EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

July 16, 2013

Festival marks return of local band

By Dustin Luca

---- — BOSTON — A rock band with Andover roots will return to the Bay State tomorrow as part of a nine-day festival in downtown Boston.

Boys Like Girls, which features Andover High School graduate Martin Johnson as frontman, will play at the Outside the Box music festival tomorrow night at 6:30. Performances are held on Boston Common and City Hall Plaza and, from beginning to end, feature more than 200 performers from around the world. The festival started Saturday.

All four of the Boys Like Girls’ members are from Massachusetts. The band’s other three members are from Leominster, Mansfield and Watertown, according to lead guitarist Paul DiGiovanni.

The self-proclaimed emo-rock band got its start after Johnson graduated from Andover High School in 2004. His graduation was accelerated through a special project that allowed him to leave school early and launch his musical career.

The band has received interesting points of fame over the years.

It was voted Spin magazine’s Artist of the Year in 2006 and an item once available at Denny’s, The Great Eggsteak, was named for the band’s hit single, “The Great Escape.”

After taking a brief hiatus in 2011, the band returned last year with its latest album, “Crazy World.”

“We had been on the road for seven or eight years straight and it was nice to have a minute to regroup,” DiGiovanni said. “It was so good to be back full-time with each other and it’s incredible to work together again.”

Tomorrow’s show marks the first time that the band has been back in the area in nearly a year, DiGiovanni said.

“We all live in (Los Angeles) right now,” he said. “I haven’t been back in the area in eight months, the longest in my life.”

For some, performing in Boston brings a special meaning after the events at the Boston Marathon earlier this year.

“Being out (in Los Angeles) watching everything was pretty shocking,” DiGiovanni said. “We’re all happy to be back and couldn’t believe all that stuff that was going on.”

For more information on Outside the Box, visit outsidetheboxboston.com.