Review: The Boston Calling Music Festival 2014 – The Greatest Force on Earth (PICS)

The semi-annual Boston Calling Music Festival held at Government Center this past weekend was a celebration of not only music, but the human spirit. Music and love are not so different from one another, both invoking feelings of passion when experiencing either. The passion in the eyes of Jesse Lacey, the guitarist for Brand New, while he’s shredding in front of a crowd of thousands is the same passion in the eyes of a man who proposed to his now fiancé during The Head and the Heart’s set on Saturday. We can’t explain why we feel the way we do when a certain song comes on but when Dan Smith, the lead singer for Bastille, tells thousands of people to all jump at once, we obey without question; riding the energy of the crowd.

Everyone in attendance at Boston Calling was so full of an energy that can only be achieved when surrounded by thousands of people feeling the exact same thing. It’s the kind of atmosphere that will turn strangers into close friends. Three days of good vibes created by bands who travel all over the country to be there. Whether they’re old time veterans like Modest Mouse, or playing the biggest show of their lives like the members of The Box Tiger; the crowd (including me) loved every second of it.

This was my first musical festival ever and I had no idea what to expect. By the end I realized I had just witnessed something that not many people get to see; I witnessed 22,500 people living and breathing as one single entity.  This confirmed to me that music is the greatest force on Earth.

Twenty-three bands over three days sounds like an impossible task, but Boston Calling was so well run that everything went off without a hitch. There were two stages set up; the Red Stage and the Blue Stage. When one band was performing another band would set up to play next and so on and so forth until the end of the night. The whole event was really well organized allowing people to focus on the music instead of waiting for bands to get ready to go on stage.

Plenty of diverse food stalls were on scene to keep up with the enormous crowd. You had your generic fried food but you also had stalls like Chipotle and Tasty Burger which were surprisingly cheap at $5 for a burger or taco plate. Samuel Adam’s beer was also being served. The security task force assigned to this event did a really good job at making sure nothing went wrong. Their presence was known but it didn’t feel overbearing. People could let loose and have a great time and still know that they were safe.

This September, Boston Calling returns to Government Center with its biggest lineup to date; Lorde, Childish Gambino, and Nas, among many others, are all scheduled to perform.  Once again giving the people of Boston an outlet to sing, dance, and just be free.

You can see the rest of’s coverage of Boston Calling 5/24/14 and Boston Calling 5/25/14 at these links. 

Special thanks to Staff Writer Chris Gesualdo and Photo Journalist Eric Gesualdo for this great coverage.