By Jim Harris
Just another band out of Boston sang "Don't Look Back" during its rock 'n' roll heyday (circa 1976-87), but forgive for a moment if I look back.
I'd have given about anything for sixth-row tickets to a Boston show some 40 years ago. They played Pine Bluff, my hometown, when I was off at college; they've toured with other big pop-rock acts of their era since -- Styx, Kansas, et al. -- and I'd missed those shows as well.
Fast-forward almost four decades, and Boston mastermind Tom Scholz (MIT grad and genius mind at that) is still taking his band out on the road with five other faces who weren't there in the 1970s. The show promoter provided those choice sixth-row seats for Wednesday's show in Verizon Arena. But Boston doesn't play full-size arenas, much less stadiums, anymore, and Verizon had cut itself down to its theater-format size. It still manages to offer an arena feel inside a space that's more like Robinson Center across the river.
Boston's anthem rock may not draw the numbers of the late 1970s shows, but the music is still suited for arenas, though the current "Hyper Space Tour" is hitting small casino show halls and theaters like the Saenger in Mobile, Ala. Verizon snagged a show a day after Boston played the Walmart AMP in Rogers, in fact (3,500 seats under a tent, plus an uncovered grass section). The band brought no opener, just the five musicians who accompany Scholz, the versatile wizard.
By Jeff Clark
I guess I have penchant for bands that have "city" names. Anyone who knows me well, or, probably even casually at this point, knows I love the bands Chicago and Boston and I have since I was about 4 years old. I think it's because "Just You and Me" and "More Than A Feeling" are some of the first songs that I truly loved. Sure, there was The Carpenters and The Archies and other AM radio delights, but nothing really resonated with me like the songs of Chicago and Boston. All I have to do is hear the opening notes of either song and I'm transported back to a very happy time in my life. And what's the purpose of music if not to make us feel?
When Boston landed the rock and roll spaceship at the Seanger Theater in New Orleans on Tuesday, they brought a show that was as much about looking forward as it was looking back. That's not to say they didn't play "Don't Look Back," because they did and it was awesome. But the theme of the show is about space and time and rockets and spaceships and all things futuristic. The live show also a way for Boston leader Tom Scholz to continue to write and perform new material, surrounded by hits such as "Peace of Mind" and "Amanda."
Here are five take-aways from Tuesday's Boston show:
By Jesse Sendejas Jr.
Boston and Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
Smart Financial Centre
June 28, 2017
When's the last time you went to a rock concert? I mean a real live extended guitar solo-wailin', bassist leaping on the amp, giant gong behind the drum kit, lit Bics in the air, over-the-head hand-clapping, air guitar-inducing, never sit in the seat you purchased rock and roll affair? If you weren't at last night's Boston/Joan Jett show, you missed a hell of an opportunity to experience such a moment.
The bands are traveling together on Boston's Hyper Space Tour. Jett latched onto the tour for shows this month and next and opened the night. She peppered the audience with jab after jab and had us reeling before the headliners came out to land a haymaker, a musical knockout so intense it had us seeing stars (or spaceships, at least).
Even in an auditorium the size of Smart Financial Centre, bands feed off their crowds and last night's audience provided plenty of fuel. There was more than a feeling of excitement outside the building ahead of the show and long lines at the merch tables indoors. But most people were seated when none other than Dayna Steele, Houston's "First Lady of Rock," came out to introduce the bands and welcome everyone. You can't get more "rock and roll" in this town than having Steele onstage setting things up.
By Jon Gallo
Classic rock legends Boston brought its guitar-fueled parade of hard rock hits to the Inner Harbor's Pier Six Pavilion Saturday, rolling back time to a pre-millennial era when fuzzy riffs and piercing solos ruled the earth.
Fans inside the sold-out venue, as well as the throng that lined sidewalks across from the pier and the strategically moored boats in the harbor, were treated to a two-hour set that delivered the best of what the band has created in its 40-year history.
They don't skimp on the biggies, and that's just what kept the evening moving from highlight to highlight.
Few would argue the band's first three albums: Boston, Don't Look Back, and Third Stage are what most people recognize of its catalog, and Boston kept much of the night's focus there – playing 18 songs from the three releases.
By Wendy Rhodes
Broward Palm Beach Times
Next time you're at Home Depot, pay close attention to the guy with the shaggy hair in the orange apron. He's probably never been in a band before, but he just might be on his way to becoming the lead singer of one of the biggest classic rock bands in the world.
So it was with Tommy DeCarlo, whose Myspace videos landed him onstage Friday night at Hard Rock Live, singing to a sold-out crowd of 5,500 on the first night of Boston's 40th Anniversary Tour.
From the opening licks of "Rock & Roll Band," it was a night of heart-pounding rock the way it was meant to be -- raw, powerful, and with endless guitar solos delivered in the pure analog splendor that makes Boston one of the most enduring live acts on the planet.
"Hello, South Florida! Welcome to Boston!" Tom Scholz laughed, ripping into a scorching rendition of the "Star-Spangled Banner" from their Greatest Hits album.
Reminding fans why they can still pack arenas 40 years after Scholz recorded their 17-time platinum debut album Boston in his basement studio, the '70s sensation rocked hit after hit for two solid hours to a packed house of diehard fans and an untold number of Amandas and Hollyanns.