- By Bobby Nicholas III -
A steady breeze kept the blazing heat away on the Harvard Athletic Complex as fans lined up for the first day of Boston Calling 2018. As I was waiting in line for a locker, I met some fellow festival goers - a couple who came up from New Jersey and a guy from Beverly traveling on his own. But he wasn’t really alone - he was surrounded by a family of music lover in Upper Allston for one thing - a great weekend of great music.
The day started with smaller bands This is the Kit and Charly Bliss taking the red and blue stages respectively.
They faced a huge crowd of fans who were relieved to get some great live music after waiting in the long lines.
Right as Big Thief was ending with a killer guitar solo on the Green Stage, I staked my claim in front of the red stage for Perfume Genius. The guitar solo ended and I suddenly felt a rush of hundreds of people making their way for the dramatic opening of Perfume Genius’ set. As Mike Hadreas (Perfume Genius’ real name) was wrapping himself on the microphone cable, a beach ball started its way around the crowd, which later hit me in the head. But it’s alright.
Then, as the sun was starting it’s descent below the horizon, Maggie Rogers comes out with a bright sun smack dab in the middle on her shirt with a slow and airy intro to “On + Off.”
We all rushed to the green stage after Maggie Rogers for Portugal. The Man’s set.
6:55 came... but no one was on the stage. Instead, the screen lit up with Beavis and Butthead proclaiming them to be the “greatest band on earth.” They cut out, and the band came on stage with a cover of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall.” The setting sun hid behind some clouds to showcase the mesmerizing visuals behind the band on the giant screen.
After this, The National hit the red stage. Actress Natalie Portman, who is showcasing a film festival at the arena during the festival, came out to introduce The National. To this, they responded with modest “that was nice. Thanks, Natalie!”
At the same time across the festival, Paramore came out on the blue stage. Before beginning “Still Into You,” Hayley Williams proclaimed that it went out to themselves: Paramore. How humble. Nearing the end of their set, Williams goes on to say “we are all alive at the same time enjoying music together.” Well said, Hayley.
Paramore and The National both ended, and every person at the Harvard Athletic Complex shuffled over to the green stage for the headlining act - The Killers.
Opening with “Mr. Brightside,” the crowd started jumping and screaming. Somehow, the solid ground beneath me was bouncing. It was from the jumping caused by thousands of people. After a great set with bringing a drummer from the audience on stage and a tribute to Tom Petty with “American Girl,” The Killers ended the first night of Boston Calling. But right after, Ronnie Vannucci, Jr, the drummer, came out and started throwing his drumsticks out to the audience, and even a cymbal from his drum set.
And thus ended the first night of three amazing days of music at Boston Calling. Stay with WERS on here and on social for the latest.