With the hype surrounding Boston’s first ever outdoor music festival on Memorial Day Weekend, it was clear that Boston needed a little more than just an annual dose of a dance party in the middle of downtown.
Luckily for us, there indeed is a God. As the sun shone down from the heavens and the gospel choirs came out from their churches, the Jumbotrons delivered the glorious news that the young festival would be coming back to City Hall Plaza for a second time in September, and with a killer, more diverse lineup.
While May’s festival lineup was solid but more catered to any typical indie music lover, this fall’s self-proclaimed “one big, post-summer Boston party” promises to be anything but predictable.
The first day is incredibly indie-filled and is likely to bring out every college student in the city, and for a good reason. You have the adorable, Boston-based duo of You Won’t, famous for their charm, lyrical genius and highly-percussive folk-pop sound.
There’s the gravel-y, down to earth indie-rock outfit Deer Tick, who are surprisingly grungey despite how acoustic they are. Similar to the likes of Bon Iver and Fleet Foxes with a Tom Petty twist, there could be some hardcore swaying going on down there.
You can’t miss Okkervil River, an Austin-native band capable of manic energy that will churn out the perfect amount of careful instrumentation and thematically building lyrics to kick off your festival the right way.
You won’t be disappointed after seeing The Gaslight Anthem’s show on the Red Stage, whose punk-rock vibes, ridiculous Foo Fighter-esque guitar solos and lead vocals, and a songwriting strategy that follows the motto that every great song needs “three chords and the truth” will be the best possible opening act for the one, the only, the indie band to top all indie bands, Vampire Weekend.
After coming off their recent June release Modern Vampires of the City, their ever-growing fan base is raving about Ezra Koenig’s soothing voice, their “well-read indie rock” sound and strategic use of upbeat, poppy songs on their albums. This show’s gonna be one for the ages folks.
Also check out their cover of Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines," just because. And it's hilarious.
Day two is for the EDM fans, or if you’re like me, just any one who likes a good dance party. I’m hoping I’m not alone…or this could get embarrassing, real fast.
Get ready for the likes of Royal Teeth, who, although a wildcard entry playing the festival through Sonicbids, are a huge Louisiana ball of energy that will throw confetti in your face and not be sorry for it. Prepare to be blind. But fabulous. The band’s positive energy and signature use of synthesizers will leave you feeling carefree and 18 again. Unless some of you are still 18, then you'll feel, like 12. In a cool way. Maybe?
Other than having debatably the coolest name of the festival, Bearstronaut will be tearing it up on the Blue Stage as Boston’s favorite dance band.
Chicago DJ duo and trap movement leaders Flosstramadus will get you off your feet with their sick rap-dance mashups. These guys know how to throw a party (and practically start their own genre while they’re at it).
Kendrick Lamar has been the most talked about name in the rap industry lately because of his verse in Big Sean’s “Control,” which somehow managed to trash nearly all of his fellow rappers and gain the attention of everyone in the music world in less than three minutes. Boston luckily snagged him before he became too larger than life and the Compton native will be setting a high energy bar for the headliner on Sunday night, Passion Pit.
If you’ve never heard Passion Pit in concert before, I suggest you haul down to City Plaza that night and take out everyone in your way. Trust me, you can’t miss this show and not immediately regret it seconds later. The band’s high intensity, highly electric and light-driven show is impossible to pass up, especially since they are playing blocks away from Michael Angelakos’s dorm room at Emerson where the band made their start.
The perfect way to celebrate the end of summer and the beginning of another year for the books? I think yes.