Rounding out Boston Calling was another set of stellar performances, both from big names like King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard and from rising stars like Ali McGuirk. This year’s festival was studded with stunners beginning to end, and we are already looking forward to 2024!
Your New Favorite Local Indie Act: Mint Green
Mint Green have been around since 2017 but played their first Boston Calling, opening the last day of the festival’s Blue Stage with their high-energy emo/indie rock. The core of their group is singer/songwriter Ronnica and drummer Daniel Huang. What stuck out most, however, was the work done by new guitarist Rachel Moon and original bassist Brandon Geeslin. Ronnica writes songs with big choruses that need lots of energy to sustain them. That energy was provided in spades by Geeslin and Huang. Above that, Moon provided interesting lead lines, and when given a few chances to solo she absolutely ripped. The standout moment, perhaps, occurred when Ronnica introduced one of her songs by noting that she was a queer woman and that Pride Month is almost upon us. Her song was about her journey to discover what it means to stay true to herself, and that was a message that resonated with and was greatly appreciated by the crowd.
Making a Crowd Dance on a Sunny, 85-Degree Day: Genesis Owusu
Wow. Genesis Owusu put on the most impressive act of the festival. Even his first entrance was mysterious and epic, as he appeared to glide in six feet above the stage perched atop some mysterious blob. As it turned out, that blob was comprised of his three backup dancers/hype men covered in a massive cape. Owusu knew how to vary his set, coaxing the crowd to dance with uptempo hip-hip dance tracks and giving them a chance to rest and sway with smooth soul and funk tracks. For an example of the former, check out “Get Inspired,” and for the latter, “A Song About Fishing.”
Whatever he does, though, Owusu knows how to perform. With no band, Owusu mostly had the stage to himself, and worked it with his energetic singing and dancing. At multiple points he had the crowd singing his hooks, such as during “GTFO.” The driving synth bass had everyone dancing, no small feat on a scorching day. This goes double for his dancers, who wore matching masks for the first 30 minutes of the set! At one point, he even sampled “Crank That” by Soulja Boy, tapping into Millennial nostalgia and getting the audience moving again. Owusu had the crowd chanting his name throughout his set, and promised to return to Boston at some point in the fall. That show will be a can’t miss, for sure!