BOSTON – Over the Memorial Day weekend, Boston Calling 2022 is loaded with huge national events like Metallica, Nine Inch Nails, Avril Lavigne, Glass Animals, and more.
All of these groups were a huge hit for their fans, but Massachusetts businesses alike big and small got the chance to perform for thousands of people and represent the Bay State in their own unique way.
Over the weekend, dozens of Massachusetts bands and solo artists took to the stage at Harvard Sports Complex for the state’s largest music festival. Most played the Tivoli Audio Orange Theatre, set up by the organizers of Boston Calling to showcase New England work, but other Massachusetts-related musicians demonstrated Boston’s importance as a music city, by getting the chance to play larger stages.
Over the course of the festival, Patch spent some time checking out as many local acts as possible. Here are some of our favourites:
The Ripe was arguably the biggest Massachusetts band playing Boston Calling this year, and after watching funk-poppers go through an hour of choreographed beats, it’s easy to see why.
Boston-based Ripe rocked the Blue Stage on Sunday night, wearing their “Berklee College of Music” sports jerseys in support of their alma mater, and as a way to show pride in the city where it all began.
“It seems to be a love letter to the city and region that gave birth to the band,” Ripe singer Robbie Wulfsohn told Patch in a pre-festival interview. “Things happen that aren’t on our to-do list, and we never thought they would happen in our wildest dreams.”
This love letter began with the Ripe group’s debut single, “Goon Squad,” a song the band wrote while in school and recorded live at Studio 1 for Berklee College of Music.
It was not only the mature classics that piqued the interest of the masses. New songs like “Settling” and even the unique spin of Aerosmith’s “Sweet Emotion” kept people dancing and singing along.
Born without bones
This Milford-based rock emo trio has been around for over a decade, so it was great to see this band get so much local love at the festival. The band originally formed in 2010 as the solo act of striker Scott Ayott, but they truly became what they are today after adding bassist Jonathan Brocato and bassist Jim Creighton, formerly a hardcore Boston legend to So Me.
This group list was loud and lively, especially considering the band is only three-piece. But with that energy, Born Without Bones soaring choruses from its entire catalog from “Say Hello” to “Baby” and newer songs.
Van Buren Records
This Brockton-based rap group is a must-see for all hip-hop fans.
The way the 11 members navigate roles such as rap, music production, thrilling crowds and more in one stage is fairly smooth, yet chaotic at the same time. Their live music even served as a good storytelling of what it’s like growing up in Brockton.
Paper Tigers had one of the most enthusiastic crowds I’ve seen on the local stage, and with the amount of energy these indie rockers had, it just made sense in the world.
There were people of all ages in their crowd, from children to women in their sixties. It was great seeing so many people come together and rock for songs like “Ursa Minor,” “Goldmine,” and newer tracks like “A Portrait of a Scene.”
Avenue, like Van Buren Records, has shown why people should pay attention to the Massachusetts hip-hop scene. The Roxbury-based rapper uses his music to give a unique perspective on what it’s like to grow up in Boston’s Back Bay area, where wealth and poverty are often just blocks away. His high energy group mingled with thoughtful words.