Boston
August 6, 2004
Chronicle Pavilion, Concord, CA

By Dan Wall

Set List: Rock and Roll Band, Feelin Satisfied, Star Spangled Banner, I Had A Good Time, Piece of Mind, I Think I Like It, Living For You, More Than A Feeling, Cryin , Someone, Don t Look Back, Cool the Engines, Surrender To Me, Hollyann, With You, Let Me Take You Home Tonight, Walk On, Amanda, Magdalene, Foreplay/Long Time. Encore 1: Something About You, Party. Encore 2: Smokin . 2 hours, 40 minutes.

Ever since the first time Boston headlined a show in San Francisco, the Bay Area has always been a special place for this melodic rock legend. And being in the right place at the right time had a lot to do with it.

Vocalist Brad Delp even mentioned that first show (which took place at San Francisco s Winterland in November, 1976), during the encores here, which happened to be the first major headline show that the band ever played outside of its hometown. Legendary promoter Bill Graham took a chance on the upstarts by promoting them from special guest status after Journey pulled out of the weekend (due to an injury to Neal Schon), the show sold-out and the band s excitement over the  chance helped turn a regular Saturday night into one of those unforgettable nights of music that everyone from this area swears they saw (only 5400 did).

(One of the most unforgettable moments in my concert history happened that night. Remember that Boston had just released the first record and most of the country had never heard of the group at the time. But since we had Mr.Graham here (the greatest concert promoter ever), he was willing to take a chance on a band who would eventually become one of the biggest of its generation. Anyway, that night the band played every song it had rehearsed and was finished when Graham dragged them back onstage for a third encore. I will never forget that third encore call; it was deafening. Delp, in tears, told Graham the band had nothing left to play. Graham whispered a suggestion into the young singer s ear, and the third encore played was  More Than A Feeling, the band s first single, for the second time that night, as the song was dedicated to Graham and the crowd. It s a moment that no one who attended that show will ever forget, this young band playing its first headline show in San Francisco and earning three encores. That sort of stuff doesn t happen much anymore.)

The group s had a number of these shows in Northern California. Just six months later, the band headlined and sold-out the Cow Palace in Daly City. On the next tour, two nights at the Oakland Coliseum Arena and a huge Day on the Green show meant nearly 100,000 fans saw Boston here in 1978-79. For Third Stage, the band played three nights at the Coliseum Arena. And so on and so on&

The crowd is no longer as big as it was back in the salad days, and for the most part, the band is aging and definitely on the downside of the slope. That doesn t mean they can t play, however, and the crowd here helped make Boston s most recent appearance in Concord another memorable night in Northern California for the band.

It was billed as an evening ebony porn with Boston, and it turned out to be just that. For over two-and-a-half hours, the band played every big hit from its playbook and a healthy selection of choice album cuts that filled out a loud, raucous set that was much better than the last Boston performance I attended.

That was back in July, 2003 at the RockFest, and you all know how much I love the RockFest. That night didn t really work, though, since the band didn t sound check, it rained, and for some reason, the group left four of its best songs off of the set list.

This time, the group had all day to dial in the sound, it was a perfect 75 degrees on a clear, windless night, and the band played everything (save for  A Man I ll Never Be, but that s a very minor complaint.)

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