The “Red, White, and Blue” Benefit Concert with Boston at Symphony Hall on November 15

A Review of the Red, White, and Blue Benefit Concert for Doug Flutie at Symphony Hall on November 15

, Editor-in-Chief

He will always be remembered as the 5’10" Boston College quarterback that completed a 48-yard “Hail Mary” pass to upset Miami in 1984. However, more than that and last year’s infamous drop-kick as a New England Patriot, Doug Flutie, has worked tirelessly with local charities. Both careers were honored on Monday night at Symphony Hall when Flutie was awarded the "Red, White, and Blue Award”. The night, featuring performances by the bands Boston and the James Montgomery Band, was a fitting tribute that ended in another moment of Flutie magic.

For Flutie, it was a truly special day all around as Mayor Menino declared Monday, November 13 to be known as “Doug Flutie Day” in the city of Boston. The Natick native was then awarded the “Red, White, and Blue Award” for his extensive charity work and received the award that night as part of a benefit concert/retirement party to raise money for the Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism.& & & & & & & & &

Boston, who have been absent from touring the past two years, showed no rust in their hour long set. It was all power and no filler. From the opening riff of "The Star Spangled Banner", Boston was in great form and matched with the superior acoustics of Symphony Hall, it was a spectacular sound. Lead Singer Brad Delp’s vocals were strong while lead guitarist Tom Scholz supplied all the classic riffs and hooks that have made the band an air guitarist’’ catalog (so much so that even one fan in attendance was seen playing a blow-up guitar during "More Than A Feelin’)." There were plenty of sing-a-longs of fan favorites “Rock And Roll Band,” “Piece of Mind,” and “Don’t Look Back.”

The major disappointment of the night was the lack of collaboration between the band and the Boston Pops Symphony. Though Pops Conductor Keith Lockhart emceed the night, members of the Pops orchestra only made one appearance during Boston’s surprising but fitting rendition of "To Be A Man" off Third Stage. The fifteen piece orchestra complete with horns and strings, added a great sonic element to the quintet. However, it only made attendees wonder what it would be like had the Pops been featured throughout the show.

"Foreplay/Long Time" was its usual epic self, sending the crowd (which was disappointingly only two-thirds filled) into a frenzy. An encore of "Smokin" proved to be the highlight of the night as Flutie took over for drummer Jeff Neal behind the kit. Football may have been his game, but Flutie is a pretty damm good drummer as well (check out his own band, the "Flutie Gang" sometime and you’ll see), and the crowd loved every second of it.

For those that arrived in time for the James Montgomery Band, they were treated to a great energetic set of rocking blues. The Detroit born, Boston University alumnus, has been a staple on the Boston blues scene for years with a stellar showman’s vibe. However, it was arguably 16 year-old alto-saxophonist sensation Grace Kelly who stole the show from Montgomery with her profound and mature skill. Even more impressive was that the fact the Brookline native actually prefers jazz over blues and is set to release her third album next month. Montgomery and Kelly were joined by local legend Weepin’ Willie for the set’s most memorable number.

Overall, it was a great night for Flutie, who can now hang up a photo of him as Boston’s drummer between those legendary Boston College and Patriots snapshots with a big smile.

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