Boston rockers play fundraiser for bomb victims

Fri May 31, 2013 7:23pm EDT
 
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By Richard Valdmanis

BOSTON (Reuters) - A succession of all-star bands from Aerosmith to Jimmy Buffett rocked a packed house at Boston's TD Garden on Thursday night in a mostly raucous fund-raiser for the victims of last month's marathon bombing.

Tickets priced between $35 and $285 sold out fast at the 17,500-seat venue, with net proceeds to be donated to The One Fund, a reserve established by Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick that has so far received more than $37 million in donations to compensate victims of the April 15 bombing.

The music kicked off with a Jimi Hendrix-style distortion guitar version of the U.S. national anthem by rock band Boston that drew cheering fans out of their seats before lead singer Tommy DeCarlo told the crowd "Tonight we are all Boston."

Another Massachusetts band, Extreme, transformed the energy with a sing-along version of "More Than Words" - an acoustic love song - before the homegrown J. Geils Band unleashed a torrent of fast-paced R&B as lead man Peter Wolf strutted the stage in black leather and shades.

"We came up here to help out Boston, but also because these are some great bands," said Shelly Watson, who drove up from Rhode Island with her husband to see the show, which also included comedians and a short speech by Victoria McGrath, a young girl who was injured in the bombing.

Other acts included country star Jason Aldean, who despite not being from Massachusetts admitted to being a fan of the Boston Red Sox baseball team, New Kids on the Block, James Taylor and Aerosmith - which made a round-the-world detour from Singapore to make the show.

Donnie Wahlberg from New Kids on the Block won the decibel award when he took the microphone and yelled the word Boston repeatedly, drawing enthusiastic shrieks from the audience.

"We came here tonight to show the world how resilient we are," he said.   Continued...

 
Singer Joey McIntyre performs during the Boston Strong benefit concert at the Boston TD Garden in Boston, May 30, 2013. REUTERS/Gretchen Ertl