By Ramiro Burr
San Antonio Express-News
He has been recording and touring with Boston for almost 30 years, but singer Brad Delp says he still gets a charge out of performing.
"Sometimes, every night is like the first time again," Delp said during a tour stop. "When the fans sing along on the songs, it makes it special. Fortunately, it's happened right from the first tour when we went out in '76, which surprised me.
"On that first tour, we went out for two or three weeks after the record came out, and people were singing along with almost every song. And it was unusual back in those days for radio to play anything other than whatever the single was on the record."
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Although formed in 1971, Boston has produced only five albums since 1976. But the band's monster hits such as Long Time, More Than a Feeling, and Peace of Mind are almost ubiquitous on rock radio. Most of the hits came from its 1976 record-setting album, Boston.
Delp and guitarist-keyboardist Tom Scholz are the founding members. On their current tour, which arrives at Boca Raton's Mizner Park Amphitheater on Wednesday, they've been joined by bassist Kimberley Dahme, who came aboard in 2002, as well as Fran Cosmo, guitar and vocals; Anthony Cosmo (Fran's son), guitar and vocals; Gary Pihl, guitar, keyboards, backing vocals; and Jeff Neal, drums.
Boston's latest CD is last year's Corporate America, which blends the band's signature sonic sweeps with topical messages.
For Delp though, it is all about the live performance.
"I think it's the fact that it's a different crowd ebony porn every night," he said. "And whenever you play in front of a live audience, that's really what does it. We've spent more time in rehearsal -- I think we've been in rehearsal for two months and the tour is only six weeks long. So rehearsals can get kind of tedious, although it is kind of fun getting the material together and seeing the set take shape and that kind of stuff.
"And we have three new band members as of last summer when we went out. It's also kind of fun working with them, because they sort of grew up with the music and they're learning it. A lot of them have played these songs in cover bands."
Delp said the crowd's energy infuses the band with inspiration.
"Last night, the whole crowd was singing. But I noticed two people in particular in the front row that just ... they sang every song all the way through -- all the stuff from the early records to the Corporate America record, they knew all those.
"So those were the fans that you really feel like you want to do your best for onstage. And I have to say that we have some incredibly loyal fans because it's kind of an anomaly to tour two summers in a row. So they hang in there. We're really fortunate that people show up every night."