Boston calling bands, Boston Calling moments, Boston Calling memories. Have a seat and let me tell you a few stories.

I feel compelled to do so because not too long ago my good friend and festival organizer Mike Snow joined me to chat about a half-dozen of his favorite festival moments from over the years. We talked about Metallica‘s headlining set in 2022, of course.

We also covered The National headlining the very first Boston Calling Music Festival on City Hall Plaza back in May of 2013, and Jack Black of Tenacious D vibing to Pixies at the May 2015 edition of the festival. You can listen to our conversation and dive deeper into those stories here.

Show-goers exit Boston Calling Music Festival in 2023 as the final Boston Calling bands perform

Boston Calling Bands: Looking Back

I went through the full lineup of past Boston Calling Music Festivals and, in doing so, came to the conclusion that I’ve attended every single day of every single festival…except for the very first one. Not that I didn’t want to be there for the maiden voyage!

Back in May of 2013, my kiddos were little, and Memorial Day meant spending the long weekend with my parents in Maine and a day trip to Storyland in Glen, NH. Since then, I’ve traded the ball pit for the circle pit. When appropriate, of course. You know, like when Converge played in 2017.

Metallica lights up the stage during Boston Calling Weekend 2022.

Boston Calling Bands: This Year’s Model

Before we dive in, a few notes on Boston Calling 2024. I put together this handy primer of all the important things you need to know before you head to the Harvard Athletic Complex on Memorial Day weekend. Boston Calling bands, set times, etc.

I also put all the Boston Calling Weekend details in one place, so you can plan your weekend accordingly. And of course, tickets are still available. Get them here, along with any other Boston Calling info you might be looking for. And keep your eyes peeled: I’ll be on hand for this year’s. It’s what I do.

  • Spring 2014: Frank Turner

    When Boston Calling launched on City Hall Plaza in 2013, I was working at RadioBDC,’s streaming radio station. Their early lineups were basically our playlist, so we were at every festival, conducting interviews in the media tent. In May 2014, I was tasked with interviewing Death Cab For Cutie offsite at their hotel. The interview went long, so I was late getting back to media to interview Frank Turner.’s Perry Eaton started the chat and saved my bacon. In fact, you can see me running up the ramp in the background of the clip.

  • Fall 2014: The Replacements

    I got to see The Replacements live on City Hall Plaza. That is all.

  • Spring 2015: Krill

    Beloved Boston indie rock band Krill opened the Saturday festivities in May of 2015. Frontman Jonah Furman left the reverb on his mic for the entire set, even for his witty banter between songs. No footage exists online that I can find, which is a shame. It was quite the moment.

  • Spring 2015: St. Vincent

    This was St. Vincent’s first time playing Boston Calling, and my first time seeing her live. It wouldn’t be her last, or mine. She’s one of the best live acts going these days.

  • Spring 2015: Beck

    Wrote about Beck’s 2015 headlining set a bit ago. Check it out.

  • Fall 2015: CHVRCHES

    I got my kids into CHVRCHES, so it was quite a treat to have the band’s Boston Calling set be one of their first live music experiences. I even gave my youngest a shout when I interviewed the band backstage.

  • 2016: Charles Bradley

    As I wrote before: Charles Bradley, quite literally, stole the show. At the beginning of his set, there were but a handful of people in front of his stage. By the end, the entire festival field had congregated. A magical moment from a magic man. I love his music and miss him dearly.

  • 2017: Mac DeMarco

    I take a conversational approach to my interviews. Knowing Mac DeMarco is a bit of a free spirit, I decided we’d share some Oreos, fiddle with some fidget spinners, and just chat. His fans HATED me. Do yourself a favor and read the comments. They’re exquisite.

  • 2017: Bon Iver

    I watched a bit of Bon Iver’s set, then left the festival grounds to watch and listen to the rest on the bridge back to Harvard Square. It was a nice moment.

  • 2018: Fleet Foxes

    Vindication for when I left their 2011 Orpheum set early because I was feeling sick.

  • 2019: Tame Impala

    My live highlights from the 2019 edition of the festival are brought to you by the letter “T”: Turnstile and Tame Impala.

  • 2022: Nine Inch Nails

    TWO headlining sets from one of my all-time favorite bands. This was a tough one to top.

  • 2023: Foo Fighters

    The moment speaks for itself.

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