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Boston indie-rockers Q-Tip Bandits will bring a taste of Boston Calling downtown

The Q-Tip Bandits will play at Boston Calling Night at High Street Place on April 6.Alissa Wyle

The Q-Tip Bandits decided upon their name randomly, throwing out ideas and hoping one would stick. Now, guitarist and vocalist Leo Son lovingly refers to the band’s mission as “cleaning ears and stealing hearts.”

“And I stand by that,” he added.

The Boston-based band will be playing Boston Calling and an earlier, free performance at Boston Calling Night, a taste of what’s to come at Harvard Athletic Complex May 26-28. The one-night event will feature live music, food, and drinks hosted by High Street Place on April 6.

The indie-rock pop band began in 2018, with a rotation of different members throughout the years. The current band makeup — all former students at Berklee College of Music — has been playing together for about three years with Son, Claire Davis on vocals and bass, Dakota Maykrantz on drums, Hoyt Parquet on the trombone, and Maclin Tucker on the trumpet.

The Q-Tip Bandits’s debut album, “Melancholy Flowers,” came out in June last year, when they were also nominated in four categories at the 2022 Boston Music Awards, including Album/EP of the Year.


Maykrantz described their sound as “very energetic, hard-hitting, soulful.” One of the band’s favorite songs to play for an audience is “Daisy,” a funky, jazzy song inspired by Son’s visit with an old friend.

“With ‘Daisy,’ we really have stepped up the song into something even bigger live, and we have some back and forth choreo[graphy],” said Davis. “I really enjoy that part.”

The band’s five members come from different musical backgrounds and influences, drawing inspiration from Red Hot Chili Peppers, Julien Baker, Trombone Shorty, Foster the People, and beyond.

“[Leo] manifests what he wants and what he believes, and I think that has been a driving force of this band, and when it was just us two in this band five years ago, he was like, ‘In five years, we’re gonna play Boston Calling,’” said Davis. “And here we are, five years later, on the Boston Calling lineup.”


They will also be releasing a new single titled “Tiptoe” on May 19, leading up to the festival. “It’s the first song that we worked on after ‘Melancholy Flowers,’” said Son. “It’s a nice way to mark a new chapter for us.”

In May, the Q-Tip Bandits will hit the stage on Boston Calling’s Saturday night with headliners The Lumineers and Alanis Morissette. Following their set at this month’s Boston Calling Night, DJ J-Wall, High Street’s DJ, will play for the rest of the night.

High Street Place’s 20 food and drink vendors will be open during the event. Some of the options include Bubble Bath, a wine and champagne bar; Blackbird Donuts; Fuji at HSP, a modern sushi spot; and Farmacy Cafe, a cafe with grain bowls and salads.

Upon registering for Boston Calling Night, guests will be entered to win two three-day general admission tickets to Boston Calling from May 26-28 in Allston. The winner will be announced at the event.

Boston Calling Night. April 6, 6-11 p.m. Free. High Street Place, 100 High St., Boston.

Maddie Browning can be reached at