Boston puts on a show with a few familiar songs
Monday, June 23, 2003

By JEFF MAISEY
The Virginian-Pilot

VIRGINIA BEACH --Tom Scholz was the master guitarist and master of disguises Sunday night at the Verizon Wireless Virginia Beach Amphitheater.

Wearing a sleeveless black stage crew T-shirt and a Boston Red Sox baseball cap, Scholz posed as a guitar technician testing the equipment, and then he started noodling around with the notes of "The Star-Spangled Banner." At that point, the curtain dropped and the whole band joined in. It was an unexpected beginning to a sensational evening of classic rock, which included all the theatrics of a 1970s arena rock show.

Boston opened with "I Had a Good Time," the initial track from its recently released album "Corporate America." The stage props kept with the theme of corporate America's pollution-spewing chemical plants. An enormous backdrop depicted an industrial factory, and inflatable metal-looking cylinders were posted as corrosive waste.

The group didn't keep fans waiting long for the hits from the first two albums. "Rock and Roll Band" and "Peace of Mind" preceded "Don't Look Back."

The Boston lineup made use of four and sometimes five guitars to create the full-layered sound as heard on the lusciously produced albums. They pulled off this feat in a remarkable way.
When singer Brad Delp hit the high notes during "More Than a Feeling," the crowd rose to its feet in approval. But then on the highest peak toward the end of the song, Delp extended his arm and pointed to guitarist Fran Cosmo, who hit the note for a home run.

With many of their favorites out of the way, Boston performed selections from "Corporate America." "Someone," one of Boston's newest masterpieces, was fueled by the heavy vibes of Scholz's Hammond organ, reminiscent of '70s Prog Rock. "Turn it Off" had a similar appeal and Scholz inserted a classic Boston guitar solo.

Boston came from an era where most of the songs on an album were usually good, and so, for that reason, deep cuts like "Take You Home Tonight" were as well received as the hits.

A big part of what made this particular concert such an enjoyable experience was the dead-on production work; the guitar solos were out in front of the mix, the harmonies were on the money, and Delp's voice was as strong as ever.

This was a show to remember.
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