Bands from Aerosmith to Jimmy Buffet rocked a packed TD Garden on Thursday night in a fundraising concert for the victims of last month's marathon bombing.
Tickets for Boston Strong: An Evening of Support and Celebration, priced between $35 and $285, sold out within minutes. Net proceeds were to be donated to One Fund Boston, a charity established by Mayor Thomas Menino and Gov. Deval Patrick that has so far received more than $37 million in donations to compensate victims of the April 15 bombing.
The concert kicked off with a Jimi Hendrix-style distortion guitar version of the national anthem by rock band Boston. 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. [embedgallery id=160225]
"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 Northeastern student who was injured in the bombing.
Other acts included country star Jason Aldean, New Kids on the Block, James Taylor and Aerosmith — who made a round-the-world detour from Singapore to perform at the show.
NKOTB member Donnie Wahlberg 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.
Bandmate Joey McIntyre displayed the marathon medal he earned on the day of the explosion before the group broke into a run of songs including "I'll Be Loving You" and "Step By Step."
Aerosmith closed the show with a bang with lead man Steven Tyler sporting an ankle-length cape and leopard-pattern shirt dancing with his microphone stand while singing rousing versions of "Sweet Emotion" and "Living on the Edge."
"How heavy does your heart feel after a night like this?" he asked the cheering crowd.
Concert organizers have declined to say yet how much money the concert will raise for The One Fund, but have said bands and venue employees were working for free.
Three people were killed and 264 injured, many losing their legs, by homemade pressure-cooker bombs that exploded at the finish line of the world-renowned Boston Marathon on April 15.
Kenneth Feinberg, a lawyer who specializes in mediation, was tapped by Menino and Patrick to run The One Fund. Feinberg has warned victims to lower their expectations of how much money the fund would be able to pay individual beneficiaries.
Boston bomb suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, an ethnic Chechen with roots in Russia's volatile northern Caucasus, was captured in a dramatic police manhunt days after the bombing. He was criminally charged and is being held in jail.
His brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was also identified by the FBI as a suspect but he was killed in a gunfight with police. U.S. security officials have said they believe the brothers had Islamic militant sympathies.
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