Story by Scotty J
Photos by Tom Collins
When you combine the talents from two of Rock & Roll’s greatest musical acts of the last 30 years, there can be only one expected result. A sea of adoring fans would converge on BB&T Pavilion to sing along to songs they’ve been listening to for decades. Rock royalty in the form of Boston and Joan Jett & The Blackhearts provided hours of live music entertainment, from the front of the stage to the sprawling lawn of Camden, New Jersey’s landmark venue.
The night would start off with a most excellent interview in a backstage greenroom with Boston bassist Tracy Ferrie (see below). Ferrie would discuss the great success of the Hyper Space Tour and sharing the stage with one of the most iconic women in Rock, being Joan Jett. It’s always interesting to hear the backstory of how bands come together, opportunities that present themselves, and life on the road. From the outside looking in, things always seem to appear so glamorous. The fact is being a rockstar involves a lot of hard work. Tracy definitely lays out while he’s experienced many blessings, it’s not without a tremendous amount of effort.
So now it’s show time. Just a few minutes in to Joan Jett and The Blackhearts set, a question immediately sprung to mind. Who’s driving who wild? The crowd virtually serenaded Ms. Jett with one of her classics from her days with The Runaways. Joan proved every bit why she’s one of the most iconic goddesses of Rock and Roll. Cherry Bomb, Love is All Around, Crimson & Clover, I Hate Myself for Loving You. The only thing as amazing as how Joan Jett sounded was how great she looked. A Hall of Famer all the way and a big reason why I Love Rock and Roll today. All hail the Godmother of Punk.
With the thought of Boston about to hit the stage, I was filled with both excitement and a bit of anxiety. This would be the first time I’d ever heard them since the loss of Brad Delp. Any potential reservations were laid to rest once Boston opened up with “Rock and Roll Band”. Tommy DeCarlo sounded so much like Delp it was frightening. I can only imagine how Tom Scholz felt the first time he’d heard DeCarlo? “Feelin Satisfied”, “Don’t Look Back”, and “Peace of Mind”, are songs that just perfectly reflect the perseverance of the band and the man who wrote all of the lyrics. Scholz is a genius! Not just because he got degrees from MIT. Not just because he’s invented devices used by the music industry around the world. Not because he’s written some of the greatest songs of all time. Not because he’s an incredible guitarist and keyboard player. Tom Scholz has managed to keep Boston together through all of its personnel changes as he’s the only original member. Boston’s sound has remained consistent since the 70’s and were as great a live performance as any band I’ve ever seen.
The guitar sequences between Scholz and Gary Pihl were pretty spectacular. Rock Titan TV first got to catch up with Pihl at Live Nation’s National Concert Day in NYC. To be fair to the Boston legacy, Pihl has been playing guitar for Boston since ’85. Prior to that he was with Sammy Hagar. Gary flat out ROCKS on guitar and showed off some serious chops along side Scholz throughout the evening. Hearing him play the acoustics for “Amanda” was definitely a highlight of the evening. Whoever Tom penned that for was definitely a special lady indeed. I’m not sure if Gary has a nickname? But, that man smiles more than anyone I’ve ever seen. He’s just seriously one of the happiest and pleasant people I’ve ever been around. Not to mention humble. He’s got some other projects going on, so hopefully those are features that will be shared by Rock Titan TV once the Hyper Space tour has wound down.
Hopefully, this tour won’t be the last we’ve seen of such legendary artists like Boston and Joan Jett and The Blackhearts. Rock and Roll is alive and well. It exists in the first place due to the persevering greatness of musicians like these. For remaining tour dates and what else you might look forward to, in the summer concert season ahead, check out Live Nation and BB&T Pavilion event dates.