Boston's Hyper Space Tour Lands at Sarasota's Van Wezel
On the day of this year's Boston Marathon, the band Boston landed their spaceship in Sarasota! The SRQ rocker crowd was out in full force. Boston diehard fans were represented throughout the venue, with the pit crowd up out of their seats from the opening of “Rock and Roll”. The show is a banquet for the senses! Graphics, lights and sound are mesmerizing!
This shouldn't be surprising since the captain of the ship Tom Scholz is an MIT graduate with a Master's degree. Together with being classically trained on piano and growing up in the beginning of the rock era, the sound of Boston was meant to be. Scholz has been keeping this ship in orbit for over 40 years.
Guitar wiz Gary Pihl was playing with Sammy Hagar who opened on tours for Boston in the 80's. When Sammy decided to join Van Halen, Scholz asked Gary to join Boston. It was a great fit and he has been with the band since 1986. His guitar solos at the show were perfection! To have a fun look back, check out Gary in Sammy's video, "I Can't Drive 55" on YouTube.
Like any other rock band with longevity, Boston has had its share of tragedy. In 2007, the band lost lead singer Brad Delp. Delp's signature vocals gave Boston songs their recognizability. Enter Tommy DeCarlo, a huge fan of Delp's and musician who sang along with Boston records. He recorded some tracks on MySpace, which got back to Scholz and his amazing similarity vocally to Delp brought him an invitation to join Boston. His performance had the Sarasota crowd up and singing along. He was working the stage with ease.
The only female band member is Beth Cohen and she is a force. Midway through the show, she moved front stage to belt out a cover of Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love”. On keyboards, guitar and vocals she brings it. Beth most recent outing was as a featured solo and backround singer for Barry Gibb. She is a sought after vocal coach in Miami when not on the road.
Bass player Tracy Ferrie is a fun rocker. He brings charm and swagger along with his pleather to the party! Strutting the stage with classic moves as well as staying proficient on the bass at the same time. Tracy has played with such bands as Stryper, Whitecross and Guardians.
Curly Smith is a drummer who has played with the Who’s who of rock. An original member of Jo Jo Gunne, he has also worked as a session musician in L.A., London and Miami, has played live and on dozens of recordings. The centerpiece of the stage his drumming is superb. He has played side by side with Keith Moon! That must have been amazing!
The setlist included hits like “More Than A Feeling”, “Peace of Mind” and “Amanda” that had the crowd on its feet! Boston is touring this summer with Joan Jett and the Blackhearts in an arena tour in 21 cities. Audiences are in for a great rock show with the pairing of these two classic bands. Sarasota was lucky to see Boston in such a stellar intimate venue!
photos by Vicky Sullivan / Rock the Lens Photography