By Ben Wener
The Hollywood Reporter
Seven months after issuing its first new music in a dozen years, the band that declared "Don't Look Back" is still doing exactly that.
Three songs into Boston's solid show Tuesday night at the Forum, the long-running but ever-changing group's first L.A. performance in six years, sonic mastermind and sole original member Tom Scholz had a pointed question for the largely older crowd that mostly filled the floor and lower half of the renovated arena.
"I want to know," he wondered: "How many of you here think bands like us should still make new albums?" It's a sensible query at a time when sales are at such an all-time low that barely pushing a thousand units still can secure a spot on Billboard best-selling albums chart.
Once upon a pre-SoundScan time -- specifically 1976, when "corporate rock" achieved chart dominance to match widespread FM airplay -- so many commercial duds mingling with runaway smashes was unthinkable. How much more competitive (if often rigged and inaccurate) were the results back then? The first meticulous Boston creation to emerge from Scholz's basement studio, an inescapable '70s staple like Frampton Comes Alive! and Fleetwood Mac's Rumours that would go on to sell 17 million copies and stay on the charts for 132 weeks, nonetheless never reached pole position -- its ascendency stopped at No. 3.