By Chris Colberg
The Oklahoman

It was more than a feeling that kept the sweaty crowd anxiously waiting for two great 70s bands to rock the Zoo Amphitheater tonight. The fever rose as the roadies tested the instruments for Boston.

The capacity crowd roared as Boston broke into the National Anthem on guitar.

Boston's founder, 6-foot 7-inch Tom Scholz, played an old style organ but he didn't move around the stage much, apparently because of the black brace on his knee. He wore a black and white T-shirt that said, "It's OK, I'm with the band."

The band interspersed favorites like "Rock and Roll Band," "Peace of Mind" and "Long Time" with adrenalin-pumping instrumentals.

Cheers got even louder and people sang along as the band began "More Than a Feeling."

For Boston, it all began in Scholz' basement studio in the mid-70s, after the MIT graduate withdrew his life's savings from his job at Polaroid and headed to his basement studio to begin overdubbing several songs he had written. For the demos, Scholz played all the instruments except the drums, played by friend Jim Masdea. Vocals were by phenomenal singer and original band member Brad Delp, who tragically committed suicide in 2007.

"More Than a Feeling" came a few demos later and helped get Scholz and Delp signed on with Epic Records.

Their album "Boston" was released in 1976 and became one of the highest selling debut albums, selling some 17 million records. The band has sold more than 30 million records, according to the Boston web site.

New Boston singer Tommy DeCarlo worked for Home Depot until Scholz discovered him when DeCarlo's daughter posted his karaoke performance on MySpace. Other band members are Michael Sweet, Jeff Neal, Kimberley Dahme and Gary Pihl.

Styx, a legendary 70s rock band from Chicago, opened for Boston. Though Boston was the better band musically tonight, the Styx show was more energetic, with members running around the stage. At one point, a band member took photographs of people and then threw the pictures out to the audience.

Among the crowd-pleasers were "The Grand Illusion," "Rockin' The Paradise," and "Blue Collar Man." And the crowd sang along with "Come Sail Away."

Styx has come on strong recently. The group released the album "Big Bang Theory" in 2005. The first week, the CD sold 19,000 copies to zip it to No. 46 on Billboard's Top 200, the biggest success for the group in more than a decade.

New Styx fans emerged as TV shows such as South Park and Freaks & Geeks used Styx music.

Other recent Styx highlights include, "Come Sail Away: The Styx Anthology" in 2004 and in 2005, the band recorded favorites from the "Great Rock Songbook" and released "Big Bang Theory."

At the end of their show, Styx threw Frisbees, beach balls, guitar picks, drum sticks and beach bags to the eager crowd.