By Brett Milano
Boston Herald

There were tears shed in Boston when singer Brad Delp committed suicide in March, and a few more were likely shed at the Bank of America Pavilion Sunday night. Despite some somber moments, the five-hour, seven-band show amounted to a party in Delp's honor.

"The best way we can honor Brad is to have a really good time tonight," the band Boston's leader Tom Scholz announced at the start of its closing set. And the band's first show since losing Delp stressed the more upbeat side of its catalog, opening with "Rock 'n' Roll Band" and closing with "Party." Stryper singer Michael Sweet did most of the vocals, but leads were also done by past band members, current bassist Kimberley Dahme and even a Boston fan, Tommy DeCarlo, who was invited up from North Carolina.

The night ended with Scholz taking the mike and introducing almost everybody who'd ever been a member of Boston. Original drummer Sib Hashian is still feuding with Scholz, so he was neither mentioned nor included in the "Don't Look Back" encore, though he'd played with two bands (RTZ and Ernie & the Automatics) earlier in the show. Both bands also featured former Boston guitarist Barry Goudreau.

RTZ and Beatle Juice, both former bands of Delp's, played with rotating singers. Beatle Juice had a surprise guest in the Fools' frontman, Mike Girard. And longtime Boston friend and touring partner Charlie Farren did a workmanlike hard rock set with his band Farrenheit.

A surprise highlight was a new song about Delp, "Rock 'n' Roll Man," that kicked off Extreme's reunion set. Fittingly it's one of the most Beatles-like things Extreme has ever done, with Nuno Bettencourt playing piano and singer Gary Cherone leading a long, "Hey Jude"-style chant.

The rest of Extreme's set was more familiar and included its two big singles, "More Than Words" and "Hole Hearted."

Also surprising was Godsmack, which did a rare unplugged set.

Delp's warm heart and mighty voice were praised by everyone onstage; and there were touching moments with his fiancee, his ex-wife and two children all doing intros. Daughter Jenna screened a short biographical film, with some vintage Boston footage to make fans miss Delp even more.

COME TOGETHER: A TRIBUTE TO THE LIFE OF BRAD DELP, with BOSTON, GODSMACK, EXTREME and others at the Bank of America Pavilion, Sunday night.