Do you recognize this man?
Last night my wife and I and her brother and his wife went down to Mohegan Sun to see Styx and Boston.
I must admit sitting through the Styx show waiting for 'Come Sail Away.' Never was a big Styx fan.
then Boston hit the stage. You know that you are at a classic rock concert when the main attraction, Tom Scholz, a guitar and effects wizard, hits the stage wearing a knee brace. I was a bit worried about seeing Boston. I have always loved their music. They create such a majestic wall of sound, rich textures and harmonies. there are a few bands that I listen to that give me an experience of the Divine...and Boston is one of them, along with Santana, U2 and Duke Ellington. Anyway, I worried that live they just couldn't reproduce that experience. I had no need to worry. Every song had that incredible wave of sound that was beyond words.
But I found it strange that their guitarist/lead singer ran about the stage looking like such a rocker. Both Scholz and Pihl, original members, looked like regular laid back guys, and at around 60years of age, they just stood still and played. but this new guy ran around, often 'head-banging' ala the 80's hair-metal craze, and Boston just isn't head-banding music. He looked very rock star, perfectly coifed rock-star hair, eye-liner, designer rock-star outfit, custon Paul Reed Smith guitar, flinging picks to the crowd without missing a note, and hitting all the slightly cliched rockstar poses. You know; 1. Hit Power Chord. 2. Lift Guitar and show to the audience. 3. Shake guitar as chord rings out. 4. Hit another power chord. Or, another of my favorites. 1. Bend left leg to a 90 degree angle. 2. Extend right leg back and straight, a classic power guitar pose. 3. point guitar at the crowd as if aiming a weapon to shoot at them.
I was having a late 80's Poison, Cinderella, Dokken, Europe, White Lion flashback, both giggling at him and sighing for days gone by.
but man he could sing and he could play. and he looked strangly familiar.
so I looked him up.
It was Michael Sweet most famously the singer and guitarist for the Christian Hair-metal band Stryper. I was a fanatic in my teens. To Hell with the Devil!!!!
Two other interesting facts about Boston
their drummer, excellent by the way, is a native Mainer!!!
He only tours in the summer as he is a high school history teacher.
Michael Sweet shares lead vocals with another guy, Tommy DeCarlo.
He is accounts manager for Home Depot who made MySpace videos of himself singing Boston songs which landed him a gig touring with the band. And can he sing. He can hit some of the high notes that Michael Sweet can't, and Sweet is known for high notes.
If only they had thrown 'Honestly' into the mix the night would have been perfect.
Rock on Michael Sweet.