Off Campus, Arts

Megan Thee Stallion Brings Her Classic Bravado to Boston Calling

Megan Thee Stallion shook up Boston Calling’s third day on Sunday, using a punchy set dotted with pyrotechnics and her characteristic bravado.

Attendees gathered in the late afternoon sun at the festival’s green stage, waiting and swaying to The Revivalists’ alt-rock set at the adjacent Red Stage.

A potent piano and drum rhythm preceded Megan’s entrance as she strutted onto a raised platform on the stage with her head down, her blue-green studded outfit glittering in the sunlight.

The rapper started off with “HISS,” a single she released this year which allegedly disses Nicki Minaj. Megan then flowed into hits from her two studio albums, Traumazine and Good News, as well as songs from EPs and mixtapes from across her vast discography.

Megan Thee Stallion’s strong vocal performance was underpinned by her choreography, and the bold performances by her six backup dancers, adorned in shimmery lilac tops with butterflies on them.

Megan and her dancers moved in sync and harmony while flares fired in front of them and bass shook the ground.

Megan frequently spotlighted her dancers, and they also performed their own interlude while Megan went offstage early in the set. The dancers were twerking and pumping up the crowd to “Say I Yi Yi” by the Ying Yang Twins.

Halfway through the set, all the performers exited the stage and a minutes-long visual played on the screens, showing a snake—a motif from Megan’s latest singles, “HISS” and “BOA”—and then a point-of-view as if the viewer was eaten and traveling down the snake’s stomach.

Megan and her dancers then emerged in new, denim costumes with letterman jackets for the dancers and a royal blue top for Megan. The outfit change was exciting for the crowd, but made it difficult for the rapper to recover the lost momentum from the long pause in the music.

While the performance was dominated by braggy lyrics and borderline explicit dancing, Megan The Stallion’s set managed to go deeper than twerking.

While performing her song “Gift & A Curse,” Megan paused on the lyric “My motherf—-n’ body, my choice,” with a fist in the air while the crowd cheered on the pro-abortion reference.

The rapper performed her song “NDA,” which addresses her mental health struggles, expressing a vulnerability that’s rare for the boastful rapper.

“Goin’ through some shit, so I gotta stay busy (So I gotta stay busy) / Bought a ‘Rari, I can’t let the shit I’m thinkin’ catch up with me,” Megan raps in the song.

She also introduced her song, “Body” with a call-and-response to the crowd, encouraging body positivity.

“If you love your body just the way it is, let me hear you make some motherf—-n’ noise,” Megan yelled before the song. “If you love yourself just the way you are, let me hear you make some motherf—-n’ noise.”

Megan also shouted a play on words in reference to her 2019 song, “Hot Girl Summer” and the viral catchphrase that followed it.

“We having a motherf—-n’ self-love summer, b—h,” Megan yelled as she was met with applause. 

The rapper joked with the audience throughout the performance, calling out her fans, who she calls “hotties.” Megan received a bouquet of flowers from someone in the crowd, and shouted out a group of men in the audience who she thought were especially enjoying the music.

“Excuse me, men right here,” Meghan laughed. “Y’all been trying to act like y’all wasn’t dancing the whole time.”

At a festival typically marked by its indie and rock performances, Megan Thee Stallion’s fiery rap performance electrified her boisterous and expansive crowd.

She finished her set with her rousing 2020 hit, “Savage,” and a chant that concluded a dynamic set and fittingly sent off her audience.

“Hot girl shit,” Megan and her fans cheered together.

May 29, 2024

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