Boston rejuvenates its classics
Monday, June 23, 2003

By Steve Klinge
For The Inquirer

Although Boston titled its second album Don't Look Back, the band has done little since its epochal 1976 debut but try to recapture that first album's 16 million-selling glory. With minimal changes - a power ballad or two here, a new band member or three there - Boston's five albums (in 27 years!) are nearly interchangeable. Except that the debut contains much better songs than any of the others.

At Camden's Tweeter Center, Boston treated the die-hards who braved Friday night's downpours to all eight songs from the first album, but as part of the deal, concertgoers had to sit through nearly all of the recent Corporate America.

And sit they did, through the painful cliches of "Someone" and seven other new ones, although they leapt to their feet for nearly everything else in the 2 1/2-hour show.

The seven-piece band (guitar whiz Tom Scholz and vocalist Brad Delp the only original members) expertly re-created the albums' multitracked airtight sound. With four guitarists, including the father-son team of Fran and Anthony Cosmo, the band rejuvenated classics such as "More Than a Feeling" and "Peace of Mind," songs that were the soundtrack to the high-school years of the folks who filles two-thirds of the Tweeter's seats.

Delp can still emote enthusiastically, although he usually abdicated the high notes to Fran Cosmo. Oddly, Scholz, the guitar gearhead, saved his lengthiest solos for forays on the organ (including the egregious five-minute version of Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor in the middle of "Walk On").

But the band made "Smokin'," "Rock & Roll Band," and other classic-rock warhorses seem alive, and that's what mattered.
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