The Boston Strong Concert

As the old adage has it, If you don’t like the New England weather, wait 10 minutes and it’ll change. The same could be said of the Boston Strong Concert held at the TD Garden on Thursday, May 30, 2013. It featured an all-star line-up of acts covering over 40 years of Boston rock and pop history who came together to raise money for the One Fund, which helps victims of the Boston Marathon bombings. With something for anyone who loves Boston music, it was no surprise that the show sold out in a matter of minutes. Indeed, with performances from Boston to The J. Geils Band to New Kids on the Block, James Taylor and headliners Aerosmith and many more, it’s no stretch to say that this was one of the biggest concerts in New England music history, a magical night where musicians put their genre differences aside and came together as Bostonians.

As emcee Matt Siegel (of KISS 108’s long-running “Matty In The Morning Show”) so eloquently put it, “Boston is not the biggest city in the world, but it may have the biggest heart.” The bands, comedians (hometown heroes Lenny Clarke, Steve Sweeney and Steven Wright) and special guests (including ex-Patriots Doug Flutie and Tedy Bruschi) proved Siegal correct time and again with their songs, laughs and heartfelt words for those injured at the marathon, the brave first responders and the audience, who helped to raise over a million dollars for the Fund. By the time all the bands gathered on stage – after nearly five hours! – for spirited renditions of the Beatles’ “Come Together” and the Standells’ “Dirty Water” — the Boston Strong Concert confirmed itself as an event not soon to be forgotten or bested.

What was your favorite moment? Here’s some of MMONE’s highlights:

  • the re-formed (albeit sadly without Nuno Bettencourt) Extreme’s acoustic takes on “Hole Hearted” and “More Than Words”
  • J. Geils Band’s whiplash-inducing run through their discography, from ‘70s Chicago blues party starters to ‘80s New Wavers and back again
  • Bell Biv Devoe’s cameo and electrifying performance of “Poison” during New Kids on the Block’s set
  • Carole King’s gorgeous version of “So Far Away”.  Inexplicably, she was the show’s lone female performer, and on a bill full of acts happy to play to the adoring crowd, she was clearly the most gracious and touched to be on stage.

(by Stephen Haag)

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