Memorial weekend saw an influx of music lovers to the hub of the universe for a huge festival experience.

Boston Calling 2024, held at the Harvard Athletic Complex from May 24-26, was an extraordinary celebration of music, community, and culture. This year’s lineup featured an eclectic mix of genres, showcasing both rising local acts and powerhouse national headliners, all set against a backdrop of beautiful weather and an array of engaging fan experiences.

Local Acts Steal the Spotlight

While the national headliners drew the biggest crowds, it was the local acts that truly added a unique flavor to the festival. Tori Tori and Cakeswagg were among the standout local performers. Tori Tori captivated the audience with her soulful voice and poignant lyrics, creating an intimate atmosphere that resonated deeply with her listeners. Her performance was a testament to the vibrant local music scene in Boston.

Cakeswagg, known for her energetic performances and sharp lyricism, did not disappoint. She brought a refreshing burst of energy to the stage, engaging the crowd with her dynamic presence and catchy beats. Her set was a perfect blend of hip-hop and personal storytelling, solidifying her reputation as one of Boston’s most promising artists.

Ward Hayden and the Outliers also delivered a memorable performance, blending country and rock influences to create a sound that felt both nostalgic and fresh. Their tight instrumentation and heartfelt lyrics resonated well with the audience, making them one of the local highlights of the festival.

National Headliners Deliver Unforgettable Performances

The festival’s national headliners lived up to the hype, each bringing their unique flair to the stage. The Killers closed out the festival Sunday night with an electrifying set that included all their major hits. Brandon Flowers’ charismatic stage presence and the band’s impeccable performance had the crowd singing along from start to finish.

SETLIST: The Killers

All These Things That I’ve Done
Jenny Was a Friend of Mine
Smile Like You Mean It
Shot at the Night
Run for Cover
Somebody Told Me
On Top (Interrupted by Brandon due to someone in the audience needing assistance)
For Reasons Unknown
A Dustland Fairytale (with “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” by Charles Hart cover outro)
Read My Mind
Dying Breed
When You Were Young
Human (Electro)
Mr. Brightside (50/50)

Ed Sheeran’s set on the first night was a masterclass in live performance. With just his guitar and loop pedal, Sheeran managed to create a full, rich sound that captivated the massive crowd. His blend of heartfelt ballads and upbeat tracks showcased his versatility as a performer.

SETLIST: Ed Sheeran

Castle on the Hill
The A Team
I’m a Mess
Give Me Love
Eyes Closed
Take It Back / Superstition / Ain’t No Sunshine
The Parting Glass ([traditional] cover)
Tenerife Sea
Don’t / No Diggity
Love Yourself (Justin Bieber cover)
Thinking Out Loud
You Need Me, I Don’t Need You (Extended Live Room Edition)
Shape of You
Bad Habits

Tyler Childers brought a touch of Americana to the festival, with his soulful voice and storytelling taking center stage. His performance was both raw and refined, highlighting his prowess as a live musician.

SETLIST: Tyler Childers

Whitehouse Road
Country Squire
I Swear (to God)
Trudy (The Charlie Daniels Band cover)
Rustin’ in the Rain
Shake the Frost
All Your’n
Cluck Ol Hen
Old Country Church Hank Williams cover)
Can I Take My Hounds to Heaven?
Two Coats
In Your Love
Honky Tonk Flame
Percheron Mules
Way of the Triune God
House Fire
Universal Sound
Nose on the Grindstone
Lady May

Hozier’s performance was another highlight, with his hauntingly beautiful voice and powerful lyrics creating an almost spiritual experience for the audience. Songs like “Take Me to Church” and “Cherry Wine” were particular standouts, leaving a lasting impression on all who were there.

SETLIST: Hozier:

Eat Your Young
Jackie and Wilson
To Be Alone
Dinner & Diatribes
Like Real People Do
From Eden
Cherry Wine
Work Song
De Selby (Part 2)
Would That I
Too Sweet
Nina Cried Power (with Melissa McMillan) (LONG history lesson about revolution etc beforehand)
Almost (Sweet Music)
Take Me to Church

Megan Thee Stallion brought her trademark confidence and charisma to the stage, delivering a high-energy set that had the entire festival buzzing. Her performance was a celebration of empowerment and fun, making it one of the most talked-about sets of the weekend.

SETLIST: Megan Thee Stallion:

Thot Shit
Freak Nasty
Megan’s Piano
Gift & a Curse
Say I Yi Yi (Ying Yang Twins cover) (dance break with Megan off stage)
Hot Girl
Kitty Kat
Plan B
Cognac Queen
Big Ole Freak
Sex Talk
What’s New
Don’t Stop

Fan Experiences, Vendors, and Perfect Weather

Beyond the music, Boston Calling 2024 excelled in providing a comprehensive festival experience. The beautiful weather throughout the weekend added to the vibrant atmosphere, making it perfect for enjoying the outdoor venue.

The array of vendors offered something for everyone. Food stalls featuring local favorites and international cuisines provided delicious options for all tastes. From gourmet lobster rolls to mouthwatering vegan delights, the food scene was a culinary adventure. Beverage tents served up a variety of craft beers, artisanal cocktails, and refreshing non-alcoholic options, keeping festival-goers hydrated and happy.

Interactive art installations, photo booths, and merch stands added to the excitement, allowing fans to take home a piece of the festival. The community vibe was palpable, with areas for relaxing, socializing, and even participating in fun activities like face painting and games.

Final Thoughts

Boston Calling 2024 was a spectacular celebration of music, community, and culture. The Harvard Athletic Complex proved to be the perfect venue, offering ample space and excellent acoustics that allowed each performance to shine. Whether it was the intimate sets by local artists like Tori Tori and Cakeswagg, the grand performances by headliners like The Killers and Ed Sheeran, or the engaging fan experiences, this year’s festival had something for everyone. Boston Calling continues to set the bar high for music festivals, leaving attendees eagerly anticipating what next year will bring.

Gary AlpertDeafboy Photographyinsta: @deafboyphotography


SETLIST: The Revivalists

Good Old Days
Don’t Look Back
It Was a Sin
Down in the Dirt
All My Friends
How We Move
Keep Going
Time to Pretend MGMT cover)
Wish I Knew You

SETLIST: Chappell Roan

Naked in Manhattan
Super Graphic Ultra Modern Girl
Love Me Anyway
Picture You
After Midnight
Red Wine Supernova
Good Luck, Babe!
My Kink Is Karma
Pink Pony Club

SETLIST: Trey Anastasio Band

Sand (Phish)
Back on the Train (Phish)
The Moma Dance (Phish)
A Wave of Hope (Trey Anastasio song)
Everything’s Right (Phish)
Blaze On (Phish)
Wolfman’s Brother (Phish)
Ghost (Phish)
First Tube (Phish)

SETLIST: Frank Turner

No Thank You for the Music
Do One
Girl From the Record Shop
The Ballad of Me and My Friends
Polaroid Picture
The Way I Tend to Be
I Still Believe
Four Simple Words

SETLIST: Khruangbin

Pon Pón
Todavía Viva
Juegos y Nubes
Dern Kala
Lady and Man
The Infamous Bill
So We Won’t Forget
Evan Finds the Third Room
Time (You and I)
People Everywhere (Still Alive)
María también

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Check out the gallery of photos from this year’s Boston Calling here.

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