Ain’t nothing but a party with The J. Geils Band

A review of The J. Geils Band at the Bank of America Pavilion on August 6, 2011

, Editor-in-Chief

For the third year in a row, The J. Geils Band have reunited to perform live. In 2009, it was to open the House of Blues, then last year, it was to join (and arguably outshine) Aersomith at Fenway Park. This summer they are back for a series of Northeast shows, including a two night stand at the Bank of America Pavilion last weekend that proved the band still has it and then-some.

With frontman Peter Wolf revving the crowd up from backstage (“Are you ready for the original bad boys of Boston?!”), the band calmly walked out with guitarist Jay Geils saluting the crowd. Wolf quickly dashed across the stage as they launched into “Jus’ Can’t Stop Me. The band kept the energy high by continuing with “Hard Drivin’ Man” and “Southside Shuffke”. They quickly had the crowd in the palm of their hands and the energy never really plateaued as they steamrolled through a tight 2 1/4 hour set. With help from the Uptown Horns (who packed a punch on a bunch of songs including “Just Can’t Wait), a trio of back-up vocalists (who shined during “Surrender” and local guitar great Duke Levin (who soloed during “Night Time”), The J. Geils Band was in fine form.

Wolf resumed his role as the dynamic frontman. A true showman, he danced across the stage and even into the crowd for “Musta Got Lost” and handed out roses for “Love stinks”. He also took time to recall some of the band’s history, reminiscing about how “Make Up Your Mind” was the first song he and sidekick keyboardist Seth Johnson wrote and how WBCN played the first song they recorded, “Pack Fair and Square”. Of course, it was a team effort and each of the guys had their own moment in the spotlight. Notably harpist Magic Dick and Geils electrified many of the songs throughout the night, showing off their ample riffs and solos, especially on “Piss On The Wall” and “Homework”, respectively.

The concert was a showcase of the band’s extensive catalogue, touching on all their influences from Blues, R&B and Rock. The show was fueled by a setlist that featured plenty of their greatest hits, fan favorites and even a few rarities by request (including “One Last Kiss”). “Freeze Frame” was just one of the many sing-alongs before the band delivered a rousing take on “Detroit Breakdown”. The hit parade continued with “Give It To Me”, “Musta Got Lost”, “Love Stinks”, and “Looking For A Love”. The one-two punch of “Whammer Jammer” and “Ain’t Nothing But A House Party” nearly blew the roof (or tent) off as the band closed out the main set.

Returning for an encore, Wolf graciously thanked the devoted crowd for their support. “No matter how hard it gets, you can always start over again,” he declared before the band fittingly played the ballad “Start All Over Again”. “First I Look At the Purse” followed before Wolf and company realized they were running up against a tight curfew and rushed through a somewhat sloppy rendition of “Centerfold”. As the band took a final bow, Magic Dick took the mic for a quick snippet of “Peachtree Street”.

The band is not calling it a reunion tour, and nobody will say what the future holds for The J. Geils Band but one thing was certain on Saturday: this band still knows how to deliver an excellent rock and roll show.

Setlist

Jus’ Can’t Stop Me
Hard Drivin’ Man
Southside Shuffle
Just Can’t Wait
Homework
Piss on the Wall
Make Up Your Mind
I Do
Surrender
Pack Fair and Square
Sanctuary
Night Time
Cruisin’ For A Love
One Last Kiss
Freeze Frame
Detroit Breakdown
Give It To Me
Musta Got Lost
Love Stinks
Looking For A Love
Whammer Jammer
Ain’t Nothing But A House Party
 Encore:
Start All Over Again
First I Look At the Purse
Centerfold
Peachtree Street

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  1. Pingback: Ain’t nothing but a party with The J. Geils Band | Christopher O'Hare | I Hate Me Too

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