More Than a Feeling

A Boston superfan turned front man gets a shot at the limelight this summer

At the start of Boston's North American summer tour, fans showed up in everything from vintage concert tees to Home Depot aprons. The latter isn't too bizarre, considering the lead singer was recently plucked from the staff of a local Home Depot. Charlotte native Tommy DeCarlo was hired in June to fill the role of Boston's late lead singer,

Brad Delp, and he will be singing numbers like "Amanda" alongside seasoned Stryper front man Michael Sweet. The audition process? MySpace, naturally. The forty-three-year-old's teenage daughter, Talia, created a MySpace page of DeCarlo singing karaoke versions of Boston classics. The right people (including guitarist-founder Tom Scholz) caught sight of his page, were impressed, and summarily had DeCarlo singing in fourteen-day rehearsals with the band.

"I feel like an overexcited fan with a microphone in front of my face," says DeCarlo. "I feel more like a fan than a member. And to see the audience so excited—I know that feeling."

Sure, the traveling and motels are all new to DeCarlo, but the recognition alone is taking the most adjustment. "It's weird when I hear fans call my name—it's like holy cow, they know who I am!" A touch of home on the road, however, comes from his wife, Annie, and their son and daughter, who've flown in to visit for parts of the tour. (The closest stop to Charlotte is Roanoke Rapids on August 16.) "And the Boston members and their families make us feel so welcome. It really does feel like a family," says DeCarlo. "Aside from being on stage and singing for a bunch of fans, it is pretty normal."

Even parading on the stage and interacting with fans—a far cry from his low-key Home Depot setting—comes second nature. "I'm still one of the fans," says DeCarlo. "I'm just a little closer to the stage." And when the summer tour winds down, DeCarlo plans on returning to his family and The Home Depot.

Watch: Tommy DeCarlo performs with Boston  (YouTube)


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