After a 2022 edition that featured multiple headliner changes outside of the festival’s control, Boston Calling came back with a massive lineup for 2023. Now just under a month away, Pancakes & Whiskey is stoked to be back at Harvard’s Athletic Fields (the only way we’d ever be allowed at Harvard) for the Memorial Day Weekend. Here are the acts you know (and some you don’t) that you shouldn’t miss this year.
The pop singer put on a stellar set at Sonia earlier this year, and we can’t wait to catch her kick off the festival on the Blue Stage. She brings a ton of energy and should be a blast.
Talk has been making a name for himself on TikTok for a bit now, but he’s starting to finally get the recognition he deserves on streaming and radio with his single “Run Away To Mars.” Boston Calling is the first stop on his 2023 US tour, so you can say you saw him before he became a household name.
Last year, she sold out not one but two dates at the still new Roadrunner in Brighton. She’s been a little low key since then, so we’re excited to see what she pulls out for the festival this year.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
After doing extensive research (visiting Setlist.fm), this appears to be Yeah Yeah Yeahs first show in Boston in a decade. They last played House Of Blues which feels so small for them now. There are few bands with a frontperson like Karen O, so we can’t wait for Boston’s heads to roll along with hers.
Coming off of a tragic 2022, Boston Calling is the band’s third show back on the road. We still don’t know who the drummer will be, but it frankly doesn’t matter. You don’t ever miss Foo Fighters.
The Q-Tip Bandits
The local band is opening the day on the Blue stage, which is a testament to the work they’ve put in the last few years. After opening for Los Elk in on the first shows back after COVID, the band has been grinding their way around the country and releasing new music. They are dancy, groovy, upbeat and just having a great time all the time. We love seeing a local band on a big stage.
Joy just released a beautiful new album, Proof Of Life, that everyone should listen to. With features from Mt Joy and Noah Kahan (who both play Saturday as well), we wouldn’t be surprised to see some guest appearances.
Declan ended last year by bringing down the house at a very sold out Sinclair show. He’s somehow still under the radar in the US, but as good a performer as you’ll find.
The pride of Vermont (who now resides locally), performing his stellar ode New England in front of a hometown crowd. The Jewish Ed Sheeran has sold out House of Blues and MGM Music Hall the last two times he stopped here, so expect a deservedly massive crowd.
The Flaming Lips
The Flaming Lips are more than a concert, they are an interactive and frankly insane performance. You never know exactly what you’re going to get, which is exactly why you need to be there.
Another local Boston artist, they have opened for Tigers Jaw, and their song What I’m Feeling has made the rounds on Spotify’s emo playlists. They’re one to watch break out beyond the Boston scene, and you can catch them opening the day on the Blue stage.
Shake has featured on music from Kanye, Pusha T, DJ Khaled and more. She destroyed at Big Night Live last year. Her music is also much more eclectic and genre-spanning than many might think at first. Definitely a set to catch earlier in the day at the main stage.
Yes, this will require you to miss part or most of Bleachers, but it’s worth it. Owusu is everything from hip hop to funk to punk rock. He’s frankly one of a kind and this has potential to be THE can’t miss set of the weekend.
Another local band! We love to see it. It’s a tough overlap with part of Queens of the Stone Age, but if you saw Couch open for Ripe at MGM, you know you’ll dance your ass off the entire set (and can still catch the end of QOTSA). It’s funky, it’s soulful and you should support the local Boston band on the come up.
King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizzard
The are back after being unable to make it last year due to COVID. There’s not much that needs to be said – they are an elite psych rock band with the deepest discography.
They opened for Taylor Swift, they headlined ACL Fest last year. It’s Paramore. Go see them to end what should be an absolutely stellar weekend of music.
You can still get tickets to Boston Calling here. Let us know if you’ll be attending and who you’ll be seeing.
Article: Brent Goldman