Boston rolls on with Sweet on vocals
Thursday, July 31, 2008
By Jed Heneberry, Managing Editor
Boston Music Spotlight

It's been a difficult couple of years for Boston. Since the death of lead singer Brad Delp the band has suffered through band turmoil about who would officially carry on the band's name and songs, and now Tom Scholz is bringing the current formation to the Comcast Center for a homecoming show this Saturday night in hopes that the classic songs themselves can be agents of healing.

Along for the ride is Michael Sweet, lead singer of Stryper, who is sharing lead vocal duties for the tour with Tommy DeCarlo. "I pinch myself every night on stage," says Sweet. "I first heard Boston when I was 13 years old and they really did influence me musically to try and get a better guitar tone, to layer vocals. If you listen to some Stryper stuff you can totally hear the Boston influence."

Ironically, Stryper actually recorded a cover of "Peace of Mind" before Sweet ever knew he'd be singing with the band. His goal in singing with Boston is not to sound as much like Delp as he can, but rather to sound like himself, similar in some ways and different in others. "I'm thinking 'Brad Delp was such an amazing singer, a one of a kind singer, and I don't sound anything like Brad Delp'," Sweet says. "I was kind of nervous, but what happened is that I could sing the songs like Michael Sweet would sing the songs, and, thank God, Tom really appreciated that, and even more than that the fans have accepted it."

Sweet admits that DeCarlo sounds much more like Delp, but all things considered it's nice to have someone bringing something new to Boston's classics. "It comes down to the song in my opinion, and what's important is that it touches people," says Sweet. "Why let that die? If people want to come and participate, have a good time and sing those songs, why not? Even though Brad is gone and it's a sad thing, it's a tragedy, the music goes on."

"Boston is certainly one of those bands that when I hear a Boston song on the radio I get very excited," he continues. "It's like a breath of fresh air still, the songs sound as fresh as they did in '75 and the production holds up against anything out there right now."

After 30 something years as a band and an especially difficult past two, things are going well for Boston, and for Sweet. "I'm just thrilled to be here", he gushes. "I question why often, why am I here, how did this happen, but certainly God had his hand in it, there's no question in my mind."

The band is especially excited to come back to the Comcast Center this Sunday, and before that they'll be at the US Cellular Pavilion in Guilford, NH on Saturday. "We come out and we just blow through the greatest hits man," says Sweet of the show. "It's all the hits that you remember and that you hear on the radio. It's an amazing night." After all that the band has been through up to this point, it's nice to know that there are good times ahead.

Boston plays the Comcast Center on Sunday, August 3. For those so inclined, Michael Sweet requested prayers for his wife Kyle, who is battling cancer.
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