By Steve Klinge
For The Inquirer
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.
By JEFF MAISEY
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."
A mix of old and new music and a dollop of good humor delight a devoted State Fair audience.
By Jody Crossman
Register Staff Writer
Not since the creation of Samuel Adams Lager or baked beans has something from Boston (the city) gone down as smoothly as Boston (the band).
Playing to a crowd of 6,088 at the Iowa State Fair Grandstand on Saturday night, the progressive rock band from the East Coast put on a display of pure musical genius that's been its hallmark since the early 1970s.
The multilayered, rich sound of this band is still a marvel to hear today.
With many guitar riffs, organ and keyboard solos, and consistently strong vocals and lyrics, Boston's sound has weathered nearly 30 years of rock 'n' roll.
In 1976, a little band called Boston released its self-titled first album: a slim collection of hook-drenched arena-rockers that clocked in at 37 minutes and went on to sell 17 million copies -- making it the biggest debut in pop history until Whitney Houston came along. Three decades later such stick-to-your-ribs singles as "More Than a Feeling" and "Foreplay/Long Time" are staples of classic - rock radio. To celebrate the album's 30th anniversary, Boston mastermind Tom Scholz -- an MIT grad who basically cooked the whole thing up in his basement -- digitally remastered the band's self-titled debut and 1978 followup, "Don't Look Back." Reissues of both discs arrive in stores today, inspiring the Globe's pop music critics Joan Anderman and Sarah Rodman to sharpen their knives for a debate about the merits of a band reviled by some as the creators of corporate rock and beloved by many for their pristine, lighter-raising anthems.
Sarah Rodman: Well, it's the 30th anniversary of the first Boston album and I think that in a lot of ways it sounds as fresh as it did 30 years ago. I don't feel the same way about "Don't Look Back," but we'll get to that later. I think the thing that I enjoyed about listening to this record again, not having listened to it in a long time, is that it's only 37 minutes long, and I think people think of Boston as this bombastic, indulgent, sort of almost prog-rock type band, and it's only eight songs, 37 minutes. There are records now, like hip-hop and R&B, that are an hour long with so much filler. This is all killer, no filler in my opinion.
It was more than a feeling that kept the sweaty crowd anxiously waiting for two great 70s bands to rock the Zoo Amphitheater tonight. The fever rose as the roadies tested the instruments for Boston.
The capacity crowd roared as Boston broke into the National Anthem on guitar.
Boston's founder, 6-foot 7-inch Tom Scholz, played an old style organ but he didn't move around the stage much, apparently because of the black brace on his knee. He wore a black and white T-shirt that said, "It's OK, I'm with the band."
The band interspersed favorites like "Rock and Roll Band," "Peace of Mind" and "Long Time" with adrenalin-pumping instrumentals.
Cheers got even louder and people sang along as the band began "More Than a Feeling."