November 13 marks the day two of classic rock’s most legendary bands came to the classic Boston Garden, on two separate occasions. Our hometown heroes Aerosmith blew the roof off the place in 1976, then two years later it was Freddie Mercury and Queen bringing their distinctive brand of theatrical hard rock that was in its infancy in 1978.
Boston’s bad boys had just released their album Rocks, arguably one of the band’s finest albums. The LP contains two tracks that have become undisputed classics and remain staples of Aerosmith’s live sets: “Back in the Saddle” and “Last Child.” As the follow-up to their legendary breakout album Toys in the Attic, Rocks certainly lived up to the challenge of continuing the band’s success as international superstars.
If this below clip is the actual audio of “Write Me a Letter” from the show (as it claims), this gives a glimpse into the sound of Aerosmith live shows during their mid-1970s breakout years.
Two years later, Queen would release their seventh studio album in five years, Jazz, which was only marginally successful when compared to predecessors like A Night at the Opera and A Day at the Races. But it did contain two of the band’s most absurd singles, “Fat-Bottomed Girls” and “Bicycle Race,” and also the underrated “Don’t Stop Me Now.”
Jazz was critically attacked at the time of its release for being overblown and pretentious, but it has since helped continue to build Queen’s legacy as one of the most distinctive bands in classic rock. Their operatic, bombastic style has ultimately been oft-imitated in rock music.
They took their show on the road in 1978 when they toured the U.S. and Canada, including a stop at the Boston Garden exactly two years to the day after Aerosmith. According to a user on Setlist.fm, the show spanned 25 songs and included a lengthy acoustic set.
The below Youtube clip says to show pictures from the actual show at the Boston Garden, set to Queen’s “Spread Your Wings.” While it’s unclear if the photos are actually from Boston, you can tell that they’re definitely from the ’70s!
Were you at either of these shows in the mid-to-late-70s at the Boston Garden? Can you confirm any of this information found for these shows? Share your memories in the comments.