By L. Kent Wolgamott
Lincoln Journal Star

It was a perfect evening for Boston fans at Pinewood Bowl Friday, cool and comfortable for what they'd come to hear.

That, of course, was nearly 20 songs, including all the '70s hits, well played by Boston founder and guitar wizard Tom Scholz and the five-piece band.

The bowl was packed with 4,350 people, the most it can hold for a seated show.

Tommy DeCarlo handled the lead vocal duty for most of the night, adding a shade of his own style while faithfully replicating Brad Delp's original lines on the likes of "Peace of Mind," "Long Time" and "More Than a Feeling," which came midway through the 1 hour, 45 minute set,

DeCarlo didn't sing 'em all. Rhythm guitarist Kimberly Dahme took over on "Surrender to Me." American Idol's Siobhan Magnus joined the band for a swaggering "Walk On" that segued into the instrumental "Get Organized" and came back for a final wail.

But Boston has never been just about the vocals and songs. It's Scholz's band and his showcase on guitar and, on a few songs, keyboards.

He was in fine form Friday, adding new flourishes like a tapping then melodic workout on a long take of "More Than a Feeling" to the leads and riffs that have been seared into the memories of Boston fans and, on the big hits, classic rock listeners.

The show itself was top flight with the most impressive video board yet at Pinewood, showing the view from Boston's spaceship and offering clean, clear sound.

To the band's credit, the set wasn't entirely an oldies affair, as it sneaked in a couple of songs from a forthcoming album -- a sign that Boston remains a living band not a nostalgia act.

The Doobie Brothers opened the evening with "Jesus is Just Alright" and delivered a tight 75 minutes of music that concluded with a cascade of hits, capped by an encore of "China Grove" and "Listen to the Music."

The Doobies, too, had the crowd fully engaged, standing and singing along all the way to the top of the bowl, and like Boston, playing just what the audience wanted to hear and playing it well.