Come to WZLY’s general meeting! Mandatory (in the groovy, groovy way) if you’re a DJ. Also mandatory if you wanna become one.
It’ll all be happening at 8 PM tomorrow (Sunday, 9/14) in PNW (that’s Pendleton West, kids) 212. Especially bring your first year friends so that we can indoctrinate them good and early. Thanks!
For those of you who don’t know me, my approach to what is considered fun by many is generally grouchy, a tad resentful, and all too cynical. With this attitude, I received the news that WZLY was sending me and a few other eboard members to cover the three day long Boston Calling music festival with a sense of obligation, not fully recognizing that it was something people actually pay good money for and enjoy.
So on Friday night I pulled myself away from the Pom dining hall and talk of #REMIX 2 Ignition and trudged over to grab the bus in time to catch The National at 9:30pm. It was what I expected… I had a real good view of some dude’s left shoulder and at one point got pretty annoyed at a girl for being borderline insane with enthusiasm. Five minutes into their set I came to the conclusion that concerts and festivals are not my thing. I should just stick with NPR and my podcasts. It didn’t help that my lower back started aching (honestly, how old am I??) and that on bus ride back to Wells I was sitting next to an MIT guy headed to Remix, who, after popping open a Keystone, stated, and I quote, “They call me long shlong dong.” *
I knew I couldn’t handle a full day of this so-called fun and I felt guilty for depriving another eboard pal of the opportunity so I pawned my pass off… Yes, Lorde was performing and yes, I understand that I will never get another chance to see her perform but hey I had an hour long shift at the Art Library to cover for a friend, not to mention Flower Sunday to prep for.
I was very happy with my decision to shirk my responsibilities and stay on campus. However, I had a long Sunday full of instagraming hanging over me like a dark cloud of exhaustion. Prepping for the day ahead I hit the hay at approximately 10:30pm, another marker that I am in fact an 83-year-old woman. After a lovely Flower Sunday brunch, 10 minutes before the 1pm bus left, I received an email from San Fermin’s manager saying that we were good for an interview at 4:45pm that day. Frantically, I Wikipedia’d the hell out of the group, scratching down some interview questions in cursive I can’t even read. Realizing that I wouldn’t even make it in time to actually see the group perform, I made the executive decision to stay clear of anything performance specific. I arrived at Boston Commons with some scribbled down interview questions, my backpack full of audio equipment that would ultimately fail me, and, just in case I got the chance, my political theory reading.
Here, I’d like to state three things to help paint a picture of my day, 1) I was alone for the entire time, 2) I was one hundred percent sober, and 3) my hair had been in a bun for the past two days and was now doing something real weird. I was hoping that it was maybe adding to some type of quirky festival look but after catching a glimpse in the Johnny-On-The-Spot mirror I realized this was definitely not the case. As it was, I was a tromping around alone, with my most unfriendly of faces on, with crazy Medusa hair.
If at all curious as to what this looks like in person, you might try to catch me at an MIT frat party or at 1 am in the Lulu fireplace room during finals.
Just as I was about to get down to some good political theory, Lake Street Dive came on… Hot damn, this band is amazing. They’re supremely talented and wonderful. I realize this description of them reveals how little I know of actual music but there it is. They’re wonderful, simple as that.
What was so revolutionary about this performance was that it was the first time that I’ve ever really enjoyed a concert. This was the first step of my 180-degree attitude shift.
But it was almost 4:45 so I made my way up back up to the media tent to sit down with San Fermin’s founder Ellis Ludwig-Leone. At this point my inner monologue went as follows, “S***, he’s really f****** cute. S***, I don’t know what I’m doing…” My hands also did a bit of that shaky thing that always happened before violin recitals. I introduced myself to Ellis’s manager and proceeded to put all the necessary recording equipment together, Tascam, mic, and this big fuzzy windbreaker thing.
All to no avail… Despite specifically remembering to bring the big fuzzy windbreaker thing, I cannot decipher a word above the white noise. Looking back now, I should have completely forgone all hope of anything radio worthy. Foolishly, I thought I’d be able to edit out the major gusts. Lesson learned, wind. Lesson learned.
Entirely due to his introspection and thoughtful answers, the interview was decent. If you are not familiar with his work, please, please go listen. I don’t want to delve into it too much as I am still wallowing in disappointment in my aptitude as a radio journalist.
On top of coming away with zero usable audio, I totally blanked and didn’t get a picture. DAMN IT. Ok, gotta look on the bright side of this one… Maybe, just maybe, he and his manager will interpret not snapping a quick one as being very professional and un-fan girlish and not, as is much more accurate, an indication of my ineptitude with social media/life.
So here I am with no audio and no picture… I virtually have no proof that I even got an interview.
But then Twenty-One Pilots came on.
Here, is the real shocker of the night: I did that jumping thing. You know, when a crowd gets real hyped up and starts bopping up and down all together. It looks really stupid and I always wondered, “are they actually having fun?”
Well, yes. Yes they are.
At least I was, because Twenty-One Pilots was so FREAKIN amazing. Here, once more, you will notice I employ my extensive musical knowledge. I was bopping up and down, dancing on my own, with a huge ass backpack filled with all of my useless ass recording equipment, sober as all hell, and having a great time. Tyler Joseph’s stage presence was insane. A good three or four times he and Josh Dun just got up on the crowd’s shoulders and performed from there. He even sang a cover of Lana Del Ray’s Summertime Sadness. He joked with the crowd and was so incredibly dynamic and engaging that I decided to stay for the entire set, even though this meant starting my readings two hours later, god forbid.
But it was worth it.
I’ve been trying to figure out what it was that got me about this Twenty-One Pilot’s performance. Sure, I’m a fan and know most of their songs. But it had to be more than that. I think it was their approach to the crowd. They didn’t bang off a set one song after another, just going through the motions. Instead, it felt much more like a complex, layered composition. Joseph’s performance style and audience interaction was a direct reflection of his musical style, dynamic, surprising, and unconventional.
That’s all the analysis I’ve got time for, which I realize is pretty sad. I also realize this has become one of those classic, “I started out skeptical but then once I gave it a chance I had a great time!” that bears a disconcerting number of similarities to my common app. essay but I don’t even care because it totally was.
If you ever have the opportunity and money to spare on a ticket to see them DO NOT HESITATE. If you need any further proof that Twenty-One Pilots was well worth it than you need only hear that it took me a full four hours to get back to Wells due to unfortunate interactions involving the T, the Peter, and a lot of misinformation. I’ll spare you the bore of the details but will end with this, even after a four hour-long voyage back to campus I was in good spirits, and I have never, ever used that term to describe myself before.
* For those Wellesley students reading this, I think we should take a moment to silently reflect and be grateful that though we have our fair share of troubles with Peter, he is usually late, often loud, sometimes a little funky smelling, he does manage to refrain from discussing the size of his genitals.
Boston Calling kicked off their Saturday show with bands St.Nothing and Clifflight, two really impressive bands with cool beats (despite the incredible heat!) and a knack for connecting with the audience. I loved their songs, and look forward to trying to get their albums into Heavy Rotation, so everyone on WZLY can enjoy their music.
The show went on really well, with everyone moving from stage to stage as S. Carey and Sky Ferreira started their sets. Boston Calling made sure there would be no overlap between artists despite having 2 stages, so everyone was able to get relatively close to the stage for each act, especially at the beginning of the day.
By the time Bleachers took stage, huge crowds of people had arrived and the festival was in full swing. Luckily, frontman Jack Antonoff expertly connected with the audience and got all of Boston dancing, parents, kids, highschoolers and college students alike.
The Hold Steady took the Jet Blue stage soon after Bleachers left the Capital One Stage, and by then the skies looked uncomfortably grey. Though The Hold Steady totally rocked their set, at the conclusion everyone was told to evacuate City Hall and seek shelter, due to inclement weather and forecasted thunderstorms. Although it was a bummer to leave the festival, everyone left in an orderly fashion, and stepped into nearby coffee shops and restaurants, talking amongst each other and speculating as to what would happen.
It was a good thing Boston Calling cared so deeply for the safety of its patrons; we soon got word via twitter that there the weather caused stage and equipment damage—even a banner flew loose in the wind! Though we were all saddened that we weren’t jamming to our favorite bands, Boston Calling definitely made the right call as far everyone’s safety.
After a time, Boston Calling announced that they would allow for re-entry, but that acts Volcano Choir and Girl Talk would have to be cancelled, due to a city-wide 11pm loud noise curfew and the fact that they only had about 2 hours left by the time the weather cleared up and the stage was repaired. Once again, Boston Calling made a tough, but right call. Though I was incredibly excited to see Volcano Choir, and really really hope they come back soon, it makes much more sense for the headliners of the show to get some playing time.
I don’t know how they did it, because I was the midst of hoards of people lined up for re-entry, but Boston Calling also quickly, efficiently, and safely re-admitted all of its attendees without a hitch. Within less than half an hour, everyone was back in and Lorde took stage. She was wonderful! Incredibly sweet, genuine and grateful, she thanked all the fans for sticking around despite the weather to see her play. And then, she delivered a fantastic show where she packed in all her hits, including my favorite song of hers, “400 Lux.”
Immediately after Lorde played her last song, Childish Gambino came up on the Jet Blue stage and began to rock all of City Hall. He played right up until he legally could not play any more—and we appreciated it.
All in all, despite the weather, Boston Calling’s Saturday show was amazing and I commend Boston Calling for considering the safety of its attendees in evacuation, and for quickly readmitting everyone once the danger had passed.
I have been looking forward to seeing The National in concert for a while now. In person, I was struck by their talent (sometimes, people in the band were playing two instruments at once) and their variety. At some points in their performance, they sounded as synth-y as James Vincent McMorrow and at other times, they sounded angry and almost punk-y. I took away from their show that The National exist in their own genre of rock. It was a warm evening, but I walked away very refreshed and excited about the upcoming shows this weekend. Tonight I look forward to seeing Volcano Choir, Girl Talk, and ESPECIALLY Lorde. Keep checking back for more info, reviews, and clips from #wzlydoesbostoncalling.