Written by Dave Clements
The Woodlands Pavilion is celebrating its 25th Anniversary this summer and on this night for sure, they got it right.

It would have been a terrific evening of music with only the headlining band performing.  And then to couple them with one of the premier rock bands of all time definitely produced a significant bonus to the ten thousand patrons who gathered on this evening.

ImageThe opener or co-headliner, as either billing would have been appropriate, was The Doobie Brothers.  They came out as red hot as the summer Texas sun that beat on the Woodlands stage. Although I don’t have any firsthand experience, I would think it’s very difficult for a rock and roll band to do their best while it’s still daylight – and worse yet getting blasted with the heat and direct sunrays that hit the stage with full force.

Having said that they took it head on and never seemed to miss a beat. They did seem to smooth out and dig into it a little more once the sun ducked down behind the fans who were soaking it up.

The Doobies played all I had hoped they would including my favorite “Black Water’ which generally resonates in my head for days after I hear it. It was no different this time, I am happy to report. The guys’ harmonies are so good you feel like it’s an entire choir singing up there!

Doobie Brothers, thank you so much for providing such a bonus hour to this night of pure rock and roll!

Being from Bean Town and never seeing Boston live during their glory days must be some sort of sin.  To finally connect with them was wonderfully gratifying even though they lost ‘the voice’ behind the group in 2007.

ImageBrad Delp had been the lead vocalist for Boston for many years.  Sadly he lost his desire to live and took his own life just before the band was to start touring that year.  Never having heard his replacement Tommy DeCarlo and knowing how key a role Delp had played with the ‘unique sound’ of  Boston, I was fairly certain DeCarlo would not measure up to what I had heard so many times on the bands LP’s.  Played so many times in fact that though I still have them, I literally wore them out!

Before the first song had ended I was saying to myself ‘Boy was I wrong’! DeCarlo was freakin’ awesome.  His vocal range and unique sound rivaled those of Delp, song after song all night long.

Rumor has it DeCarlo got the job by posting his vocals to a Boston hit on MySpace and Boston leader Tom Scholz heard the cut without knowing who was singing. He thought it was Delp rather than the then unknown DeCarlo. When Scholz discovered the truth, DeCarlo soon took over the job and has been at the mic ever since.  I would compare what Tommy DeCarlo  has done for Boston to what Arnel Pineda has done for Journey after Steve Perry left.

ImageOkay, let’s talk a little about the music. There set list was like a Greatest Hits record and of course they played  Don’t Look Back, Something About You and Amanda, three of my favorites. And of course they played More Than A Feeling, another great song.  They kicked the night off with Rock and Roll Band . And they were all that and so much more.

Before closing let me make a generational, totally irrelevant comment about an observation I made regarding this band.  None had any visible tattoos and it didn’t seem to negatively impact either the quality of their sound nor the audience’s reception of their performance.  I guess it’s a generational thing in large part, and I accept that.  It was just refreshing to see these guys totally rely on their talent vs their image…and that they did.

Until next time I hope you’ll remember there is no time to kill.