchalantly to the beat. That wasn't good enough for Vince. He wanted to start a riot, he wanted to start a party, he wanted everyone to feel as alive and electric as he was, even if just for an hour or so. Vince really worked on making a connection with the audience, warming us up to him quickly by cracking many funny jokes throughout his performance. Seeing Vince perform live again is definitely something that I would enjoy.
6) Michael Christmas
As an artist who grew up in Boston, Michael Christmas knows the importance of giving back to your hometown and reciprocating the feelings of love and respect to your fans. He repeatedly thanked Boston, expressing his gratitude for all of the love and support that his hometown fans have shown him throughout his career. Michael was yet another one who loved to interact with the audience, starting chants, asking the audience questions, bringing on surprise guest performers such as OG Swaggerdick, and even giving his hat to an audience member. Even after his set was over, Michael Christmas was perfectly content with chilling out for a bit and walking around the festival, blending in with the masses. My friends and I even walked right by him (although I was/am too awkward to ask for a picture). Regardless, it goes to show you that it really wasn't all about the fame to him, but about staying loyal and connected to his fans.

text and viusals: anéya sousa
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