1_Fidlar_Bowery Ballroom

In late May hard-hitting rockers FIDLAR and METZ brought their tour to Bowery Ballroom for the first of a sold out two-night run, with a show at Music Hall of Williamsburg coming the following night. This was a duel-headlining tour, with the two bands rotating as headliners each night. The show featuring an opening set from Brooklyn’s Honduras, who seem to be opening all the hot shows this year.

1_Metz_Bowery Ballroom

Canadian rockers METZ released their second self-titled album METZ II earlier in the year via Sub Pop, and they brought it’s hard-hitting garage rock jams to life with purpose. The crowd didn’t waste anytime working up a sweat, throwing their bodies willingly into one another, with beer flying in the air almost in cinematic fashion. This was my first time seeing them live since their breakthrough CMJ run in 2012, and they were just as good, if not better, than I recalled.

The fun continued with L.A. punk-rockers FIDLAR, who took the shows reckless nature to even further heights. Their set was a rapturous ball of energy that just begs for bodies to be flying at all angles, with crowd-surfers working together around the clock. Their set had Bowery Ballroom crowd so crazy that midway through their powerhouse set the venue had to put one of their security guards on stage alongside them. I’ve seen countless shows at Bowery, but this was a first.

2_Fidlar_Bowery Ballroom

It speaks volumes to FIDLAR, who are able to summon this kind of free spirit chaos at a moments notice, making it all seem effortless. But that’s not to say that frontman Zach Carper and the rest of the group aren’t ready to throw their bodies onto the floor in dramatic fashion when need be. They put their all into their performance, and the crowd takes notice and responds.

They’ll return with their sophomore album Too on September 4 via Mom + Pop Music. It’s bound to be the soundtrack to latenight shitshows around college campuses everywhere. And that’s the way it should be.

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1_Beck_Boston Calling

This May marked my second time at Boston Calling, solidifying it along with New York’s Governors Ball and Delaware’s Firefly as one of the premier music festivals in the East Coast. Every spring and fall fans come together in City Hall Plaza for an unforgettable weekend of music. and this May was no different.

Although Friday only featured three acts, Boston Calling proved the old saying quality over quantity still rings true, with Sharon Van Etten, Beck, and Tame Impala teaming up to provide my favorite day of the entire weekend. That’s not to say that Saturday and Sunday didn’t pack quite the punch, as sets from My Morning Jacket, Pixies, St. Vincent, Tenacious D, Run The Jewels were some of the most memorable ones that you’d find all summer.

We had a grand old time at Boston Calling this spring, and hope to return very soon in the immediate future.

Below you can find links to each individual performance recap post, along with highlights of our favorite photos of each of the artist.

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1_The Pixies_Boston Calling 2015

Who better to close out the Boston Calling Music Festival, than local Boston heroes, Pixies?

I last caught the Pixies at The Capitol Theatre last May, and since then, the group has been touring steadily for the past year. Newly acquired bassist Paz Lenchantin has really grown to be a nice fit for the group live, doing the best that anyone could possibly do to replace the irreplaceable Kim Deal.

The band used their headlining spot to deliver a packed 32-song set full of all the hits as well as some more obscure cuts in between. It was a larger than life reminder of what makes the Pixies one of rock’s all time greats, and to see them still going strong against all the odds, well, that’s what it’s all about.

It was a perfect sendoff to a wonderful weekend of music.

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1_Tenacious D_Boston Calling 2015

I’ll be honest, one of the true drawing points of the 2015 spring edition of Boston Calling was the booking of Tenacious D, the comedic rock duo of Jack Black and Kyle Gass. I never actually thought I’d get to see them play live, which made their appearance one of the must sees performances of the summer festival circuit.

The group had festivalgoers simultaneously rocking out and laughing historically along to their rocking anthems and freaky comedic skits. Fans of their albums were entertained by faithful renditions of songs that played out just as much as a theatrical performance, as a head-banging rock concert. It was a glorious goofy set, but a good time that no attendees will be forgetting anytime soon.

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1_TV On The Radio_Boston Calling

After catching TV On The Radio rock the beautiful Kings Theatre just a few days before, I once again caught up with the Brooklyn rockers at Boston Calling last May.

The festival setting allowed the guys to trim the set to something more of a greatest hits set, starting with “Young Liars” and closing with “Staring At The Sun.” When you get to fill in the rest of a set with “DLZ,” “Dancing Choose,”” and “Wolf Like Me,” you’re in business.

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1_Vance Joy_Boston Calling 2015

Rising singer-songwriter Vance Joy made his mark on Boston with a crowd-pleasing performance that proved that he’s a name you’ll be seeing plenty of over the next few years.

This was pretty obvious just based on the nearly constantly radio play of his single “Riptide.” But it was the cheering fanatic fans of Joy’s that made up the front rows of the Boston Calling crowd that made it perfectly clear that Joy is a star in the making. I guess Taylor Swift sees the same thing, as she brought him along as an opener for her current stadium tour.
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1_Jason Isbell_Boston Calling 2015

Jason Isbell has had a successful solo career since departing from Drive-By Truckers. Since 2007 the alt-country singer has released five albums, with the latest album, Something More Than Free, coming next month via Southeastern Records.

He delighted the Boston Calling crowd with a set of folk-minded songs with a passionate homecooked way that was a more heartfelt “country” than the sort of stuff you hear on the radio and ends up the butt of a joke.

Isbell has not only seperated himself from his previous work with DBT, but truly emerged as a truly successful frontman.

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1_Lucius_Boston Calling 2015

Brooklyn’s very own Lucius came to the rescue after Chet Faker was forced to cancel his Boston Calling performance after a freak accident left him unable to perform. While I was intrigued to catch Faker perform, I was perfectly content with getting another shot at seeing Lucius perform.

The band, led by Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig, performed a stunning set of music that hit that mid-day sweet spot, winning over the entire crowd with ease. They also shared a brand new song which will most likely appear on their new album, the follow-up to their 2013 sophomore record, Wildewoman.

Find a video of the new song below, along with photos from their set.

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Bang Gang

This week Bardi Johannsson has returned with a brand new album under his Bang Gang moniker, an atmospheric electronic wonder titled The Wolves Are Whispering. While many other albums have been overhyped this summer, not many pack as many instant hooks and delights as Johannsoon does on his new LP. It may be an album better suited for late night listening during a cold winter night, but it’s magic is still plenty welcome in the summer.

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1_The Lone Bellow_Boston Calling 2015

Brooklyn group The Lone Bellow took over the Boston Calling stage with a passionate display of rootsy folk-rock tunes that made for a perfect mid-day Sunday performance.

They shared plenty of cuts from Then Came the Morning, their latest album, released earlier in the year via Descendant Records. The group, led by the passionate frontman and lead singer, Zach Williams, gave a memorable performance that reached down to the deepest part of their souls. The group’s strength is their ability to pile on their powerhouse vocals to create something very human and authentic. They’re the sort of group meant to be seen live, to touch you in the most natural way imaginable.

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