Recap: Boston Calling Delivers First Class Music Festival Experience for 7th Installment

Sia closes out the first day of Boston Calling Music Festival on May 27th, 2016 (Benjamin Esakof/Roman's Rap-Up).

With its assortment of female powerhouse vocalists, EDM duos, and synthy alt-rock groups, Boston Calling was business as usual this year.  Check out some of the highlights from the weekend below.

Friday, May 27:


One of the most anticipated acts of the festival, Sia did not disappoint.    Besides a change in cast, the set was not much different than her explosive Coachella performance: blank white stage, Sia off to one side, and stunning dancing throughout.  The crowd ate Sia's polished performance right up.

Sufjan Stevens:

Before Sia, we were treated to the neon-splashed, balloon-covered spectacle that was Sufjan Stevens.  With intricate bird wings and waving inflatable people, this quirky performer's visuals stole the show.  Stevens told the crowd that, after singing songs about death on tour for the past year, he was ready to have some fun.  With the crowd on board, his performance was nothing but fun.

Saturday, May 28:


As the last act of the night, Robyn turned Boston Calling into a night club.  Instead of performing song-by-song, the swedish turned her discography into a single 90-minute dance remix.  Oh, and she didn't stop dancing the entire time.


Odesza performs on the second day of Boston Calling Music Festival on May 28th, 2016 (Benjamin Esakof/Roman's Rap-Up).

Odesza was one of the few true EDM performances we've seen thus far at Boston Calling.  The duo performed with a full band, including a full horn section, in front of a giant LED screen.  The crowd was treated to a series of colorful visuals reminiscent of the group's album covers.  One of the bigger names in the festival circuit this year, Odesza was a blast.

Miike Snow:

In contrast to previous tours, Miike Snow's festival performance was a more intimate take.  There was a lot of love in the crowd for their three new singles ("I Feel the Weight", "Heart is Full", and especially "Genghis Khan").  Though it was clear that their classic "Animal" was the crowd favorite.

Sunday, May 29:


Disclosure closes out the third day of Boston Calling Music Festival on May 29th, 2016 (Benjamin Esakof/Roman's Rap-Up).

The star EDM duo had a fantastic performance to close out the weekend.  The stage became a wall of LED screens showing crude outlines of star vocalists faces in the style of their album covers.  Disclosure brought some of the biggest cheers of the whole weekend, especially with their hits "Magnets" and "Latch".  The group also was the only group with an encore, bringing out special guest Brendan Reilly.


The Haim sisters brought mounds of energy to the red stage.  The stage was a dazzling array of old-school theater-style lights and giant mirror screens.  With sing-alongs and banter between songs, Haim engaged the crowd more than any other performer this weekend (for instance, the sisters explained how "My Song 5" came about after the three sisters "were cheated on someone in the same damn week").  The trio even brought an earlier band, Christine and the Queens, back on stage to keep the party going.

Janelle Monáe:

Monáe's act was polished perfection.  Dressed in black and white and arriving Hannibal Lecter-style to the stage, Monáe was a fiery performer.  The superstar devoted her show to powerful messages of feminism and racial equality.  Highlights include a touching Prince tribute, a spot-on cover of the Jackson 5's "I Want You Back", and her mega-hit "Yoga".


Boston Calling organizers proved once again (for the 7th time) that they know how to throw a seamless, trouble free music festival in the heart of a bustling city. With a diverse line up with acts  in almost every genre, there was something for everyone. Combine the great artist lineup with a hefty selection of local food and beer options, it would be hard not to have a good time. It will be interesting to see how well Boston Calling scales to an even bigger music festival, as the event's organizers recently announced an expansion for 2017. If this 7th installment of the music series is any indication, though, expect it to be another unforgettable weekend.