Music

Homegrown band Ripe rep alma mater with Berklee shirts at Boston Calling

"I used to lie and tell people I went to Harvard before I moved here."

Ripe performs during the third day of the 2022 Boston Calling music festival in Boston, MA, May 29, 2022. Nathan Klima for The Boston Globe

What Boston-and-Berklee-born band Ripe didn’t have in name recognition they more than made up for in sheer star power. A combination of gratitude, humor, and stage presence led to a crowd that couldn’t stop dancing Sunday evening at Boston Calling. 

Facing a competing set with Glass Animals, whose nearly 38 million monthly listener count on Spotify makes for an intimidating timeslot choice, it might be expected for Ripe to have a small crowd of dedicated fans. But Ripe’s crowd was much more than that. 

Although the crowd of people in front of the Delta Airlines Blue Stage at Boston Calling for Ripe’s set began modestly, only a few songs later there was a sea of hands up in the air. 

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Ripe’s infectious blend of pop, funk, and rock caught the ears of festival attendees walking past the stage. What added immensely to their appeal seemed to be none other than their alma mater. 

“I used to lie and tell people I went to Harvard before I moved here. And then all of us went to Berklee,” said lead singer Robbie Wulfsohn.

Every member of the band was wearing a Berklee College of Music shirt, although Wulfsohn said to the crowd this was the first one he ever bought. 

Some members of the audience were convinced to come see the band because of their Berklee connection. 

“I know a little bit about them but I go to Berklee, so I was interested in seeing them,” said Liv Dunkley, a member of the crowd. 

The stage presence of the band members, particularly Wulfsohn, had an immediate impact on the crowd. Not only was dancing suggested, it was “relentlessly encouraged.”

And while not all members of the audience had heard their music before, there remained a large presence of dedicated fans. 

“The horn section is where it’s at. They’re amazing…. I’m choosing to see them over Glass Animals,” said fan Aiden Merrill-Skoloff. 

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