By Raymond Britt
It's as simple as this: the band Boston was nothing short of spectacular at their August 10, 2014 concert in Aurora's RiverEdge Park.
On August 25, 1976, Boston's debut self-titled album was released. On that day, the first copies of that album flew off the shelves, winning rave reviews from critics and creating life-long fans that would buy more than 20 million copies over the following decades.
As Boston took the stage for the 49th performance on its Heaven on Earth Tour, it was also a mere 15 days shy of the 38th anniversary of the debut album's release.
The show had it all -- Boston's classic hits, the intricate arrangements, the tight musicianship, and the exceptionally unique Boston sound combined to bring the venue's sold-out audience to its feet again and again.
That's what decades of Boston's timeless music has been doing at every stop on the band's bold 2014 tour journey of 69 planned concerts: grabbing audiences from the first notes of the opening song 'Rock and Roll Band' and not letting go until the final crescendo of the encore 'Party' wrapped up almost two hours later.
In-between, Boston didn't seem to leave anything out.
By Stacy Peterson
The Fayetteville Observer
RALEIGH - By the time Boston finished its 2 1/2-hour concert Friday night, fans from the reserved seats section had crowded around the stage at the Alltel Pavilion at Walnut Creek.
The crowd had coaxed the band into two encores and couldn't get enough as Boston finished its last song of the night, "Smokin'," just after 11 p.m.
The scene was a throwback to the 1970s, when "arena rock" meant long concerts with smoke, lots of lights and volume. Boston defined the layered arena rock sound with its 1976 self-titled album, which has sold more than 14 million copies.
On Friday, the fans up front, many of them now middle-aged with their children, were back in their element to hits like "More Than A Feeling," "Foreplay/Longtime" and "Let Me Take You Home Tonight."
Boston played nearly 30 songs on a stage that resembled a toxic urban wasteland.
By L. Kent Wolgamott
Lincoln Journal Star
It was a perfect evening for Boston fans at Pinewood Bowl Friday, cool and comfortable for what they'd come to hear.
That, of course, was nearly 20 songs, including all the '70s hits, well played by Boston founder and guitar wizard Tom Scholz and the five-piece band.
The bowl was packed with 4,350 people, the most it can hold for a seated show.
Tommy DeCarlo handled the lead vocal duty for most of the night, adding a shade of his own style while faithfully replicating Brad Delp's original lines on the likes of "Peace of Mind," "Long Time" and "More Than a Feeling," which came midway through the 1 hour, 45 minute set,
By Doug Fox
If the past 38 years of radio airplay have taught us anything, it's that the rock band Boston has its own distinct, immediately recognizable sound.
Songs like "More Than a Feeling," "Peace of Mind," "Long Time," "Don't Look Back" and "Amanda" are instantly discerned from their very first notes -- no matter what part of the tune is playing when you first dial it in.
Yet the biggest question mark coming into the band's appearance at USANA Amphitheatre on Tuesday night was how closely it could replicate that trademark sound in a live setting. We're not necessarily talking about the band's powerful, yet intricately layered guitar sound, mind you, as Tom Scholz and company have proven the ability over the years to pull that off. No, we were mainly wondering how Tommy DeCarlo's vocals would fit into the overall scheme of things and whether any noticeable differences would throw things a bit off kilter when it came to experiencing songs that have been such a part of the musical landscape for nearly four decades.
By Rob Hubbard
If there's a signature sound for the whole "classic rock" radio playlist that's changed so little in the past quarter-century, it might belong to Boston. The layers of electric guitars playing roughly the same line and the wailing high tenor of Brad Delp supported by a sea of harmonies: They all scream the late '70s to some or as fresh as this morning for regular listeners of the Twin Cities' most popular radio station.
The soft metal septet christened the freshly refurbished State Fair Grandstand on Thursday night with a show that was at its best when satisfying the nostalgic urges of an audience of 5,385 for material from the band's first two albums. While some bands that found stardom in that era approach their older material with noticeable disinterest, Boston seems to understand that there's a reason theirs has endured as well as it has. Sure, Delp needs a little help with the highest notes nowadays - they're often handled by fellow frontman Fran Cosmo - but the band is as conscientious as ever about reproducing its studio wizardry in concert.
And make no mistake: Boston is more of a studio band than an arena rock legend. Its sound is the brainchild of Tom Scholz, a skilled guitarist and engineer who concocted it in his basement and has since come to be known for taking eight years to finish each of the band's last three albums. Alas, most of the band's recent songs lack the anthemic hooks of its early years, and Thursday's audience responded tepidly while waiting for '70s fare to resurface.
Scholz proved that his impressive guitar licks are no studio creation, ripping through a couple of rapid- fire solos in the Eddie Van Halen vein and engaging in the band's patented piercing guitar duets with the almost equally adept Gary Pihl. However, the Boston wall of sound (employing as many as five guitars) sometimes crushed the vocals of Delp, Cosmo and company.
But, when the band tore into the pounding power chords of the "Foreplay/Long Time" medley that acted as its debut's center piece, it was more than a blast of nostalgia: It was a rich reminder of the stirring power that makes this band still a classic of "classic rock."
And for anyone who's bemoaned the ramshackle grandstand in previous years, you should be impressed by the redesign. Where once a racetrack divided artists from audience, there's now an expansive seating area fronting a stage that is set well into the infield. While the slope is slight on this "main floor" - making for inevitable standing behind enthusiastic first day ticket buyers - it's a pleasant configuration with more seats facing the stage than in the neck-craning days of yore.