BlogDH goes to Boston Calling

Between A Better World By Design and A Slightly Better World By Design, a lot of great things happened on campus this past weekend. Not all students opted to stay in Providence, though, and instead took a train-ride trek to the 6th installment of Boston Calling Music Festival.  This two-stage festival occurs twice a year (once in September and once in May) and spans over the course of three days. There are never overlapping acts, never obtrusively massive crowds, and only a few places with low visibility of the stages, making this festival pretty exceptional for discovering (or rediscovering) some great acts. Single day tickets are usually around $85 and previous headliners include Lorde, Beck, The National, Kendrick Lamar, Vampire Weekend, etc.

In case you didn’t heed the call, here are 10 things you might’ve missed this weekend.

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1. Some good freebies 

Boston Calling is 60% about music and 40% about collecting all the free things distributed around the perimeter of the fest. Polar Seltzer gets the MVP award for giving away sets of friendship bracelets that compliment each other by saying “Polar” and “Seltzer,” and also using a massive slingshot to launch foam polar bears into the crowd. Sam Adams shelled out baseball caps, Kind Bars tried to make us forget about that FDA scandal by distributing granola, and it was actually impossible to walk anywhere without being offered some free cough drops courtesy of Ludens.

2. Blankets

Without fail, every night around 7 p.m. it would suddenly occur to me that it’s basically October and thus basically freezing. My denim jacket (the only jacket I packed) didn’t cut it. The majority of festival-goers were wiser, though, and brought blankets. Not coats, not gloves, not scarves, but blankets. Patterned blankets, wool blankets, fuzzy blankets… keep this in mind when it starts to inevitably snow in Providence and you’re looking for a  new fashion statement.

3. Doomtree’s Crack Attack

Doomtree brought an intense and high energy performance to the Saturday stage, and however briefly, got the crowd to chant “crack” as part of “No Way.” And yes, it does beg the obvious Mean Girls reference.

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4. Father John Misty throws the mic

Father John Misty is known as much for his brutally honest lyrics as he is for is brutally honest on-stage remarks. He danced atop the drum set, against his microphone, and in the audience all while pointing out banality of life and hedonism of festivals. He did not drop the mic after his last note, but rather threw it on the ground and walked off.  This gets my pick for favorite performance of the festival.

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Concert Knowledge: 6 things I learned at the Oddball Comedy Tour

The Funny or Die Presents Oddball Comedy and Curiosity Tour (official name) hit Mansfield on Sunday. If you’ve never been to Mansfield, it’s a nowhereseville located somewhere between Providence and Boston that happens to be home to the Comcast Center. Over the course of the night, it was referred to by comedians as “sort-of Boston,” “almost Boston,” “kind-of Boston,” and “greater Boston area.” (Boston jokes, in light of recent events, were off-limits to all except emcee/Roast legend Jeff Ross and headliner Dave Chapelle.) So, how was the show? Fucking epic. Here, in list form, is what I learned at the festival.

1. Dave Chappelle’s still got it. I’ve never been the biggest Chappelle fan, so considering the now-notorious Hartford incident only a few stops earlier in the tour, I expected very little. But from his grandiose entry (silhouetted behind a white sheet, backed by a pump-up rap song) to his wide-ranging material, Chappelle hit often and missed hardly ever. He addressed the elephant in the room early and often, shitting on Hartford like no one has ever shat on Hartford. He ranged from material on his family to the FBI to the weirdness of the city of Boston (something involving a racist homeless guy with a hammer) and drew laughs consistently on every subject. The drunk Boston bros in front of me especially loved it, which brings me to…

2. Boston bros suck. My friend and I got stuck sitting behind four bearded, backwards-Patriots-cap-wearing dudes who seemed to derive a majority of their satisfaction in life from being big enough for no one to really fuck with them. They were rocking some Duck Dynasty lite version beards, too, just to add to the douche factor. The bros would not shut up during Flight of the Conchords, Chappelle’s co-headliner. The bros said to each other roughly fifty times each, “They might be funny if I could understand what the fuck they were saying,” and responded to every Conchords line with “No more,” or “We want Chappelle!” They were awful, but… Continue Reading


Concert Knowledge: 5 things I learned at Boston Calling

(BlogDH) Boston Calling

After a very successful and well-attended Boston Calling Music Festival last spring, the organizers announced that they would be holding a second festival in the fall. I stumbled upon the announcement as I was studying for finals and going stir-crazy on the fourth floor of the Rock. Maybe it was the killer line-up or the fact that I hadn’t seen the light of day in what felt like ages, but regardless, I vowed to myself that I would be standing (or mostly sitting… let’s be real) among that trendy crowd in the coming fall. Here are five things I learned from attending this authentically New England music festival: Continue Reading