Beck, Tame Impala, Pixies, & More to Headline Spring Edition of Boston Calling Music Festival

Boston’s premier music festival, Boston Calling, is bringing some of today’s greatest artists to the city for Memorial Day Weekend. Though only launched two years ago, the festival has the power to pull in some huge headliners, including Beck, My Morning Jacket, and Boston’s own the Pixies. Keep reading for a detailed look at the spring lineup, and let us know which acts you’re most excited to see by leaving a comment below.

Friday, May 22


Since his 1994 breakthrough hit, the alternative-rock-turned-mainstream anthem “Loser,” Beck has established himself as one of the most prominent musicians and producers of the last 20 years. He has released an impressive 12 studio albums with songs that encompass multiple genres, and has produced music for artists like The White Stripes, Thurston Moore, and Stephen Malkmus. In 2014, Beck released his most recent album, “Morning Phase,” which was met with high praise from critics and fans alike, as well as a Grammy Award for Album of the Year. Despite whatever Kanye may think, the Grammy was deserved, and Beck is certainly no “Loser.”

by Beck
Blue Moon
by Beck

Tame Impala

Australian psychedelic rock band Tame Impala began as a bedroom recording project in 1999 when vocalist/guitarist Kevin Parker and bassist Dominic Simper were only 13. The duo was joined in 2007 by drummer Jay Watson, after which the band signed with Modular Records. The ’60s-inspired, fuzzy, psychedelic sound of their 2010 debut album “Innerspeaker” attracted international critical praise, and their follow-up effort, 2012’s “Lonerism,” was even more successful. Tame Impala recently released a new single called “Let It Happen,” and the band is expected to release a highly anticipated third album later this year.

Feels Like We Only Go Backwards
by Tame Impala
by Tame Impala

Sharon Van Etten

Sharon Van Etten grew up in New Jersey, where she learned music at a young age and began writing songs and playing guitar in high school. Eventually relocating to New York City, she began playing gigs and soon signed to the Chicago-based independent label Drag City, which issued her debut album “Because I Was in Love” back in 2009, as well as her 2010 follow-up “epic.” The next year, she moved over to Jagjaguwar and released her last two albums there. Van Etten’s music relies heavily on vocal harmonies, heartfelt emotion, and lyric honesty, all of which make it accessible and relatable to listeners.

Every Time the Sun Comes Up
by Sharon Van Etten
by Sharon Van Etten

Saturday, May 23

My Morning Jacket

My Morning Jacket formed in the late ’90s in Louisville, KY. Led by frontman Jim James, whose ethereal voice and incredible range are impressive to say the least, the band is known for amazing live performances. Though rooted in alt-country and rock, My Morning Jacket often delves into different genres and experiments with their sound. The band just recently announced that they’ll be releasing a new album titled “The Waterfall” in May. Along with the announcement came the release of a new single called “Big Decisions.”

Wordless Chorus
by My Morning Jacket
It Beats For You
by My Morning Jacket

Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals

Singer-songwriter, guitarist, and three-time Grammy Award winner Ben Harper is known for his eclectic style, mixing genres like folk, blues, soul, and rock. Throughout his career, Harper has played several instruments, spanned multiple genres, and been associated with a number of live acts. He is currently touring with his band The Innocent Criminals, which consists of percussionist Leon Mobley, bassist Juan Nelson, drummer Oliver Charles, keyboardist Jason Yates, and guitarist Michael Ward, with Harper on vocals and guitar.

Steal My Kisses
by Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals
The Woman In You
by Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals

St. Vincent

St. Vincent is the stage name of indie darling Annie Clark, formerly of The Polyphonic Spree. Clark went solo in 2007 and soon became one of the biggest recent success stories in indie rock. Her impressive songwriting and art rock style eventually attracted the attention of Talking Heads frontman David Byrne, and the two released a collaborative album in 2012. Throughout her solo career, St. Vincent has been the subject of critical praise, with her albums topping year-end lists from publications like NME, Entertainment Weekly, and The Guardian. Having most recently been nominated for a Grammy Award, it’s safe to say that her trajectory is still headed upward.

Digital Witness
by St. Vincent
by St. Vincent

Marina and the Diamonds

Though it sounds like a band, Marina and the Diamonds is really just Marina Diamandis. She came onto the scene in 2009 with her debut single “Obsessions,” which earned her popularity in the U.K. As a rising talent, Diamandis was quick to dismiss comparisons between herself and other emerging British female artists at the time, wanting to be recognized as an individual rather than being grouped together with other singers she felt she had nothing in common with musically. The last few years have seen her release two successful albums, and her third is due out in April.

How to Be a Heartbreaker
by Marina and the Diamonds
by Marina and the Diamonds

Gerard Way

As the lead singer of the popular rock band My Chemical Romance, Gerard Way was a frontrunner in the introduction of emo music to the mainstream in the mid-2000s. My Chemical Romance split back in 2013, and now Gerard Way is stepping out as a solo artist. He released his first solo record, “Hesitant Alien,” in 2014. It helped that his status and popularity were previously established, as the album did very well on the charts.

No Shows
by Gerard Way
Action Cat
by Gerard Way

Tove Lo

Sweden’s Tove Lo gained attention in 2013 when her breakthrough electropop single “Habits” reached number three on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. The song became even more popular and saw more international exposure when it was remixed by American production duo Hippie Sabotage. Her rapid success later earned her a spot opening for Katy Perry on her Prismatic World Tour. In September she released her debut album “Queen of the Clouds,” which is her first full-length record.

by Tove Lo
Not On Drugs
by Tove Lo

Run the Jewels

What started as a one-off collaboration between noted rappers El-P and Killer Mike evolved into the hip hop superduo Run the Jewels. Shortly after a successful self-titled debut album, they released their sophomore album titled “Run the Jewels 2.” Both albums were met with huge success, and Killer Mike has stated that the duo is set to start working on “Run the Jewels 3” this year.

Close Your Eyes
by Run the Jewels
Oh My Darling Don’t Cry
by Run the Jewels


Danish singer MO first came into the spotlight in 2013 when she sang on Avicii’s track “Dear Boy” from the producer’s hit album true. She released her eagerly anticipated full length album “No Mythologies to Follow” in 2014. Her style can be described as electro-pop, and she cites bands like Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Sonic Youth as influences.

Don’t Wanna Dance
by MO
XXX 88
by MO


Sydney, Australia’s DMA’s is a band on the rise, both in their home country and overseas. The trio formed in 2012 and developed a sound that evokes the early-90s style of iconic Britpop bands like Oasis, Blur, and The Stone Roses. They gained a lot of recognition with the release of their successful debut single “Delete,” which earned them critical praise and an ever-growing fan base.

by DMA’s
by DMA’s


Boston-based rock trio Krill recently signed with indie label Exploding in Sound, which has put out albums for artists like Porches and Speedy Ortiz. The label re-released the band’s debut record, “Lucky Leaves,” in 2014, followed by their sophomore effort, “A Distant Fist Unclenching,” in February of this year. Krill’s new record has received praise from Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, Vice, NME, and others.

by Krill
Theme From Krill
by Krill

Sunday, May 24


After a decade-long hiatus, one of the most influential bands of the 20th century, the Pixies, are back in full swing, once again gracing the music world with their presence. Formed in Boston in 1986, the Pixies’ classic lineup featured vocalist/guitarist Black Francis, bassist/vocalist Kim Deal, guitarist Joey Santiago, and drummer David Lovering. Having influenced some of the biggest acts in music, including Nirvana, Radiohead, and The Strokes, they have left an everlasting imprint on the music industry. They have received critical acclaim galore for their music, which somehow perfectly blends harsh, aggressive vocals and abrasive guitars with catchy melodies and hooks. They have been praised left and right for each of their spectacular albums, especially their 1988 debut “Surfer Rosa” and its 1989 follow-up “Doolittle.” The Pixies’ popularity spiked again in 1999 when their song “Where Is My Mind?” played during the iconic end scene of the David Fincher film “Fight Club.” Although original bassist/sometimes vocalist Kim Deal left the band in 2013, and her absence is definitely felt (the Deal-fronted Pixies classic “Gigantic” has been noticeably absent from recent setlists), the rest of the classic lineup remains intact. The Pixies released the album “Indie Cindy” in 2014, their first new record since 1991’s “Trompe Le Monde.”

Where Is My Mind?
by Pixies
by Pixies

Tenacious D

Tenacious D is the Los Angeles-based comedy rock duo featuring actors Jack Black and Kyle Gass. Active since the mid-’90s, the band has released three albums and built up a massive cult following over the years, especially due to their 1997 self-titled HBO television series and Black’s high-profile movie career. Tenacious D even won a Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance earlier this year for their cover of Ronnie James Dio’s “The Last in Line,” which appeared on the tribute album “Ronnie James Dio – This Is Your Life.” Black and Gass have confirmed that they are working on a fourth album, but they have not yet announced a release date.

by Tenacious D
by Tenacious D

TV On the Radio

TV On the Radio emerged onto the New York City indie rock scene in 2001, at a time and place which saw the formation of several successful bands. They have shared their post-punk sound on four critically acclaimed albums, which have had contributions from artists like David Bowie, Trent Reznor, and Nick Zinner of Yeah Yeah Yeahs. The band has carried on through the unfortunate passing of bassist Gerard Smith in 2011, and released their most recent album, “Seeds” in 2014.

Wolf Like Me
by TV On the Radio
Happy Idiot
by TV On the Radio

Vance Joy

Australian singer/songwriter Vance Joy used to play at open mic nights in Melbourne while working on completing a law degree. He ultimately decided to abandon the legal profession and wholeheartedly pursue a music career. His debut single “Riptide” was an immediate hit in Australia and led him to sign a multi-album deal with Atlantic Records. “Riptide” eventually became an international smash hit played in heavy rotation on radio stations all over the world, pushing him further into the limelight. Vance Joy released his debut studio album, “Dream Your Life Away,” in 2014.

by Vance Joy
Mess Is Mine
by Vance Joy

Jason Isbell

After spending six years as a member of the Southern rock band Drive-By Truckers, singer/giutarist Jason Isbell stepped out as a solo artist in 2007. The Alabama native released his debut album, “Sirens of the Ditch,” earlier that year. He has since released three more well-received studio albums, the most recent of which, “Southeastern,” came out in 2013. Isbell’s latest release is a two-song EP called “Sea Songs,” which is a collaboration with his wife, Amanda Shires, that features covers of Warren Zevon’s “Mutineer” and Lykke Li’s “I Follow Rivers.”

Cover Me Up
by Jason Isbell
by Jason Isbell

Chet Faker

Australian electronica artist Nick Murphy opted to take on an alias in order to avoid confusion between himself and another Australian artist of the same name. He decided to make music under the name Chet Faker, an obvious homage to the late Chet Baker, whose music he listened to growing up. He launched his career with a downtempo cover of the ’90s hit “No Diggity,” which was used in a 2013 Super Bowl commercial for Beck’s Sapphire. In 2014 he released his debut album, “Built on Glass,” which debuted at #1 on Australia’s ARIA charts.

Talk Is Cheap
by Chet Faker
No Diggity
by Chet Faker

The Lone Bellow

The Lone Bellow is a band that brings country style to Brooklyn. The band was formed in 2010 by southern transplants Zach Williams, Kanene Doheney Pipkin, and Brian Elmquist. Originally Williams began working as a solo act, but found once he began jamming with Elmquist and Pipkin that his music worked well with a band. The Lone Bellow just released their latest album, “Then Came the Morning,” in January.

You Never Need Nobody
by The Lone Bellow
Green Eyes and a Heart of Gold
by The Lone Bellow


Makonnen Sheran, aka iLoveMakonnen, is a hip hop artist from Atlanta, Georgia. He entered the spotlight in 2014 when superstar rapper Drake remixed his song “Tuesday” from his self-titled EP. The track now has almost 10 million plays on SoundCloud and over 60 million views on YouTube. iLoveMakonnen recently signed with Drake’s label OVO Sound.

by iLoveMakonnen
I Don’t Sell Molly No More
by iLoveMakonnen


Halsey is the stage name of New York’s Ashley Frangipane. In true hipster fashion, the New Jersey native took the name of a stop on the L train to use as her musical alias. She self-released her first single, “Ghost,” and based on the strength and popularity of that song she signed a deal with Capitol Records-owned electronic/dance label Astralwerks in 2014. She released her debut EP later that year.

by Halsey
by Halsey

The Ballroom Thieves

Boston’s The Ballroom Thieves is made up of Martin Earley (guitar/vocals), Devin Mauch (percussion/vocals), and Calin Peters (cello/vocals). The trio is very much a roots rock band, with an organic, stripped-down mix of folk, blues, and rock. The Ballroom Thieves are set to release their debut full-length, “A Wolf in the Doorway,” on April 21.

Loose Lips
by The Ballroom Thieves
Save Me
by The Ballroom Thieves

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