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Boston Calling 2016: Sunday

By Kay T. Xia, Crimson Staff Writer


On the third and final day of Boston Calling, the weather took a chilly turn, remaining cloudy and in the 60s all afternoon and evening. Festival-goers opted less for the Coachella-worthy outfits common on previous days and more for the classic New England sweatshirt and leggings combination. The rain did hold off until after midnight, however, so though it was windy and cold, it stayed dry.

The Sunday lineup opened with local rapper Michael Christmas. He was followed by French singer and dance group Christine & the Queens, who delivered an upbeat and fun performance, easing the audience into a dancing mood. Next Unknown Mortal Orchestra gave an instrumentally impressive set. They played song after song with little talking in between, and often the singing felt more like an accompaniment to the elaborate guitar melody. By the time Vince Staples ran onto the stage amidst a heavy beat, the crowd had grown considerably in size and risen in energy. Staples, looking casual in a blue sweatshirt and jeans, had the crowd jumping and clapping at his command as he walked back and forth, rapping into the microphone.

My ears were ringing from the bass of Staples’s performance, so I took a break afterwards. I watched Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires from the balcony of the VIP area. The Government Center plaza was filling up as the bulk of the festival-goers arrived. Charles Bradley was followed by The Front Bottoms, who gave a humorous performance with witty and at times snarky lyrics.

I decided to check out the comedy entertainment around the back. It was a much smaller stage, with around 50 people gathered. Many of them seemed to be hanging around while eating dinner as the stage was set up near the food vendors. While the comedians were difficult to hear over the music unless you were standing close to them, this new addition to Boston Calling seems promising, even if the main focus remained on the musical set.


I returned to the main stages in time for Elle King, known for her hit “Ex’s and Oh’s.” With laidback humor, Elle encouraged the cheering crowd to drink and have fun. Janelle Monáe had the whole audience dancing to her infectious beat with her energetic and moving performance, closing with a tribute to Prince. The sky grew dark as the three sisters of HAIM swayed side by side to the tunes of the guitars slung over each of their shoulders. The evening capped off with Disclosure, who wrapped up the weekend with their 2013 hit, “Latch,” to which the riled-up audience screamed along, jumping and dancing under flashing lights.

Check out Kay's review of various acts on Sunday here.

Check out Kay's review of Janelle Monáe's set here.

—Staff writer Kay T. Xia can be reached at kay.xia@thecrimson.com.

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