ALPHARETTA - Many kids grow up dreaming about playing in their favorite rock band, but few people actually get the chance to do it. This was not the case for two of Boston’s newest members, who each grew up idolizing the band but now find themselves up on stage playing the songs night in and night out on their summer tour, which hits Alpharetta Sunday, Aug. 17.
Bassist Kimberly Dahme and co-lead singer Tommy DeCarlo each are relatively new to the group, but both had very unique ways of making it with the band.
Over the years the band, renowned for its slew of hits in the 70s, namely “More Than a Feeling,” has gone through a number of lineup changes but still everyone is there to play the Boston sound. Guitarist and founding member Tom Sholz has been there since the beginning, being the band’s creative force over all these years. Since 1985 his guitar partner in crime has been Gary Pihl, who still has a place on the stage.
But other roles in the band have been a little more fluid. The group added Dahme in 2002, making her the first female in Boston history. This is a long way from playing in a Boston cover band in the fifth grade.
“It’s all been a whirlwind,” she said. “This whole experience has simply been beyond words.”
Dahme was part of a band that was touring country. One night at a gig in New Hampshire, Sholz was there to potentially recruit their drummer for Boston, instead he found his new bassist.
“He came up to me after the show and said can you play bass?” she said. “I said ‘sure,’ but I’d never played it in my life. I immediately went home and got one on layaway at a pawn shop and began to learn how to play their catalogue.”
Dahme has always had a musical background, playing in numerous groups throughout her life. After growing up in California she moved to Nashville because she “knew she had to be there.” A player and writer of country, rock, jazz and blues among other styles, it helped land her the biggest gig of her life.
“My first gig ended up being the Fiesta Bowl, it was by far the biggest stage of my career,” she said. “I didn’t breathe the entire time, good thing we only played two songs.”
DeCarlo’s route to the band was a little more bizarre. An employee at a Charlotte Home Depot, DeCarlo had always been a fan of the band. Then tragedy struck the band last year when founder and lead singer Brad Delp took his life, leaving the rock world in shock.
To pay his respects, DeCarlo wrote and recorded a tribute song to Delp, called “A Man He’ll Always Be,” a play on the band’s “A Man I’ll Always Be.” He posted it on his Myspace page along with some other Boston covers. Sholz’s wife came across the page and passed it along to her husband.
“A few days later I got a call from Tom and he asked me to join them for a tribute show they were putting together for Brad,” he said. “It was amazing: I had never been on stage with a band in my life, only ever to do karaoke. Now I’m with Boston.”
DeCarlo shares the mic these days with Michael Sweet, the lead singer of a Christian rock band. This two singer approach is a new thing for the band, but DeCarlo said he really enjoys it because it gives them each a chance to harmonize with one another.
“Tom sent us an email right before the tour starts saying which songs each of us would sing,” DeCarlo said. “I don’t know how he picked the order, but I life what I’ve been given.”
After the tribute concert, DeCarlo and Dahme were each invited to come to rehearsals for an upcoming summer tour. Dahme had been playing with and even recording with the band for a few years. DeCarlo mentioned that he had been preliminarily approached about laying down some voice tracks for those songs after the tour. When the songs see the light of day is still up in the air, however.
For now, Boston will bring their show with opening act Styx to the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre this Sunday at 8 p.m. For more information and tickets visit www.vzwamp.com.