Day Three saw the return of warmer weather and sunshine. The lineup was a mix of young indie rockers and the more established bands that influenced them, and included plenty of shout-outs from stage to stage. Philadelphia’s the Districts and Kurt Vile and the Violators played back-to-back. Vile provided a sweet soundtrack for a sunny afternoon.
Built to Spill, Phosphorescent, and Tegan and Sara were some of the more-established bands of the day, with the influential Built to Spill, especially, generating excitement and anticipation for fans and respect from other bands.
Much of Boston Calling was tailored to high school and college-age indie kids, with Bastille being one of the bands people were most likely to stake out spots in the front row to see. Like the Neighbourhood’s “Sweater Weather”, Bastille’s “Pompeii” is a great summer anthem that floated beautifully within the brick buildings of City Hall. Another benefit of this unusual festival space was that the sound was excellent all weekend. There was just one dip in the brick plateau where the echo was unpleasant, but everywhere else was as clear as the water of a secluded lake.
Brand New expressed appreciation for the fans and other bands before their explosive set. The breeze rolled smoke from the smoke machines out over the crowd like New England fog.
Finally, the band that many festival goers had been waiting for, Modest Mouse, was ready to take the stage. But in a classy move, we were reminded of the reason for Memorial Day Weekend’s celebration with the U.S. Air Force Heritage of America Band performing the National Anthem.
Modest Mouse lived up to their promise as headliners, getting the crowd dancing through the last part of the evening with classics like “Float On”.
As the lights went down on the third Boston Calling festival, I marveled, as I had all weekend, about how well-organized and friendly it all was. It was a huge undertaking, but the festival organizers were so responsive and so focused on giving fans a great experience that it all seemed easy and fun. Which, of course, is what the first holiday weekend of summer should be all about.