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Boston has always been one of rock’s most elusive bands by touring very infrequently, so when they announced a tour this year (just a year after the original lead singer, Brad Delp, committed suicide), it smelled as if someone may need some money.  Following the lead of some other classic rock acts, Boston turned to the internet to find their new lead singer and found Tommy DeCarlo, a former (and future) Home Depot employee who sounds eerily like Delp.  Well,  after attending last week’s show in Chicago, I can tell you that that’s where the similarities end. 

More after the clicky thingie…

As the band opened with some song I didn’t recognize (hopefully, there’s not a new album coming with crap like this song), here comes Tommy DeCarlo looking like a fan that managed to make it up on stage. First of all, he was wearing a Boston t-shirt and not one from a tour back in the seventies, but a 2008 tour shirt that they were selling at the merchandise kiosk.  Just wrong.  Then, while the older members, Tom Sholz included, rocked about the stage, Tommy spent most of the show just planted in place behind the microphone.  Now I know he has no previous rock experience, but did he never play rock star when the store was closed with either a rake or a shovel?

Of course, they played all the hits, which was entertaining, but no more than if it was just a cover band.  There was a 15-minute keyboard/guitar/drum solo, which actually showed that these guys were seasoned rock musicians, but I found the setlist a bit confusing…before the show was over, we had already heard “More Than a Feeling”, “Foreplay/Long Time”, and “Piece of Mind”, so what’s left for the encore?  “Smokin’”.  Let’s make it to the car.

The best part of the show was actually Styx, who played for an hour before, and like Boston, there was a soundalike lead singer taking the place of Dennis De Young.  It made no difference.  There was so much energy and fun on the stage, that I wanted them to go on another hour.