Boston and the Doobie Brothers Were a Mixed Bag of Nostalgia at Allen Event Center

Categories: Last Night

Todd Rice
The Doobie Bros upstaged Boston's nostalgia trip on Wednesday
With the Doobie Brothers
Allen Event Center
Wednesday, June 18, 2014

You know the summer has officially started once the oldies package tours make their way through town, or in this case, the suburb of Allen.

But last night was a bit different as two legendary acts from the '70s created two entirely different musical experiences and both of them (for the most part) worked fairly well. The Doobie Brothers mixed folk and rock into an inspired hour of well received memories while Boston held auditions for an upcoming Broadway musical.

For a band named in honor of a blunt, the Doobie Brothers are now an extremely family friendly act. Throughout the band's tight and energetic 12-song set, Patrick Simmons and the rest of the Doobie Brothers engaged the sold-out audience without a curse word or any reference to drugs. Instead, it was hit after hit with a few deep cuts mingled in for the hardcore faithful.

And those hits sounded just fine. "Jesus Is Just Alright," "Long Train Runnin'," "China Grove," "Listen to the Music," "South City Midnight Lady" and "Black Water" all sounded as if the band was still in its '70s heyday. Although the band contains only two original members, both Simmons and Tom Johnson are the backbone of the Doobie Brothers experience. Those two started the band way back in 1970 and they still are the focal points today. Judging by the fiery guitar work that both men exhibited last night, the Doobie Brothers are a long way from being done.

Of special note was the performance of "Takin' it to the Streets," a song that originally featured singer Michael McDonald. Of course, McDonald has not worked with the band for many years, so on this night, Simmons and bassist John Cowan did a remarkable job reworking the song to fit their own singing styles.

The crowd ate it up, singing along and dancing to each and every song, even relative obscurities like "World Gone Crazy" and "Eyes Like Silver." Indeed, the audience was a highlight the entire evening as folks in their 40s, 50s and 60s reveled in the music of their high school years and matched the energy of the Doobie Brothers note for note.

Boston's set was a bit more problematic. Since guitarist Tom Scholz is the only original member of the band, Boston's performance, while technically brilliant, felt like a Broadway show.

With relatively new members dressed in '70s and '80s attire, there was a cinematic feel to the show that had me feeling like I was in The Matrix. Sure, singer Tommy DeCarlo could hit those high notes just like original vocalist Brad Delp did back in the mid '70s, but DeCarlo's stage presence was lackluster to say the least. And why the hell did Boston have FOUR guitar players? It's not like Scholz's songs are incredibly complicated. This is basic bar band fodder with lots of references to rock and roll and playing in a rock and roll band and feeling satisfied with rock and roll and having piece of mind with your rock and roll.

I had almost forgotten how mind-numbing Boston's music could be: technically amazing, but filled with cliché and rudimentary emotion. But the crowd was there to relive high school memories and the band delivered such in spades. Scholz, looking like the twin brother of Dave Grohl, hit every note with style and pounded out those power chords like his life depended on it.

Not a hit was missed. "More Than a Feeling," "Don't Look Back," "Amanda" and "Peace of Mind" were just a few of the songs that sounded perfect and enthralled the crowd from start to finish.

Walking away from the Allen Events Center, I felt like I had seen Boston: The Broadway Musical -- an equivalent of a great rock show, a still potent shadow of what came before, but an echo of significance.

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Sorry for you Darryl, no one agreed with your review! Funny you or your photog didn't register as press as requested and followed by other media : see

  • Ogie Dacio 1 of my Fave Band !about an hour ago · Like
  • Ric Vibes life love & hope..
  • Charles Vella Cool. I need free tickets. THANKS!!!
  • Robert Wilcox wish they were coming to toledo
  • Franco Consoli Rock 'n Roll Band! Yes!
  • Charlie Dima Saw them here in Atlanta. Boston rocks so good, I may take a trip to Nashville....
  • Dave Williams I saw them in Biloxi at the Hard Rock and it was actually awesome. Decarlo actually does a great job on vocals. I recommend it if you can see it!
  • Linda Rodriguez Looking forward to seeing them here in Austin in July!
  • Michael James Paquet II LOVE IT!!! Keep up the amazing work, guys!!! 
  • Kristy Richards My most favorite band. And not ashamed to shout it!!
  • Michael Lark Boston Fan since day one. Had the chance to meet the band several years ago, including Tom Scholz and Brad Delp. Got intro them on stage. One of my favorite radio DJ memories
  • Don Vanschoyck All time favorite band of all time, they need to be in the rock and roll hall of fame
  • Robby Rose Was there in Allen,Tx for that show this week. Excellent job very entertaining


Listen to the records again. The guitars were layered A LOT. They have to cram a lot of guitars on stage to make it sound like that live.  For reference, find some recordings from their 70's heyday. Very different.


Darryl, I hate to defend the DO, but, while I wasn't at the show, I'm willing to bet that your review was fairly spot on. It's not like you said that Boston sucked. I'm one of those oldsters in his 50's and I never could understand why people loved Boston so much. They're not bad, but they are light years away from great.

And such a classy move by PressAgent. Who are all those fools he "quoted" anyway? 


@MikeO they are obviously hardcore fans, folks who would say it was a great show even if it got cancelled. but a reviewer has to be much more objective. I liked Boston OK back in the day, thought it was ludicrous to wait so long between albums. 

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