2014-09-04T11:31:24-04:00 2014-09-03T23:54:49-04:00

EARMILK's newbie guide to Boston Calling Fall 2014 [Festival Preview]

Despite many comparisons to neighboring metropolis New York, Boston does have a vibrant, though at times young, music culture that is largely comprised of students from respective colleges, as well as older Allston rock city and Cambridge scene staples. But the city had yet to offer a legitimate large-scale festival with pulling your hoodie up and singing like a little girl moments, until Boston Calling filled this void. Lighters are unfortunately forbidden within the festival grounds, but you get the idea. As a nod to the college drinking culture, beer is available at various vendors with an of age wristband and no fake IDs throughout the twenty-two performances on two separate stages that will stretch on throughout the weekend. 

Still in its infancy the first Boston Calling was held in May 2013 and has grown from bands on the verge of large scale success such as MS MR, who have continued to take off after SXSW 2014, local celebrities Bad Rabbits and Passion Pit to the gravity of performances by legitimate industry heavyweights Lorde and Nas x The Roots. For offbeat hipster fare this year Boston has enlisted rising pop star Sky Ferreira fresh off the success of sleeper album Night Time, My Time. But the festival has retained its local flavor with upstarts Clifflight, whose recent single “Morning Light,” premiered on Billboard and longstanding Boston-based group Gentleman Hall.

Held in the center of Boston at the City Hall Plaza, the attendance reflects the college atmosphere of the city itself with a large part of the audience being under 25. It even partnered with Sonicbids in order to give the multitude of student-fronted and up and coming bands in Boston a chance to perform. In just a year Boston Calling has grown from a 2-day to a 3-day festival, which runs Friday September 5th to Sunday September 7th and has gained 130,000 fans since it's first installment. Saturday and Sunday are definitely the hottest days of Boston Calling, with the longest sets and the biggest acts that 2014 has to offer paired with temperatures up to the high 80s. And so we’ll give a breakdown of what to expect over the weekend.

The festival begins on Friday with synth pop group Future Islands, classic and time-worn indie band Neutral Milk Hotel and the night's headliners The National to start off the biggest edition of Boston Calling yet. It can be seen as a warm-up to the rest of the weekend, as tickets are cheapest this night, gates open at 6pm and the last act ends at 11pm. The official Samuel Adams sponsored after party this night will be held at the Sinclair with Bombino as the headliner. 

Friday Set Times

Future Islands 6:45pm

Neutral Milk Hotel 8:00pm

The National 9:30pm



One only needs to look at the photo of headlining pop "Queen Bee" Lorde to know that Saturday is the day, with no 9am lectures the next day and the ability to just enjoy the night. The middle portion of the festival runs 1pm-11pm and includes rapper Childish Gambino, mash-up legend Girl Talk, indie rock band Volcano Choir, rock group The Hold Steady, indie pop act Bleachers and electro pop singer Sky Ferreira. For local flavor on Saturday the festival offers BU Student St. Nothing and rising electro pop group Clifflight. Boston Calling offers two official after parties this night, with White Denim headlining at the Sinclair and Gentleman Hall performing at Great Scott in Allston. 

Saturday Set Times

St. Nothing 1:05pm

Clifflight 1:40pm

S. Carey 2:15pm

Sky Ferreira 3:05pm

3:55pm Bleachers

5:00pm The Hold Steady

6:05pm Volcano Choir

Girl Talk 7:10pm

Lorde 8:15pm

9:30pm Childish Gambino



The final day of Boston Calling will be headlined by hip-hop superstar and all around staple Nas (performing with the Roots), which is potentially the biggest act in the genre to ever hit Boston in a festival setting. In addition acts such as The Replacements, Spoon, The 1975, Twenty One Pilots, Lake Street Drive, The War On Drugs, White Denim and San Fermin will build anticipation until this set as Sunday runs 1pm-11pm. Local group Gentleman Hall begin the final portion of Boston Calling with an early set and for those who don't have class the next day a partnered after party headlined by Questlove is offered. 

Sunday Set Times

Gentleman Hall 1:05pm

San Fermin 1:40pm

White Denim 2:15pm

The War On Drugs 3:05pm

Lake Street Drive 3:55pm

Twenty One Pilots 5:00pm

The 1975 6:05pm

Spoon 7:10pm

The Replacements 8:15pm

Nas x The Roots 9:20pm



For more information on set times, line-up, after party and ticket information visit the Boston Calling website. 

Events · Events Stage · Festival


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