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Festival Preview, Music

5 Must-See Artists at Boston Calling 2020

By: Staff –

Boston Calling returns to the Harvard Athletic Complex in Allston, MA on Memorial Day Weekend, May 22 – 24, 2020. This spring, the festival will feature performances by Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chili Peppers, reunited rock icons, Rage Against The Machine, The 1975, Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit, Run The Jewels, Brittany Howard, Banks, Liam Gallagher, Noname, Angels & Airwaves, and many more.

Need help figuring out which artists to see at Boston Calling 2020? Check out our picks below for the five artists you need to check out at this year’s festival!

Tickets are on sale now.

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Rage Against The Machine
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No one could have expected an RATM reunion in 2020. The hard rock quartet who made their mark in the 90s/00s with their politically-conscious brand of hip-hop/metal played what many fans believed to be their last show in LA in 2011. Thankfully however, following the lukewarm reception to rap-rock supergroup Prophets of Rage and their breakup last November, all of this set the stage for an RATM revival.

Having announced their first live tour in nine years, dubbed the “Public Service Announcement Tour”, the group is ready to continue its mission to both educate the masses and rock their faces off.

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Run The Jewels

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El-P and Killer Mike of Run The Jewels.

What more can be said about the dynamic hip-hop duo Run The Jewels? Consisting of Killer Mike and El-P, has released three albums (with a fourth on the way) since 2013 and they continue to churn out tracks featuring mind-bending beats, along with savagely witty lyrics. Do not sleep on RTJ.

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Brittany Howard
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Brittany Howard – lead vocalist/guitarist for the chart-topping, GRAMMY-winning band Alabama Shakes released her debut solo album, Jaime, last September via ATO Records.

As the frontwoman and guitarist for Alabama Shakes, Howard has become one of music’s most celebrated figures. The band has won four GRAMMY Awards and topped the Billboard 200 with the Gold-certified Sound & Color, the follow-up to its Platinum debut album, Boys & Girls. Howard has performed everywhere from the Obama White House to the main stage at Lollapalooza, where she sang with Paul McCartney at his invitation. She’s channeled her relentless creativity into projects with her side bands, Thunderbitch and Bermuda Triangle, and now Jaime, it’s her most revelatory work yet.

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Sharon Van Etten
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Sharon Van Etten’s new album Remind Me Tomorrow was released four years after her last LP, Are We There, and reckons with the life that gets lived when you put off the small and inevitable maintenance in favor of something more present. Throughout Remind Me Tomorrow, Sharon Van Etten veers towards the driving, dark glimmer moods that have illuminated the edges of her music and pursues them full force. With curling low vocals and brave intimacy, Remind Me Tomorrow is an ambitious album that provokes our most sensitive impulses: reckless affections, spirited nurturing, and tender courage.

Alongside working on Remind Me Tomorrow, Van Etten has been exploring her talents (musical, emotional, otherwise) down other paths. She’s continuing to act, to write scores and soundtrack contributions, and she’s returning to school for psychology. The breadth of these passions, of new careers and projects and lifelong roles, have inflected Remind Me Tomorrow with a wise sense of a warped-time perspective. This is the tension that arches over the album, fusing a pained attentive realism and radiant lightness about new love.

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Phoebe Bridgers
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Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Phoebe Bridgers grew up in the rose-colored city of Pasadena, attending the prestigious Los Angeles County High School for the Arts to study music. From an early age, she found encouragement from a close-knit artistic community of friends and family to follow her dreams, and at school she forged relationships that would teach her as much about her craft as her classes.

But of course the truth is that the unique ingredient at play, the calling card that has drawn all this interest and intrigue, is simply Bridgers’ music itself. Her powerful, lilting voice and her haunting, introspective songs light the torch that shows the way, and are what have inspired artists like Julien Baker to bring her on tour in 2016, as well as John Doe and Conor Oberst to sing with her on her debut album. There is a delicate balance to her work, a dance between veiled narratives and earnest emotions, between whispers and shouts. Everything you hear has arrived by feeling; her music is what comes when she is at her most honest, without specific intention, and she aims to be in her songs the person she is in the world.

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