One day last year, Michael Sweet -- frontman of the Christian metal band Stryper -- was sitting down with a bowl of Cheetos to watch a Law & Order marathon when his cell phone rang.
Michael Sweet: Hello?
God: Hey Michael, its me, God.
Sweet: No fuc -- I mean, no way! I was wondering when Id actually get to speak to you. I always figured Id hear your voice in my head, though.
God: Yeah, I know, but I just got this new iPhone and wanted to try it out. Anyway, my son, youve done a lot for me over the years, but I have one more mission for you.
Sweet: You want me to tour with Stryper again?! You want me to dress up in the yellow and black?!? And throw Bibles into the crowd and sing your praises and --
God: No, no, no. Look, no offense, but that stuff was kinda corny. No, I have something else in mind for you. You know the band Boston? Well, as you probably heard, their singer, Brad Delp, recently committed suicide. Which, of course, didnt do much for his chances of getting into heaven, but were still trying to work that one out. Anyway, the thing is well, I really love Boston. That song Smokin, with that killer organ solo, I mean, how good is that?! And More Than a Feeling -- I can rock out to that one for, like, all of eternity! I cant hear that one enough.
Sweet: I guess you dont listen to classic rock radio, then.
God: Not so much. But, see, ever since Brad killed himself, Ive been missing hearing those songs played live. So what I need you to do, my son, is to go and join Boston and lead them on another world tour. Play those songs again for me. Make your God happy!
Sweet: B-b-but, I cant replace Brad Delp!
God: Sure you can! Youre the only one who can do it. You can hit the high notes in Long Time like your shorts are three sizes too small. I believe in you! Oh, and Ill give you some help, too. Theres this fellow named Tommy DeCarlo -- he works at a Home Depot in North Carolina, and in his spare time he sings just like Brad and records Boston covers and puts them up on his MySpace page. Seek him out and bring him on tour with you and Tom Scholz and the rest of the boys.
Sweet: Do you really think its going to be any good?
God: Of course it is! But dont worry -- Ill have you co-headline the tour with Styx. Anything will sound great compared to that.
Fri., June 27, 8 p.m., 2008