0 6 min 8 yrs

Boston rocked Pier Six Pavilion in Baltimore Saturday night as part of their 40th Anniversary tour. It was a packed house and Boston packed the hits.

Boston Tom1

It was forty years ago Boston released their debut single, “More Than a Feeling.” This song has endured and cemented its place in rock n roll history as a timeless classic. I guess it was “more than a feeling.” Reaching No. 5 on the Billboard chart “More Than a Feeling” kickstarted Boston’s popularity and spawned an entire genre of  impeccably produced pop-rock. Forty years later we are still catching that feeling. Boston’s current line-up includes Tom Scholz, Tommy Decarlo, Gary Pihl, Tracy Ferrie, Jeff Neal, and Beth Cohen.

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Boston founder, guitarist, songwriter, and producer Tom Scholz recalls classical music as a major influence. He Stated in an interview “My parents turned me loose with a monophonic hi-fi system and their classical record collection. There was no stereo. In fact, there was no stereo for about another 15 years. It’s unbelievable. So, I heard all this classical music. I would sit there, for hours and hours, sometimes day after day, just listening to classical music. I listened to classical albums and I mean actual albums, the ones that came in an album.” It’s interesting, I always thought Boston had solid compositional form. Tom Scholz being influenced by classical music could have a lot to do with that.

Boston Tom on Organ1

Boston opened with the “The Star-Spangled Banner 4th of July Reprise.” It was a great opening song for this city since “The Star-Spangled Banner” is based on the battle of Fort McHenry, which took place in the Baltimore Harbor. Tom Scholz and Gary Pihl were fantastic! Songs like this really highlight solo guitar instrumentation. It’s a very expressive guitar riff. This version of  “The Star-Spangled Banner” is brilliantly composed. It has an original introduction and finale that blend and makes it an original song. It’s one of the best rock n’ roll versions of the National Anthem next to Jimi Hendrix.

Boston Beth1

This was a show filled with a lot of energy. The capacity audience was on their feet clapping and dancing for the entire show. Boston played hits like “Rock n Roll Band,” and “Smokin.” They also played “Peace of Mind,” and “Foreplay/Long Time,” and of course “More Than a Feeling.” Everybody is familiar with these songs. As soon as Boston played the first couple of notes the audience would erupt into a frenzy. Another great song performed was “Get Organ-ized.” Tom Scholz played on a fascinating Hammond organ. It’s the same type of organ used in the original recording of “Long Time.” They don’t make them anymore. It had pipes coming out the side and four huge manuals. It also had a wheel that acts as some sort of phaser effect. Tom can make this organ sound like an electric guitar, muscle car engine or siren. Tom is an amazing keyboard player, the effects were incredible! It was my favorite part of the show. Tom looked like he was behind the console of a spaceship. Boston has always produced great electronic sounds. That’s something that was ahead of the time when Boston first came out. Tom Scholz is more than just a musician, he’s an engineer. I would compare Tom Scholz to a modern day Johann Sebastian Bach who was also a composer, organist and music engineer.

Boston Tommy DeCarlo

The sound was refreshing. Pier Six Pavilion is an open air venue so the sound disperses evenly throughout the harbor. This is a great natural equalizer, it doesn’t sound dense or muffled. You could hear all the instruments clearly and it wasn’t deafeningly loud.

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The vocal harmony was uplifting. Boston is known for their harmony. When they sing it feels great. Their music makes you feel good and Boston feeds off that energy. Tommy DeCarlo sang really well. Like a soprano, his voice was powerful and precise. I never got a chance to hear Boston’s original singer Brad Delp before he passed away in 2007. Tommy DeCarlo is a good substitute. It felt like the albums sounded. He can hit the high notes.

Along with great sound was a spectacular stage arrangement. They had an enclosed drum kit and massive gong. A wall of amplifiers, equalizers and all sorts of electronic sound equipment with LED lights. An enormous HD screen that displayed 3D graphics and live video of Tom, Gary, Tracy, Beth and Jeff playing their instruments. The show was just as much fun to watch as it was to listen too.

This was a great concert! Definitely worth attending. Forty years later and Boston still rocks!

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