Concert Reviews

A homecoming for Boys Like Girls in Boston

From their first show at Bill's Bar to their 2016 performance at the House of Blues to this week's concert at MGM Music Hall, Lansdowne Street holds a special place in Boys Like Girls' heart.

Boys Like Girls.
Boys Like Girls members, from left: Jamel Hawke, Martin Johnson, Gregory James, and John Keefe. Fearless Records

There was a special energy in the air Thursday night as Boys Like Girls returned to the stage in Boston – the city where the band’s journey all began.

Boys Like Girls members Martin Johnson, John Keefe, Gregory James, and Jamel Hawke took a pause on stage in the middle of performing “Thunder” to take in the moment as the crowd at MGM Music Hall at Fenway cheered.

Formed in Massachusetts in 2004, Boys Like Girls rose to pop rock prominence in the late 2000s, released three albums, and then took a break for more than a decade before producing more music.


The band kicked off its “Speaking Our Language Tour” last month and released its fourth studio album, “Sunday at Foxwoods,” last week featuring singles like “Blood and Sugar” and “Cry.”

“I always knew in the back of my mind that we would make another record someday,” frontman Martin Johnson told in a recent interview.

Thursday night’s setlist was a beautiful blend of old and new.

The band kicked off the night with the title track off its second studio album, “Love Drunk” featuring the title track off its latest album, “Sunday at Foxwoods,” as an intro.

From there, they dove into old favorites, “Five Minutes to Midnight,” “She’s Got a Boyfriend Now,” and “Dance Hall Drug,” with the recently released “Blood and Sugar” tucked in between.

Moving into another new song, “Language,” Johnson provided some quick facts about the band’s history.

“Hometown: Boston, Massachusetts. Year of formation: 2004. First show: Bill’s Bar across the street. Year of ascent: 2007. Last show: 2016 at the House of Blues. Years spent in the dark: 12. But in case you haven’t noticed, we’re back and we’re better than f—ing ever.”

It’s safe to say Lansdowne Street holds a special place in the band’s heart.


“If you haven’t noticed, this is the homecoming for the boys,” Johnson added, noting that the band was filming the special night.

The feeling of love appeared to mutual with fans at their feet, belting favorites like “Hero/Heroine” and “The Great Escape.”

Packing 30 songs into roughly 95 minutes, Boys Like Girls performed all the familiar hits, including an encore acoustic version by Johnson of “Two is Better Than One,” which the band had released in 2009 as a collaboration with Taylor Swift.

It was a smooth balance with new songs like “Miracle” and “The Outside” that were just as worthy for belting, as well as snippets of covers like Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.”

And, of course, it wouldn’t be a Fenway area show without a little of Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline.”

Special guests State Champs, The Summer Set, LØLØ, and senses opened the show.

Check out Boys Like Girls’ full setlist, as well as’s recent interview with Johnson below:

Interview with Martin Johnson:

Setlist for Boys Like Girls at MGM Music Hall at Fenway, Oct. 26, 2023

  • “Love Drunk” (with “Sunday at Foxwoods” intro)
  • “Five Minutes to Midnight”
  • “Blood and Sugar”
  • “She’s Got a Boyfriend Now”
  • “Dance Hall Drug”
  • “Language” (with snippet of “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond)
  • “Heels Over Head”
  • “The First Time”
  • “Up Against the Wall”
  • “I Told You So” / “Kill Me in a Record Shop”
  • “Thunder” / “Stuck in the Middle”
  • “Heart Heart Heartbreak” (with “Born in the U.S.A.” by Bruce Springsteen intro)
  • “Miracle”
  • “The Outfield” (The Night Game song)
  • “Broken Man” (with snippet of “Vindicated” by Dashboard Confessional)
  • “Life of the Party” (with snippet of “Faith” by George Michael)
  • “Hero/Heroine”
  • “On Top of the World”
  • “Cry”
  • “The Outside” (with Derek DiScanio of State Champs and Brian Dales from The Summer Set)
  • “The Great Escape” (a tease followed by the full version with snippet of “Love Drunk”)


  • “Two is Better Than One” (solo acoustic version by Martin Johnson)


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