Concert review: Boston recaptures late-'70s glory at Mohegan
Friday, August 14, 2015

By Stephen Peterson
Sun Chronicle

UNCASVILLE, Conn. -- It was the only New England concert for the group Boston on their current tour, so Thursday night's stop at Mohegan Sun Arena was in essence the hometown show.

And the sonic rock band from The Hub didn't disappoint, putting on a dazzling, two-hour performance. Rick Springfield was supposed to open but didn't, so Boston had the stage all to itself.

While the band is down to one original member, Tom Scholz, he is their founder, songwriter and producer, playing lead and rhythm guitar and keyboards, and providing backing vocals. And the rest of the band jelled smoothly with Scholz, showcasing the unique Boston techno sound.

The group came out with a new album last year, "Life, Love and Hope," but played just one song off that. Instead, they stuck mainly to their popular tunes, most of their first two albums.

The show opened with "Rock & Roll Band" and "Smokin,'" the latter of which had Scholz on an organ with smoke pouring out of it.

The two songs are off Boston's 1976 self-titled debut album, one of the all-time classic rock albums and one of the biggest sellers ever. Every song garnered heavy radio play over the years. Other than Fleetwood Mac's "Rumours" and The Who's "Who's Next," you can't say that about too many albums.

"Feelin' Satisfied" was from the follow-up 1978 album, "Don't Look Back."

It was then on to the title track from "Life, Love & Hope."

Following "Peace of Mind," keyboardist/guitarist Beth Cohen sang "Long Time" which segued into "Cool the Engines." Cohen played guitar and sang on "Surrender to Me."

The group's only No. 1 song, the ballad "Amanda," is off their third album, "Third Stage," from 1986. Scholz worked on the album for six years.

Video of the space program was shown for "The Launch."

A highlight of the show was the band's performance of "More Than a Feeling," which featured four guitars.

After an instrumental, lead vocalist Tommy DeCarlo and Cohen played a duet on "I Need Your Love."

DeCarlo hit a gong that had the band's name on it for "Walk On"/"Get Organ-ized."

Before singing "Hitch a Ride," the frontman said it was the most requested song. Scholz played both guitar and keyboard on it.

"Foreplay/Long Time" has a lengthy instrumental introduction, and three guitarists jammed together at the front of the stage. Acoustic guitars are used in the number.

The encore included "Don't Be Afraid" and "Party."

The band is rounded out with bassist Tracy Ferrie, drummer Jeff Neal and guitarist Gary Pihl.

DeCarlo and his soaring vocals sound just like Brad Delp, who committed suicide in 2007 at age 55. Original lead guitarist Barry Goudreau has also been satisfactorily replaced.

Along with a sparse album output, Boston hasn't done much touring. "We don't get out much," Scholz cracked.

He started Boston from tapes he made in his basement that became the basis for the first album. An MIT graduate student, Scholz has also been quite the inventor, obtaining several patents, including for popular music devices. He even wore a MIT shirt during the show.

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