Boston Calling Live Blog 2018

Stick with us for everything you need to know about Boston's biggest music festival, featuring the Killers, Jack White, Eminem, and more.

Fans walk in front of a ferris wheel at Boston Calling

Photo by Lisa Weidenfeld

Sunday 8:55 p.m.

As the rain worsened, two acts, Fleet Foxes and Khalid, wound things up before the evening’s headliner. We’re wrapping up our 2018 live blog, but to all the Boston Calling fans sticking it out through the downpour for Eminem: We salute you.

khalid

Photo by Eric Clark

Sunday, 7:20 p.m.

Another performer with Boston ties, comedian Cameron Esposito, reflected on her time at Boston College, where as she’s said in the past not all her memories were happy ones. How times have changed.

Sunday, 6:45 p.m.

The one and only Thundercat took the stage, and Boston’s very own Cousin Stizz, a late edition after the British rapper Stormzy dropped out, brought another high-energy set Sunday afternoon. Over at the Blue Stage, Julien Baker performed some haunting songs.

Thundercat photo via Eric Clark

Cousin Stizz photo via Eric Clark

Photo by Emily Sotomayor

Sunday, 4:30 p.m.

Despite some cooler temperatures and a scattering of rain, festivalgoers are still finding ways to kick back and enjoy the day.

Photo by Emily Sotomayor

taylor bennett

Taylor Bennett took the Red Stage on Sunday / Photo by Eric Clark

While yesterday one fan enjoyed some crowd surfing during the Oh Sees’ set.

boston calling crowd surfing

Photo by Emily Sotomayor

Alvvays photo by Eric Clark

And others spent some quality time in the bean bag seating.

Photo by Emily Sotomayor

And one young fan was attending after receiving tickets for her birthday.

Photo by Emily Sotomayor

Sunday 2:34 p.m.

Zola Jesus took the Blue Stage on Sunday, greeting the crowd with a “Good early afternoon, Boston” and earning some love by saying “Fuck the Cavs, by the way.”

Zola Jesus

Photo by Lisa Weidenfeld

Sunday 2:00 p.m.

Photo by Lisa Weidenfeld

Kicking off the final day of Boston Calling, on a cloudy and slightly chilly afternoon, was Boston’s very own STL GLD, one of several hometown heroes performing today. After them came Portland, Maine rockers Weakened Friends.

Photo by Eric Clark

Saturday 9:15 p.m.

Tyler the creator

Photo by Emily Sotomayor

In a fluorescent vest and shorts, Tyler, the Creator let loose on the Blue Stage, and didn’t shy away from playing some deep cuts.

Saturday, 7:54 p.m.

Former Berklee student St. Vincent showed off her local bonafides by name dropping the Middle East venue, Boylston, and … Waltham. Then she melted our faces off.

St. Vincent performs

Photo by Lisa Weidenfeld

Saturday, 6:14 p.m.

Royal Blood rocked out on the Red Stage in the late afternoon.

Royal Blood sings

Photo by Lisa Weidenfeld

Saturday, 6:05 p.m.

Who doesn’t want to analyze Donald Trump Jr.’s squat form at Boston Calling? The hosts of Pod Save America dove headfirst into the political topics the day during a live recording of their show inside the Arena. Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett, Tommy Vietor, and Erin Ryan received heroes’ welcomes from a packed crowd before discussing immigration policy, the Russia investigation, Harvard’s most unsavory alumni, and the first family’s workout regimen.

The "Pod Save America" hosts in front of

Photo by Hayley Glatter

Saturday, 4:34 p.m.

Locals Belly took the stage today. They’re fronted by local Tanya Donnelly, who you may also know from Throwing Muses and the Breeders.

Belly band

Photo by Lisa Weidenfeld

Fans also enjoyed some picnicking despite the heat.

Boston Calling crowd

Photo by Lisa Weidenfeld

And it’s the perfect day for baby’s first music festival.

boston calling baby

Photo by Lisa Weidenfeld

Saturday, 3:06 p.m.

Natalie Portman returned for the second day of her film festival, which will feature St. Vincent on background music.

Natalie Portman smiles

Photo by Lisa Weidenfeld

Saturday, 1:23 p.m.

“I knocked my fiddle so out of tune I was like, ‘Oh crap!'”, country singer Lillie Mae said from the Green Stage.

Photo by Lisa Weidenfeld

After the confetti extravaganza during the Killers’ set last night, there were plenty of leftovers Saturday morning.

Leftovers from the Killers’ confetti extravaganza last night | Photo by Lisa Weidenfeld

Photo by Lisa Weidenfeld

Saturday, 1 p.m.

We are back in Allston for day two of Boston Calling 2018! Fans are trickling into Harvard’s Athletic Complex in preparation for St. Vincent, Jack White, and more.

The Red Stage of Boston Calling

Photo by Alene Bouranova

Westside Gunn is the first artist of the day to take the Red Stage. It’s 86 degrees in Allston, so staying cool will be a top priority throughout Saturday.

Westside Gunn

Photo by Lisa Weidenfeld

Friday, 8:38 p.m.

Energy is sky-high as Paramore, one of the evening’s penultimate acts, takes the stage. An expressive Hayley Williams and co. are playing to a very devoted crowd as the night winds down and the lights turn on.

Hayley from Paramore kicks on the stage

Photo by Lisa Weidenfeld

Hayley from Paramore

Photo by Lisa Weidenfeld

Hayley from Paramore

Photo by Lisa Weidenfeld

Friday, 8:03 p.m.

With “Friend of the Pod” shirts on their chests and political fervor in their hearts, fans filled the Arena for a live recording of the Crooked Media podcast, Lovett or Leave It. Host Jon Lovett, a former speechwriter for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, was joined by former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Alyssa Mastromonaco, Modern HERstory author Blair Imani, and Daily Beast writer Erin Ryan for a freewheeling conversation that touched on everything from North Korea to reproductive rights. The hosts ribbed Jared Kushner and Harvard, his alma mater, throughout the show, with Lovett noting that, “The top minds and the richest idiots all gather in one place—and that place is Harvard.”

Friday, 7:50 p.m.

As the sun gets close to the horizon, it’s cooling down here at Harvard Stadium. Pussy Riot has taken the Blue Stage with an artsy, socially conscious, and video-enhanced set. Meanwhile, Portugal. The Man. brought the loudest grooves of the evening.

Photo by Lisa Weidenfeld

Pussy Riot

Photo by Lisa Weidenfeld

The crowd at Boston Calling as the sun sets with the Ferris wheel in the background

Photo by Lisa Weidenfeld

Portugal the Man

Photo by Lisa Weidenfeld

Portugal the Man

Photo by Lisa Weidenfeld

Friday, 6:25 p.m.

We took a spin through the section of the festival run by Ikea, the Swedish furniture-maker, a stylish place to catch some Z’s.

Photo by Lisa Weidenfeld

Photo by Lisa Weidenfeld

Photo by Lisa Weidenfeld

Friday, 6:10 p.m.

Maggie Rogers is killing it in the multi-colored jumper.

Photo by Lisa Weidenfeld

Friday, 5:33 p.m. 

Consider the biggest mystery of the festival—what, exactly, would Natalie Portman be doing during her hour-long block at Boston Calling?—solved. The actress took the stage at the Arena this afternoon and introduced a short film from 1928 called The Seashell and the Clergyman, which was scored by a live, three-piece band.

Time spent on stage by Portman, herself, was limited. “It’s one of the first surrealist films,” she told us, “and it is magic.” Then she walked away.

Natalie Portman stands at the microphone

Photo by Lisa Weidenfeld

A silent film plays

Photo by Lisa Weidenfeld

Friday, 5:03 p.m.

It may be nearly 90 degrees, but the heat certainly hasn’t deterred loyal fans—even if they are resting up between acts.

Crowds sit on the grass near food vendors

Photo by Lisa Weidenfeld

A sun-drenched crowd looks up at the stage

Photo by Lisa Weidenfeld

Dozens of artists will perform on Boston Calling’s five stages this weekend. Perfume Genius and Big Thief are some of the first acts to delight audiences at this year’s festival.

Perfume Genius performs

Perfume Genius / Photo by Lisa Weidenfeld

A pair of musicians with guitars play on stage

Big Thief / Photo by Lisa Weidenfeld

Friday, 4:22 p.m.: 

Once again, Boston Calling has decorated the grounds at Harvard Stadium with a few pieces of festival-themed artwork, including another Bunker Hill-style obelisk. They also brought back those colorful funnel-looking things, featuring lyrics from bands including New England’s own Belly.

A sculpture of a French bulldog in a top hat and bow-tie

Photo by Hayley Glatter

A Bunker Hill-esque obelisk with a Boston Calling logo

Photo by Hayley Glatter

Multi-colored tubes with song lyrics and a map of the festival

Photo by Spencer Buell

Friday, 12:30 p.m. It’s finally here! Boston Calling 2018 has arrived. Stick with us here on our live blog for everything you need to know about the city’s biggest music festival, featuring the Killers, Jack White, Eminem, and more.

Photo by Hayley Glatter

Doors open today at 2:30 (get there early if you can).

First things first, it looks like it’s going to be a scorcher, with temperatures slated to get right up into the upper 80s. So do yourselves a favor, music fans, and make sure to pack some sunscreen and stay hydrated.

Hungry? Check out this year’s gigantic food lineup, and consider trying one of Ikea’s veggie dogs, which are making their American debut at the festival.

Be sure to keep an eye out for all the local talent taking the stage this weekend, including Portland garage rock band Weakened Friends and—a last-minute addition—Boston rapper Cousin Stizz.

Also, and this is an important topic among festival attendees this year, be aware of your surroundings and educate yourself on what to do if you or someone you know experiences sexual harassment.

See you in Allston!