The thing about music festivals is that everyone seems to be there for a different band. The question of “Who are you here to see?” or “Who are you looking forward to most?” was asked about a zillion times this past weekend at Boston Calling, and there were probably 22 different answers (23 bands were set to perform, but we figure no one wanted to see Girl Talk).
There were a few times when this weekend’s all-ages crowd at City Hall Plaza — officially pegged as 45,000 spectators over three days — seemed to all be into the same band all at once, and that was the case from about 8:15 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. last night, the third and final day of the bi-annual music fest.
Playing their first Boston show since a 1991 gig at the Orpheum Theatre just up Tremont from Government Center and with The Neighborhoods guitarist Dave Minehan on board, the ‘Mats belted out a loud, drunken, and blitzing set that taught the young’ins on the bill a thing or two about rock and roll. After about an hour and under threat of going over their allotted time, the band came back out for a one-song encore, thanked the Roots and Nas for allowing them to play one more jam, and ripped through “Alex Chilton” to massive applause. A few minutes earlier, the back-to-back offering of college rock anthems “Can’t Hardly Wait” and “Bastards of Young” turned City Hall Plaza inside out, but “Chilton” took the vibe to greater heights. It felt like everyone there was waiting for the same exact moment, once thought impossible, and had been waiting for years.
No doubt there will be video of this epic performance on YouTube this week, so while we await those clips to upload, check out their setlist captured by Bradley Searles of Bradley’s Almanac. After the pics, fire up the teaser video for the Replacements’ appearances Tuesday night on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, the band’s long-awaited return to 30 Rock after being banned from Saturday Night Live back in 1986.