After a chaotic day of weather delays at the Boston Calling Music Festival on May 28, festival activity was buzzing on the final day of the festival, May 29. Tens of thousands of people attended over the weekend, and on the final day, crowds bounced between stages, dodging a fleet of golf carts down the packed aisles, to see the jam-packed lineup of performers. Boston Calling’s final day offered a day of musical indulgence and good vibes.
As the evening approached, more and more people arrived at the festival in anticipation of Metallica, the evening’s headliner. Fans wore band merchandise that covered Metallica’s dozens of tours over the past 41 years.
The last day had an air of suspense. After The Strokes were canceled as headliners the day before, the legendary metal band’s renowned reputation has raised high expectations for their set. Metallica has surpassed them all.
Metallica concludes the festival with an unprecedented set, exposing an extensive discography
Thousands of festival-goers listened to Weezer’s set on the red stage from afar, planting themselves in front of Boston Calling’s main green stage in anticipation of Metallica’s 9 p.m. set.
As the sun sets, anticipation grows among the massive crowd. Every sign of movement from the stage sparked loud cheers from fans. After a suspenseful silence, the screens showed a spaghetti western intro video for the band.
Metallica abruptly burst onto the scene 15 minutes late, and fans whipped out their phones, which shone through the sea of festival-goers, recording the revered band’s opening song, “Whiplash,” from the 1983 album Kill them all.
Metallica masterfully went from song to song, each one eliciting intense screams from many fans.
Guitarists James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett smiled happily at the audience’s vigor in reaction to the classic hits. Armed with more than four decades of tunes, Metallica has arranged a sentimental setlist that has guided Boston Calling participants on their musical journey.
From “Ride The Lightning” to “Fade To Black”, the band members showed passion and love for their craft.
Several mosh pits formed during Metallica’s set, prompting some fans to make their way forward to join in. People stormed and shook the barricades to get as close as possible while Lars Ulrich roared on his drums.
Of all the stage performances, the famous anti-war anthem “One” mesmerized the audience the most. Grim glimpses of the grim reality of war with images displayed on screens drove home the message of the lyrics denouncing governments for sending troops to be maimed in the conflict.
Fans young and old jumped to Metallica’s ballads and long guitar solos.
Metallica worked their way through the act, playing hits from their extensive discography. The group predictably ended with the crowd-favorite “Master of Puppets” resulting in energetic cheers.
As Metallica prepared to leave the stage, Hetfield wistfully addressed the audience.
“Thank you, thank you God, and to everyone who makes this possible,” Hetfield said. “Music saves my life every day.”
The audience stayed put as Metallica left the stage only to return a minute later with an encore of “Battery” and “Nothing Else Matters.” On the latter, Hammett missed the guitar intro and playfully acknowledged it.
“Enter Sandman” concluded Metallica’s show as fans proudly sang the lyrics.
Before leaving, Metallica spent several minutes with the audience, talking to crowd members, throwing guitar picks and sticks. People rushed to the stage and tackled to get their hands on these exclusive Metallica tokens.
Glass Animals Dominate The Stage With Ease During Electropop Performances
The Glass Animals stage shone with 80s-style decorations that mirrored those of the band Dreamland scrapbook art. Thousands of Boston Calling attendees lined the grounds of Harvard’s athletics complex to hear the British indie band play their hits.
Glass Animals opened with “Life Itself,” building the energy within the crowd with its tension-filled repetitive beat. Many spectators forced their way forward, leaving little room for dancing throughout the set.
The band then performed “Tangerine,” a song with cryptic lyrics that depict a confused and distant relationship. The song also gained volume and intensity as Glass Animals played with ease.
“When you’re drunk, watching movies / Where are you? What happened?” lead singer Dave Bayley sang.
“Space Ghost Coast To Coast” featured a prominent bass that thrilled the audience during the vocal break. When not singing, Bayley often strutted on stage and interacted with fans. The track led to synchronized head-butts in the crowd.
Glass Animals’ sound relies heavily on synths and electronic keyboards, and instead of using guitar or drum solos to leave an impression on listeners, the band makes its mark through a captivating display of charisma. and magnetism. Bayley has won the favor of the crowd with witty remarks during her interactions with the public.
“Wow, what is it? Someone is smoking something really strong out front here,” Bayley said, to loud cheers.
The group’s biggest hits have proven to be fan favorites, including the song “Heat Waves” – a staple of popular music since its release. The band extended the song in their live version to close out their set and encouraged fans to sing along as Bayley paused to hear the voices of the crowd.
Japanese Breakfast Performs Electric Set Fueled by Growing Success
Festival-goers crowded the floor near the Blue Stage for the Japanese Breakfast performance. Many more lay on the grassy hills bordering in the shade to catch a glimpse of the pop band’s set.
Lead singer Michelle Zauner commented on the thrilling mayhem of the past week as the band performed live on SNL on May 21 and at the Solid Sound Festival in North Adams, Mass. earlier in the weekend.
Japanese Breakfast opened with “Paprika” and “Be Sweet,” two tracks from their 2021 album Jubilee. Boston Calling’s stage backdrop shone with strobing kumquat fruit, adding to the aesthetically pleasing energy the band cultivated. Zauner wore an airy white outfit and bassist Deven Craige wore a bright blue suit.
Zauner introduced several songs with a short joke about what inspired them, sparking laughs among many fans.
“This song is about people having too much money,” Zauner said of “Savage Good Boy.”
The ensemble incorporated a variety of instruments, including a violin, gong, tambourines and saxophone. Two keyboardists performed in the vocal break of “Savage Good Boy”, playing opposite each other.
Zauner often danced and used the whole stage in his act, sometimes jumping up to other band members while singing. She played synth during the outro of “Road Head”.
Japanese Breakfast performed their Boston Calling set with obvious delight, reflecting the lighthearted vibe of their discography. Zauner smiled when she noticed fans recognizing her music, and she encouraged the audience to jump on “Slide Tackle.”