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:
Tommy DeCarlo can sing -- like really, really sing
Yes, Boston once had an amazing singer named Brad Delp, but Delp died in 2007. Tommy DeCarlo is the guy now and he has been the guy for almost a decade. In a recent interview with DeCarlo, he told me about his daily routine and I could immediately tell how seriously he takes his job. And it shows. Singing the songs of Scholz is tough, but DeCarlo does it as well, if not better, than anyone.
Beth Cohen is a beast, and I mean that in a very complimentary way. She layers her vocals with DeCarlo's from time to time, recreating Boston vocals that are album-quality. She also plays keyboards and guitar and she takes the occasional lead vocals, particularly Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love" and "Walk On."
I briefly talked to her, briefly, backstage about her recent gig with Barry Gibb at Glastonbury. As a huge fan of Gibbs, as well, I always enjoy seeing Beth Cohen perform.
Yep. Scholz made lightning in his garage. And during a really cool part of the show, you get to see said lightning as well as guitars that light up. It's definitely worth the wait.
It would be a huge disservice not to mention the rhythm section of drummer Jeff Neal and bassist Tracie Ferrie. It's doubtful you will see a tighter rhythm section on any stage.
But there is nothing better than seeing the guitar back-and-fourth between Gary Pihl and Scholz. Seriously. This is the guitar fan dream come true.
Sometimes Scholz likes to get behind the organ and when he does, magic is made. This song comes late in the set and the build up is always worth it. It's one of the greatest classic rock songs in history. And it's always a magical moment when Boston plays it live.