Boston, you guys still know how to kick ass.
On Friday night, Aug. 14, the band that started in 1969 as an idea from an MIT student rocked the stage at the Rogers AMP. Tom Scholz, the founding member who made his own guitar pedals to create his own sound and built his own recording studio to record the first album, was the star of the show.
That is to say, the show itself was quite the spectacle—in almost 70s/80s glam rock fashion.
Before Boston took the stage at the high attendance event, the Ft. Smith, Ark. rock veterans Oreo Blue opened the show. The band has been rockin’ for 17 years, and it was great to see them get such big exposure. The crowd seemed to really enjoy it, and Gary Hutchison absolutely tore it up on his guitar solos. The AMP’s camera guy was sure to get up close whenever Hutchison stepped out to turn it up. What’s “it”? The blues, man.
When it got to be Boston time, the show opened with Scholz, the band’s only remaining original member, in a solo spotlight. His electrified, high-gain Les Paul (it looked like it had seen some serious touring years, which only adds to its coolness) sounded supersonic. Scholz made it clear he liked to do some pick slides on his guitar strings, because, well, they’re always cool.
At the end of his little solo stunt, he slid right into the band’s classic hit, “Rock & Roll Band,” which got everyone up on their feet. Despite the venue being a seated venue, most all of the show had people in the front section standing up and dancing along to the music.
Set up behind the band were three screens that looked like windows to the space ship that’s seen on the band’s album artwork. That was easily one of the cooler things that was going on while the band played.
The screens displayed animated video of scenery flybys and space cruises so as to give the music an interstellar vibe. Whenever Scholz did a special solo on the organ or guitar, the screens would show different angles of him playing.
The crowd was pretty well mixed with people of all ages in attendance. Sure, there were lots of older folks, but a lot of teenagers and general young people could be seen wearing Boston t-shirts and head-banging along with the band.
Overall, the crowd energy was pretty solid. No one got too crazy, but it appeared that everyone was having a great time. As far as the band goes, the majority of the old guys were all smiles and seemed to be enjoying themselves.
However, they weren’t putting on much of a show.Yes, the music was rocking out and kicking ass, but the band looked like they were simply just doing their job. Just another night on the road. You can’t be too critical though, they’ve all been doing this the majority of their lives. Not every show can be incredible.
The set contained a great mix of their classics, “Smokin’,” “Peace of Mind,” “Don’t Look Back,” “Amanda,” “Foreplay/Long Time” and the always awesome “More Than a Feeling,” which got the crowd screaming.
Near the end of their set, the band introduced their special guest Siobhan Magnus—an American Idol season 9 finalist—came out to sing “Walk On” with the band. That girl could really sing. She was belting out every note and taking her singing to the tippy top.
Overall, the show was pretty fun. It felt more like a good time, less like a captivating experience. There’s nothing wrong with that, as I’m sure that’s just what the members of Boston were going for. Good show, guys.
Correction: In a previous edition of this story, Tom Scholz’s name was spelled incorrectly.