Day Two was still chilly, but pleasant for most of the day. One great thing about this festival is that with only two stages, the crowd could change focus from one to the other without much of a set break and without feeling like they were missing anything. One of the performers praised that simplicity, and in a world full of so many demands on our attention, it felt like a vacation. The stages were so close together that we only had to turn our attention from one to the other, and even fans who camped out in the front row to see a favorite band playing later in the day could see everything that was going on. Of course, that also meant that there was no way to avoid bands you didn’t like, except going out into the city outside the festival. But I found that the bands all fit together beautifully. Like everything else, the lineup just made sense.
Day Two’s daytime lineup was full of high-energy bands like Maximo Park, Walk Off the Earth, The Neighbourhood, and Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls. The Neighbourhood’s hit “Sweater Weather” sounded particularly haunting as it echoed around the brick plaza.
Frank Turner is British, but his set felt particularly Irish/Bostonian, and the crowd really responded to him.
Day Two’s afternoon also included established indie darling Jenny Lewis and new ones Warpaint. The four-piece rock band Warpaint generated the most buzz and onstage admiration from the other bands.
We moved on to, as Decemberists frontman Colin Meloy, said, “the Pacific Northwest portion of the evening.” Rain started falling slowly during Seattle’s the Head and the Heart’s set, and progressed to a full downpour for Portland, Oregon’s the Decemberists. It continued and lessened, coming to an end as Seattle’s Death Cab for Cutie took the stage. The soaking rain was miserable, but created a bonding experience for the diehards who stood through it. Photographers put plastic bags over their cameras and kept shooting. Most of the crowd made it through to Death Cab’s set.
Another unusual thing about Boston Calling is that, unlike most other festivals, the fans went home or to hotels each night. That made the rain less of a problem, as we were all able to warm up, dry off, and recharge before the last day of music. This contributed to the atmosphere, which was overwhelmingly friendly through all three days.