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Boston Calling 2014 Recap: Saturday

by Photo of Ross Bernhardt

Rain didn’t stop bands or fans from enjoying great music in Boston on Saturday.

Boston Calling 2014 Recap: Saturday

Death Cab For Cutie at Boston Calling Music Festival

After an unseasonably cold start to the Boston Calling Music Festival on Friday, I figured we had escaped any and all weather issues. Unfortunately, I couldn't have been more wrong. After a beautiful start to the day with sunny skies and equally sunny music, without warning the skies suddenly opened up and began raining down. Coincidentally, the rain came during the decidedly Pacific Northwest portion of the show: The Head and the Heart, The Decemberists and Death Cab For Cutie. Colin Meloy, the front man for The Decemberists, even made that distinct remark during his set:

"Well, I guess that we have really reached the Pacific Northwest part of the program, right everyone? We're more comfortable in the rain, anyway."

Even with the rain, which only really persisted during The Decemberists anyway, Saturday at Boston Calling was a big success. Here's what we observed of the 10 bands and artists that performed.

Best of the Day: Death Cab For Cutie

Death Cab For Cutie at Boston Calling Music Festival

The strongest thing I can say about Death Cab's set to headline Saturday: when they played "I Will Follow You Into the Dark," I locked arms with four other men around me as we all sang the lyrics verbatim. 

It was that good.

Death Cab For Cutie played their usual arsenal of hits and even some deeper cuts like "Movie Script Ending" that had everyone yearning for the early 2000s again. It was also nice that the rain stopped.

Best Newcomer: Magic Man

Magic Man at Boston Calling Music Festival

Magic Man made a very strong impression as the first band of the day on Saturday. They came out with a band and didn't really let up. Alex Caplow has a pretty dynamite stage presence, and the rest of the young group from Boston really showcased a ton of talent that can make them stand out in the crowded indie pop world.

Most Engaging: Frank Turner

Frank Turner at Boston Calling Music Festival

Frank Turner is one of the more engaging acts anyone will ever see live, and his set at Boston Calling was no different. He always urged the crowd to sing along, and when they didn't know the words, he taught them. He even invited one insanely lucky man on stage to play harmonica with him during a song. I would kill to have that opportunity. Everyone always leaves a Frank Turner set satisfied and smiling.

Wettest Set: The Decemberists

The Decemberists at Boston Calling Music Festival

If that giant lens flare in the shot isn't evidence enough, things got torrential when The Decemberists took the stage. But they powered through and played a delightful set, especially for the brave ones that stuck out the deluge in the front and out in the open. They even started off with my favorite Decemberists songs: "The Crane Wife" (all three parts), which was just an absolute pleasure to hear live. It wasn't as enjoyable due to the weather, but how can anyone hate on The Decemberists?

Most Harmonious: The Head and the Heart

The Head and the Heart at Boston Calling Music Festival

When the voices of Jonathan Russell, Josiah Johnson and Charity Rose Thielen combine, stunning things happen. That is pretty much every single Head and the Heart song, but it never gets old just because of how beautiful it all sounds. When they wrap things up with the rapturous "Rivers and Roads," the crowd can get in on the harmonies all three create as well.

Most Colorful: Jenny Lewis

Jenny Lewis at Boston Calling Music Festival

I mean, just look at Jenny Lewis. She would probably win with her bright red hair alone, but throw in the rainbow pants suit and the purple/rainbow guitar and you've got yourself the the most colorful thing we saw at the entire festival. She could have just smiled and I would have been totally happy. But then she played some awesome new stuff off of her upcoming album Voyager as well as some old Rilo Kiley jams. So it was even better.

Most Fun: Maximo Park

Maximo Park at Boston Calling Music Festival

It's hard to describe how much fun this band is. Lead singer Paul Smith cannot be contained on stage. The man is jumping and hopping about everywhere, and he makes his songs so expressive. Every verse just leaps into the crowd and it's hard to contain your enthusiasm. It's especially helpful if you know their discography, but that isn't a requirement to really enjoy yourself during one of their sets.

Passes for the September edition of Boston Calling are on sale now! For more information, head over to BostonCalling.com.

Want great tickets but hate paying fees? Check CHARGED.fm to find tickets for less and NO FEES!

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