Fan Stories & Photos
Derek W. Brown from Bridgeport, CT writes:|
I first saw the band perform in Waturbury, Connecticut, at The Palace, an old run-down movie theater. Its art-deco interior, circa 1930s, had seen better days; the peeling paint and seat cushions patched with duct tape made it a perfect venue for rock & roll, however. Boston's equipment was as raggedy and beat up as the theater's walls and seats; after hearing the studio perfectionism of the band's album, I had to wonder whether they would be able to pull it off. They did, and then some.
By the time I saw Boston perform at the Civic Center in Springfield, Massachusetts, a few months later in early 1977, they'd become a phenomenon, an overnight success. Their debut album had shifted several million units, thanks to the hit single "More Than A Feeling" and several other songs that remain in semi-heavy rotation in 'classic rock' radio formats to this day. They had also invested their royalty checks in new equipment: walls of brand-spanking-new Marshall amplifiers, a backdrop featuring the well-known spaceship logo. . . and some actual costumery. (At the Waturbury show they came on stage wearing their street clothes.)
There were two warmup acts. The first, Starcastle, was a band from Champlaign, Illinois, featuring Terry Lutrell, REO Speedwagon's original lead vocalist. They played in a style that owed more than a little to Yes; made up for their lack of musical originality with a flashy -- if limited -- light show. The Outlaws were second-billed. The 'hits' were all there, "Green Grass And High Tides Forever" included. The razzle-dazzle of Starcastle's light show was dulled by the Outlaws' dueling guitars. Every song featured a solo from each of their three guitarists. Duane Allman would've been rolling in his grave.
And then the stage was set for Boston. A lone spotlight beam cut through the violet haze of patchoolie and reefer smoke to illuminate Tom Scholz, wearing a black jumpsuit and glittery hightop sneakers, coaxing some otherworldly sounds from his guitar. When he kicked off the opening riff to "Rock And Roll Band" the audience was on its feet. It was a magical performance. Not bad for a band that, at the time, had only seventy minutes' worth of music to play. . .