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TV On The Radio at Boston Calling 2015

By Will Oliver, June 29th 2015

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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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Vance Joy at Boston Calling 2015

By Will Oliver, June 29th 2015

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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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Jason Isbell at Boston Calling 2015

By Will Oliver, June 29th 2015

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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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Lucius at Boston Calling 2015

By Will Oliver, June 29th 2015

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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 – ‘The Wolves Are Whispering’

By Will Oliver, June 26th 2015

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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The Lone Bellow at Boston Calling 2015

By Will Oliver, June 21st 2015

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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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ILoveMakonnen at Boston Calling 2015

By Will Oliver, June 18th 2015

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You probably know ILoveMakonnen best from his breakthrough hit “Tuesday,” which came out of no where to be one of the surprise hits of 2014. It probably didn’t hurt that the track featured Drake as the featured guest.

ILoveMakonnen, whose real name is Makonnen Sheran, was a replacement for Jungle, who had to drop off due to another conflict. The younger fans who cheered eagerly in the front of the crowd were clearly pleased with his presence, although Makonnen didn’t do much for me at all. All those who watched his set were having a lot of fun, predictably erupting once “Tuesday” was played. It will be interesting to see what Makonnen does from here on out, and if he can replicate the success of “Tuesday.”

Find some photos from his set posted below.
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Halsey at Boston Calling 2015

By Will Oliver, June 18th 2015

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Ashley Frangipane seems to have a blossoming career as the rising pop star Halsey. I came into her performance never hearing any of her music before. Her style of pop is hook friendly, with electronic undertones that give her a somewhat different spin on the genre, almost like a radio friendly Purity Ring or Sylvan Esso.

She’ll release her debut album Badlands on August 28 via Astralwerks Records. She’s also booked to open for Imagine Dragons tour later this year, so it’s safe to say that she’s well on her way to much bigger things.
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The Ballroom Thieves at Boston Calling 2015

By Will Oliver, June 18th 2015

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If there’s one thing that Boston Calling gets overwhelmingly right, is giving an early day set to a local up-and-coming Boston band. This is a refreshing aspect that I hope more festivals do as well, giving the festival a well rounded and grounded feeling that you sometimes lose in the grand scheme of it all.

This year the festival gave spotlight to Boston trio The Ballroom Thieves. Mixing elements of folk rock and americana, The Ballroom Thieves delivered something that you could enjoy even if you’re not normally one for that genre. They played tracks from their recently released debut album A Wolf In the Doorway, winning over those early enough there to catch the group.

They may be a new name right now, but I have a feeling this won’t be the last you hear of The Ballroom Thieves.
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Tomorrow night Unknown Mortal Orchestra will make their long-awaited live return to New York for a sold out performance at Warsaw in Brooklyn. Tomorrow night will feature an opening set from Brooklyn resident Buscabulla

The performance is a part of their tour for their newly released album Multi-Love, which takes their sound to an even new direction than ever before. Hearing Ruban Nielson and the rest of his band play live is a completely different experience than on record. I’ve seen them a few times now, and their live shows always leave me impressed. It will be interesting and exciting to see how he mixes the new material with his old.

If you can find a last minute ticket, you should find your way down to Warsaw tomorrow night, it’s sure to be a good one.
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