The J. Geils Band rock a ‘Lansdowne Laceration’ at HOB opening

A review of the J. Geils Band at the House of Blues on February 19, 2009

, Staff

At one point in the 2 hour-plus set the J. Geils Band laid down last Thursday night to officially open the House of Blues, front man and rock and roll animal extraordinaire Peter Wolf referred to the historic event as the “Lansdowne Laceration” – a reference to the booty shaking, bone bruising rock and roll that the band laid down all night.

And while it surely was just about “nothin’ but a house party”, there were lacerations of other kinds as well – but those are quibbles I’ll get to later.

The J. Geils Band rocked the return of the House Of Blues in Boston after its five year absence. And the ten years it’s been since we’ve seen Peter (vocals), Jay Geils (guitar), Magic Dick (harmonica), and Seth Justman (keyboards) has treated them well. The band was on and red hot, excited to be doing what they were doing and having a blast doing it. Unlike other old rock and rollers, our heroes for the night looked young and skinny and played with a “wow, they nearly rehearsed” groove that had us at times rockin’, at times funkin’, and even at times payin’ tribute to the bluesmen that the House Of Blues and the J. Geils Band owe so much too.

As if to say, “we did it for the money”, (tickets on the floor were $125 – laceration, indeed!) the show opened with “First I Look at the Purse”. Despite getting the sarcasm, no one could stand still as Wolf immediately went into “Woofa Goofa” mode and jumped around in gold lamé. All the greats were played: the soul of “Homework”, the dark and rebellious “Sanctuary”, the ultimate danceability of “Detroit Breakdown”, “Give it to Me” and “Must of Got Lost” (complete with updated intro-rap).

As if to prove they came for the R&B, blues and Rock and Roll, “pop” hits “Centerfold” and “Freeze Frame” were greeted by the 2500 strong crowd with cool politeness, and the band felt the energy lapse. “Love Stinks” however got a warm sing-a-long greeting, because, well…love stinks.
Other lacerations are probably only due to opening night SNAFUS: the line to get into the absolutely stunningly beautiful club created an hour long stand in the rain for many patrons (hint – buy food at the restaurant and get in a special line), and many men’s rooms broke down causing more urgent lines (I snuck into the ladies’ twice).

But, despite all of that, the House is open.

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