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“Boston got its heart broken...but if they think they can keep us down, they can ‘Dream On,’”
——Steven Tyler

BOSTON STRONG: A CITY HEALS AND CELEBRATES

Beantown Comes Together, Dreams On as Hometown Heroes and Visiting Dignitaries Serenade a Sold-Out Arena
Boston Strong: An Evening of Support and Celebration took place Thursday night in the sold-out TD Garden in support of the One Fund. The charitable effort for the Boston Marathon bombings has raised $37.6 million to aid survivors and victims' families. Donnie Wahlberg of New Kids on the Block— the group that got the ball rolling on the event—described the city as a family that stepped up to take care of its own, according to hometown paper The Boston Globe.

While there were moments of solemnity and reflection befitting an event meant to honor those injured and killed in the Boston Marathon bombings, the prevailing mood was one of jubilance and gratitude, as local sports heroes like Tedy Bruschi, Doug Flutie and Julian Edelman, along with comics Steven Wright, Dane Cook , Lenny Clarke and Steve Sweeney shared the stage with the eclectic musical lineup, which featured both homegrown talent and stars from elsewhere with a deep affection for the city.

Boston got the ball rolling with the classic rock staple “More Than a Feeling,” scrawling the word “strong” under the Boston logo on their trusty gong. Extreme led a prom-night flashback singalong of “More Than Words.” The J. Geils Band revved up to full-tilt party mode, as they did back in their ’70s heyday. Jason Aldean added a jolt of mainstream country, James Taylor and Carole King played a joint set that was the musical equivalent of comfort food, and Jimmy Buffett brought his Key West vibe to Beantown.

In a pairing worthy of Ken Ehrlich, the New Kids joined the Dropkick Murphys on the latter’s anthem “I’m Shipping Up to Boston.” Along with their own bubblegum jams like “Hangin’ Tough,” NKOTB invited several friends to the stage, including Bell Biv Devoe and current touring partners Boyz II Men.

Aerosmith closed the show with a string of familiar crowd-pleasers including “Sweet Emotion” and “Walk This Way.” “Boston got its heart broken...but if they think they can keep us down, they can ‘Dream On,’” said Steven Tyler, introducing the classic of the same name. They were then joined by many of the participants—including NKOTB, Taylor, Buffett, and Peter Wolf—for spirited runs through The Beatles’ “Come Together” and the Standells’ “Dirty Water” to cap what The Globe described as a night of camaraderie.
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