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Editor’s Note: This article has been updated with the latest festival info and set times. Featured Big Thief image by Shervin Lainez.
A day before Boston Calling Music Festival released its full lineup, the headliners were apparently accidentally leaked online by one of the FM radio stations in town. It gave an early glimpse into the top-billing anchors of this spring’s festival, going down May 25 to 27 at the Harvard Athletic Complex in Allston, and fired up the usual debates over quality and relevancy.
But it turns out the real juice for Boston Calling ’18 was hidden underneath the big-font bigwigs (Eminem, The Killers, and Jack White, with notables like Queens of the Stone Age, Paramore, The National, Khalid and Tyler, The Creator on Line 2). This year’s Boston Calling has maybe its strongest undercard ever, meaning a lot of the anticipated highlights will be going down while the sun is still up.
Sure, we can’t wait to hear The Killers play songs off Hot Fuss, Eminem’s first show in Boston in 13 years should be all sorts of “Fuck Trump” fun, and Jack White is gonna Jack White the shit out of all of us whether we like it or not. But those daytime hours are where the magic truly is, and we’ve picked 11 bands and artists, out of the overall 45, that we are most excited about. We might come up with another 11 by the weekend.
For stage information, hit the cheap sheet way down below.
Charly Bliss, Friday @ 2:45 p.m.
If there’s one thing that Boston Calling has nailed this year, it’s delivering more deserving guitar-rock than its big-ticket festival brethren. Charly Bliss might not get the attention of the names listed above them on the poster, but the Brooklyn power-pop band rocks out just as hard, and their 2017 album Guppy, off Barsuk, is one of the most infectious records we’ve heard in ages. Start with the candy-coated “Glitter”, and wait for the moment backstage when Charly Bliss frontwoman Eva Grace Hendricks meets up with Belly’s Tanya Donelly the two become BFFs (if they haven’t already).