Concert Review

Boston at Pittsburgh’s Key Bank Pavilion

Review and pix: Ed Thompson

The anticipation for Boston at Pittsburgh’s Key Bank Pavilion was so/so leading up the show Friday for a few reasons. One, they were calling for 3 inches of rain between 9 pm and 12 am along with dangerous lightning, which coincidently was the same time Boston would be hitting the stage and playing. The other reason was going to see yet another legendary 70’s-80’s rock band minus their original lead singer and a few other members. Much like Journey and Foreigner though, Boston was making it apparently with Tommy DeCarlo. So, I just had to go and see what it was about. I can’t deny that when I saw the summer schedule had Boston on, I did get excited to see one of my favorite bands growing up.


Joan Jett was the supporting act, and unfortunately, she did not allow any photographers for the show. I will say this, however, her set list, for the most part, hasn’t changed over the years, yet she continues to have a great and strong rock voice hitting all the notes she needs to, to complete her set. With that being said, the roadies QUICKLY got the stage ready and Boston hit the stage promptly at the time the said earlier in the day. I think the weather or the threat of severe weather really kept the crews tight with the time Boston was set to hit the stage.

Boston opened with Rock and Roll Band as expected with a brief guitar opening by original member Tom Scholz.  The transition into RNR Band was nice. Nothing spectacular, but it got the crowd jumping and in the mood for the show that would test the crowd at times due to the ever-changing weather conditions.

The setlist rolled right into the meat of the show with Feelin’ Satisfied, Smokin’ and Heaven on Earth. I think the crowd really got up on their feet and stayed there with Peace of Mind and It’s Been Such a Long Time.  The band lead by Tommy DeCarlo kept the crowd guessing and wanting more and more Boston. The main chunk of their sets were many favorites such as Cool The Engines, Hollyann, I think I Like it and Something About You. At the mid-way point, the weather changed and really hit the Key Bank Pavilion pretty hard. When you can feel the rain at the sound boards, you know you are having some serious weather.  I’m not sure if the band upped the tempo at all or cut out some talking to the fans, but I think with the imminent weather, they would have been smart to do so. I’ve been to a few shows at the pavilion before when the delayed or stopped the show due to weather. Luckily tonight for Boston, they did not.


Tommy DeCarlo is a dead ringer in my opinion for a seasoned Brad Delp. Close your eyes and as a general Boston fan, you can’t really tell the difference. Probably for the hard core fans, that’s untrue.


Amanda was INCREDIBLE. Insert the “dead ringer” comment here again regarding DeCarlo and Delp. Put that same insert for More Than a Feeling. Loved both these songs and the way the band performed them. Truly the highlight of the night for me and many of the fans tonight.  DeCarlo had a great night vocally. He kept the crowd in the palm of his hand pretty much all night long.  He played the crowd well and the crowd I think played him well too.


Winding down towards the home stretch brought The Journey and To Be a Man and Foreplay/Long Time. Most definitely with the weather coming into their concerns, the encore was a one song encore and was just incredible. Party closed out the night and left the Boston fans of Pittsburgh already looking at their phones seeing if Boston will roll through in the fall or winter. Unfortunately, for them, there are no more Pgh dates even close.  The fans from the Steel City will probably have to wait till next summer to get another dose of their BOSTON.


All in all, a great show.  DeCarlo was strong from start to finish.  No real surprises.  Your basic, strong performance by the sole survivor of the original band from Boston and some very talented musicians.