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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On Tuesday, we read the Coachella lineup, saw Belly listed, and quickly realized it was the Palestinian-Canadian rapper and The Weeknd collaborator. Bummer! On Wednesday, we saw the Governors Ball lineup, and learned the same thing. Double bummer! Turns out third time was a charm, as we confirmed before publishing that the Belly listed on the Boston Calling lineup was, in fact, the beloved and reformed Boston alt-rock band. Belly, our Belly, fill the sort-of legacy slot held by Buffalo Tom last year, reminding us of all that magic that was floating around Boston in the early- to mid-’90s. But like Buffalo Tom, isn’t purely a nostalgia trip, as Belly are set to release Dove in May, their third LP and first since 1995’s King. It’s also worth noting that their celebrated debut album, Star, turns 25 later this month.