With alt-metal heavyweights Tool topping the bill – their first Massachusetts appearance in a good many years – Sunday certainly pulled in a crowd that was game for heavier bands than the rest of the weekend offered. “Heavy” is, of course, a relative term for a festival with an audience as broad as Boston Calling’s, unless you’re talking about Converge. Stepping in to replace the temporarily(?) disbanded Modern Baseball, the local legends ripped the main stage to shreds on Sunday afternoon with their frantic trademark math-core. It was arguably the festival’s most audacious booking ever – scheduled just after a Mitski set on the adjacent stage, no less – and it was awesome.
Elsewhere in the day, the reactivated Wolf Parade thrilled with a stellar set of their off-kilter art-rock that betrayed no signs of an extended hiatus. I’d been waiting seven years to see them, and they didn’t disappoint. The boundlessly energetic Flatbush Zombies and increasingly arena-ready Run the Jewels rounded out the weekend’s particularly strong rap billings, and Cage the Elephant delivered the sort of swaggering, endlessly photogenic rock show that seems poised to have them headlining bigger festivals than this one someday.
Truth be told, my only disappointment for the day (apart from not properly photographing Tool, thanks to their intensely restrictive photo release) was a listless set from power-pop immortals Weezer. Frontman Rivers Cuomo looked to be having an out-of-body experience on stage, and between multiple Make Believe cuts and an awkward medley that unceremoniously hacked up both “The Good Life” and “Surf Wax America,” it was not the Weezer set for me. Alas.
Check out photos from the day below, including a few non-photo-pit shots of Tool (but don’t tell Maynard).