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 on first poster glance. We might come up with another 11 next week.
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There were two guitar-heavy bands/artists we were really hoping would show up on this year’s Boston Calling lineup: Alvvays and Alex Lahey. We didn’t get the latter, but we scored the former, and we’re thrilled. Toronto’s Alvvays delivered one of the standout records of 2017 with Antisocialites, a textured guitar-rock album of dueling heartbreak and bliss, led by the devastatingly wonderful SOTY drifter “In Undertow”. Alvvays easily shift from shoegaze wonderment to more upbeat guitar-punk, all tied together by the earnest songwriting of vocalist-guitarist Molly Rankin. Hearing the varied sounds on Antisocialites as well as the band’s 2014 breakout “Archie, Marry Me” is sure to be a weekend highlight.