By Jason Sylvestre
When opportunity knocked, Fran Cosmo answered.
In the early 1990s, Cosmo was approached by the rock band Boston to take over lead vocal duties from Brad Delp, who decided to focus on a solo project. Although filling Delp's shoes was a major challenge -- Boston sold 28 million albums with Delp as its frontman -- Cosmo decided to jump at the chance.
In 1994, Cosmo was featured as the sole lead vocalist on Boston's album Walk On. The disc, which was certified platinum for sales of one million copies, reached No. 7 on the Billboard charts and had one Top 10 single -- I Need Your Love, which peaked at No. 4.
Upon Delp's return to Boston for the tour to support Walk On -- he never missed a Boston tour until his death in 2007 -- the two men shared the lead vocal duties.
"When he rejoined the band, we sang together live until he passed," Cosmo said during a recent telephone interview from his home in Boston. "We had a great time together. Me and Brad were best friends, I knew him way before we were in the band Boston. We went way back to before the Orion The Hunter days.
"I credit my longevity to my love of rock and roll, I love singing. playing, recording, the whole music industry. Ever since I was a 10-year-old kid, I knew this is what I wanted to do."
Cosmo performed on Boston tours from 1994 to 2004, and currently performs in the band Cosmo with his son, Anton Cosmo. The band, which also features former Boston bassist David Sike, released its debut album Alien in 2006.
"I recorded Alien when I had some time off from the band Boston," explained the 59-year-old Cosmo. "We set out to create a new sound -- grunge was pretty big at the time. we were influenced by that and added elements of that older melodic rock sound. I even changed my voice a bit on the songs. It was really different, raw, it wasn't so overly polished. I really liked that."
Cosmo began in a band called Celebration which developed a following playing the bar circuit in the Boston area. A few years later, Cosmo was asked by guitarist Barry Goudreau -- an original member of Boston -- to contribute to his self-titled debut album.
"I wrote a couple of songs for it, and sang a couple of songs for it, too," said Cosmo. "From there we formed a band called Orion The Hunter and we released an album in 1984 on Columbia Records which yielded the hit single So You Ran. It was a big radio hit and we found ourselves opening for Aerosmith."
Orion The Hunter, which also included Delp, disbanded in 1985.
Now Cosmo finds himself playing in his own band with the additional benefit of his son performing along side of him.
"It's great, we have a good time together," said Cosmo. "He also does his own thing -- he writes music and plays as well.
"We do a lot of Boston songs, at the live shows it's a high-energy show, its not a laid-back show. People are going to have a great time."
8 p.m., Feb. 5
Casino Regina Show Lounge