Coachella 2018

One of music’s biggest weekends is here, with the annual Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival taking over Indio, Calif. starting Friday.

Watch Coachella 2018 Live

“Coachella, can I take you back to a time when I was actually dope?”

Eminem knows how to have a good laugh about himself, so when the rapper yelled those words from the Coachella mainstage Sunday night, it was with good combo of bravado and self-awareness. It followed a few minutes of “mean tweets” (introduced by a pre-taped Jimmy Kimmel) that viciously laid into the hip-hop icon in mid-career. His answer came in the form of “My Name Is,” his breakthrough single from 1999 that introduced Em as a searing voice for pushing buttons and boundaries.

He’s still ready to do damage, opening his show with a video of a King Kong-sized Slim Shady stomping through city streets, smashing cars, flipping off the citizenry and generally wreaking havoc. But his songs of defiance and doubt were never about hooliganism, and reached for ever-deeper meaning of the most personal kind.

Eminem arrived onto a stage dressed to look like a fading Detroit factory (with the “313” area code prominently painted onto a water tower) which he’d eventually set aflame, later rising again as a landscape of imagined urban renewal in depressed middle America. He snarled the lyrics on the dangerously playful “Kill You” while stumbling across the stage, bouncing to the beat in his white tracksuit, then he was searching and threatening on “The Way I Am.” With a full band and strings behind him, the beats and melodies supporting the raps were usually played live, not sampled (including his “Sing for the Moment” tweak of Aerosmith’s hit “Dream On”).

Eminem doesn’t do long tours these days and came prepared to make his Coachella set a special event. Beyoncé didn’t show up to perform their duet on “Walk On Water,” which might have been anticlimactic a day after her own soaring Coachella set. Filling in was singer-producer Skylar Grey, who also stepped in for other missing collaborators on “Stan” (Dido) and “Love the Way You Lie” (Rihanna), ably filling the gap with her own biting vocals.

Friend and collaborator 50 Cent landed like a boxer stepping into the ring, bouncing hard and taking the lead on a trio of tough raps: “Patiently Waiting,” “I Get Money” and “In Da Club.” Dr. Dre emerged to recreate the classic producer-rapper collaborations that made Marshall Mathers a star. He turned up just as Eminem rapped crazily, “Dr. Dre’s dead, he’s locked in my basement. …” The show immediately shifted into Dre’s Nineties episode, with Eminem taking Snoop Dogg’s lines on “Nuthin’ but a ‘G’ Thang.” For a rap star who rarely appears on stage anywhere, Dre manages to bring it with confidence and muscle every time out at Coachella, which has become his only live venue: headlining two shows with Snoop in 2012, performing at last year’s N.W.A reunion during Ice Cube’s set and now with Eminem.

 For Eminem, that opening chapter of his career created with Dre was largely built on statements of self, colliding ego, personal obsessions and struggles with life and art. Onstage to thousands, Eminem still expressed self-doubt and the frustration with the challenge of matching his own high standards: “Will this step just be another misstep/To tarnish whatever the legacy, love or respect, I’ve garnered?/The rhyme has to be perfect, the delivery flawless.” Everything that made Slim Shady one of the most essential voices of his generation was onstage this weekend.

Boston Marathon 2018

Boston Marathon 2018 live: How to watch, viewer’s guide and race times

Wellcome to Watch The 122nd Boston Marathon is shaping up to be another historic race after organizers managed to land the four best U.S. female marathoners to try and end a 33-year drought without an American women’s champion. It will be no easy task, as reigning champion Edna Kiplagat of Kenya returns to defend her title and is one of three East Africans who have run under 2:20. The men’s race is headlined by a rematch of last year’s victor Geoffrey Kirui of Kenya and runner-up Galen Rupp, the 2017 Chicago Marathon champion and two-time Olympic medalist.

How to watch on TV and online (all times Eastern)

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE (A FREE REGISTRATION REQUIRED)

Nationally, NBC Sports Network will provide coverage from 8:30 a.m. until 1 p.m.

In the Boston area, WBZ (the CBS affiliate) will have coverage from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. with the live stream on its website.

There may never be another “normal” Boston Marathon again, not after the 2013 bombings at the finish line, and this year’s version, when around 30,000 runners step to the starting line, will be no exception.The race will begin at 8:40 a.m. Eastern time in Hopkinton, Mass., and will end at the Boylston Street finish line where the bombings occurred in Boston, with the usual Red Sox game going on at Fenway Park.

Previewing the 2018 Boston Marathon: Four Elite Women Vie to End U.S. Drought.The Boston Marathon has made headlines in recent days for its inclusion of transgender runners. But organizers say they’ve actually been participating for several years.”We don’t require that runners outline their gender identity history with us, so we can’t say for certain how many trans runners are in our race. We do know that we have had several transgender runners in the past,” said T.K. Skenderian, Director of Communications for the Boston Athletic Association, which organizes the annual race.

On Monday, the elite women will start at 9:32 a.m. ET and the elite men will go off at 10 a.m. ET. The race will be broadcast live on TV on NBC Sports Network but can also be streamed on NBC Sports Gold. I will be in Boston providing live updates on Twitter—you can follow along here.