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Relax with Boston Calling Block Parties

Rose Kennedy Greenway hosts live music, more on Thursdays

Celina Colby
Celina Colby is an arts and travel reporter with a fondness for Russian novels.... VIEW BIO
Relax with Boston Calling Block Parties
Boston Calling Block parties draw Bostonians out to the Rose Kennedy Greenway for games and relaxation. (Photo: Photo: Celina Colby)

Every Thursday, hundreds of people filter through Dewey Square Park for live music, lawn games and local craft beer. Colleagues meet after work to shake off the day with a game of corn hole and a drink. Friends lounge in red Adirondack chairs to enjoy the music and each other’s company. Many viewers grab dinner from the nearby food trucks and weekly farmers market, then eat at the public café tables, well in range of the party.

The Rose Kennedy Greenway’s Boston Calling Block Parties are hosted by Crash Line Productions, which produces the biannual Boston Calling music festival at City Hall Plaza. Now Bostonians can get the live concert experience in the shadow of Dewey Square’s rotating public mural, currently a typographic piece by Lawrence Weiner. The series runs every Thursday 5-8 p.m. through September 15.

The August 11 show features Salem Wolves, a Boston-based rock band formed in 2014. They’ve been featured in the Boston Herald’s Top Songs of 2015 (beating out Justin Beiber) and were chosen that same year for a Converse Rubber Tracks recording session. On Thursday, August 18, SYM, a rock band out of Somerville, will take the stage.

The Boston Calling Block Parties are most successful at drawing in people who wouldn’t otherwise seek out local art events. Friends Charlotte Rowley and Kristie Oberg came across the concert while looking for a place to grab dinner. Rowley is a student at Tufts and Oberg works in the financial district. Typically the duo is too busy to do active research on after-work events, but the draw of The Swinging Johnsons was too powerful to resist.

Rowley and Oberg sat on the sidelines of the show, eating dinner from the ever-popular Chicken and Rice Guys food truck. The Swinging Johnsons are a versatile group that performs throughout the city. Last Thursday they adopted a classic rock vibe for the post-work crowd. “This genre isn’t something I usually listen to,” said Oberg, “But I’m really enjoying it.” Having seen what the Greenway has to offer, they’re much more likely to consider events there when making plans.

Whether you seek out the Greenway, or are just passing by after work, the Boston Calling Block Parties are a great way to enjoy local bands, local brews and good company. Even better, the performances are free and open to the 21+ public.