Hometown heroes, including Aerosmith, Boston, and the New Kids on the Block, took part in Thursday night’s sold-out Boston Strong concert. The show at the TD Garden benefited The One Fund Boston, a charity supporting those affected by the April 15 Boston Marathon bombings.
Other performers included Extreme, which formed in Malden, Massachusetts; Dropkick Murphys from Quincy, Mass.; the J. Geils Band, which originated in Wooster; as well as James Taylor and Carole King, two artists whose links to the Bay State are as enduring as their music.
Jimmy Buffett was also on hand, as was Jason Aldean, an admitted Red Sox fan who lent some Nashville solidarity to Bean Town.
Boston native comics Lenny Clarke, perhaps best known for the FX show Rescue Me, plus Steve Sweeney, and Steven Wright also kept ‘em laughing between musical sets, and several sports heroes, including Doug Flutie and former New England Patriots offensive lineman Joe Andruzzi, who was a first responder at the site of the bombing, were also there to lend their support.
The event’s co-organizer, Donnie Wahlberg from the New Kids, told the audience the artists weren’t the stars. Wahlberg said, “The first responders are the stars. The victims and the families are the stars. And each and every one of you who paid your hard earned money to buy a ticket to support the One Fund are the stars tonight.”
Here’s a rundown of the show’s performances:
As expected, Boston blasted through a medley of hits, including “Peace of Mind,” and “Foreplay/Long Time,” with Tommy DeCarlo, the band’s replacement for the late Brad Delp, on lead vocals.
Extreme played its two biggest hits, the acoustic “More than Words,” and “Hole Hearted.”
The J. Geils Band played “Looking for a Love,” the crowd favorite “Love Stinks,” and “Freeze Frame.”
Aldean played a rocking, extended set, with “Take a Little Ride,” “Tattoos on This Town,” “Dirt Road Anthem,” “My Kinda Party,” and “She’s Country.”
Dropkick Murphys, which already raised more than a hundred grand with a Boston tribute shirt and musical EP benefiting the One Fund, rocked through the songs on Rose Tattoo: For Boston Charity EP, including “Rose Tattoo,” before bringing the house down with “Shipping Up to Boston,” for which they were joined by the New Kids on the Block.
The members of New Kids performed an extensive medley of hits, including “Hangin’ Tough,” “Step by Step,” and “The Right Stuff,” as well as a cover of Queen‘s “We Will Rock You.”
Wearing matching Boston Bruins jerseys emblazoned with 617, Boston’s area code, and the phrase “Boston Strong” on the back, NKOTB also welcomed Bel Biv Devoe, which performed “Poison,” and Boyz II Men, who dedicated “One Sweet Day” to the three people who were killed in the terror attack.
James Taylor and Carole King slowed things down with Taylor’s “Sweet Baby James,” “Shower the People,” and “How Sweet It Is,” followed by King’s ”Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” ”So Far Away,” and “Sweet Seasons.”
Taylor collaborated with Buffett on “Mexico,” before Buffett performed “Changes in Latitude,” and of course “Margaritaville.”
After Dane Cook performed a stand-up set, Aerosmith took the stage with “Train Kept A Rollin’,” “Sweet Emotion,” “Livin’ on the Edge,” “Walk this Way,” and “Dream On.”
The band then called members of Extreme, the J. Geils Band, comics Cook and Sweeney, Buffett, NKOTB, and Flutie to the stage to perform both “Come Together,” and, appropriately, a cover of The Standells‘ “Dirty Water,” which includes the lyrics “Boston, you’re my home.”
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