by Len Righi
The Morning Call

Boston, the rock band whose self-titled 1976 debut included the FM-rock radio anthems "More Than a Feeling," "Peace of Mind" and "Foreplay/Long Time," will perform in Bethlehem on Aug. 4 at Musikfest's RiverPlace stage.

Michael Sweet, lead singer for Stryper, the California Christian metal band that sold millions of records in the 1980s, will handle lead vocals on Boston's first tour since 2004.

He replaces Brad Delp, who was found dead in his home in Atkinson, N.H., on March 9, 2007, lying on a pillow on his bathroom floor with a suicide note pinned to his shirt. The official cause of death was listed as carbon monoxide poisoning.

Tickets for the 8:30 p.m. concert are $24-$47. They will go on sale at 10 a.m. April 14-16 to ArtsQuest members; 10 a.m. April 17 to Musikfest sponsors and their employees, and 10 a.m. April 18 to the public.

Tickets can be ordered by calling 610-332-3378 or visiting .

Boston, the brainchild of studio technician, producer and musician Tom Scholz, last performed in the Lehigh Valley in 1997 at The Allentown Fair before an appreciative crowd of 5,700 at the Fairgrounds Grandstand.

Boston achieved supergroup status despite recording only five albums over its 32-year existence. The 1978 album "Don't Look Back" hit No. 1 on the Billboard chart, while the record's title track was a Top Five hit. "Third Stage," released in 1986, also made it to the top of the and included the hits "Amanda," "We're Ready" and "Can't You Say." Boston's most recent disc was 2003's poorly received "Corporate America."

Scholz recently was in the news when he made public his displeasure that Republican presidential candidate (and amateur bassist) Mike Huckabee has been performing Boston's "More Than a Feeling" at campaign events -- sometimes even with onetime Boston guitarist Barry Goudreau. Scholz, who wrote and played every guitar part on "More Than a Feeling," is an Obama supporter. "Boston has never endorsed a political candidate, and with all due respect, would not start by endorsing a candidate who is the polar opposite of most everything Boston stands for," Scholz wrote to Huckabee.

Musikfest, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2008, will take place Aug. 1-10 in Bethlehem.