By Karen Nazor Hill
Times Free Press
In 2008, Tommy DeCarlo traded in his orange apron for a microphone.
The transformation took DeCarlo from his job as a credit manager at a Home Depot in Charlotte, N.C., to center stage as the lead singer for Boston. And that's where he'll be tonight when Boston takes the Coca-Cola Stage at Riverbend.
It's a Cinderella story for DeCarlo, 49, who says he got hooked on Boston's music when he was 12. A self-taught musician, DeCarlo started singing when he was 6 or 7 years old. "I used to sing along to my parents' eight-track tapes in the family station wagon," he says.
In elementary school, he joined the school choir and often, but unsuccessfully, auditioned for lead roles. It wasn't until he became a Boston fan that he started singing along with the band's original lead singer, the late Brad Delp.
"It wasn't like I was trying to sing like Brad, it was just that I loved to sing along with him," DeCarlo says on the band's website.