Monday, September 17, 2012

Concert Review: The J. Geils Band Turns The Mohegan Sun Arena Into A "Houseparty"

The J. Geils Band is one of your typical blues-rock, bar bands from Boston that hit it big in the 70’s and 80’s with the live albums “Full House,”  “Blow Your Face Out” and “Showtime.” The albums displayed how great their music was when performed live and how much fun a J. Geils Band show was. Now into their 45th year together, the J. Geils Band embarked on their Houseparty 2012 Tour which brought them to the Mohegan Sun arena last Sunday evening.

As the members of the band filed onto the stage, the show began with the introductory instrumental “Sno-Cone” as each band member received a short one minute solo. Lead singer Peter Wolf, one of the more iconic members of the J. Geils Band, did not appear on stage until the follow-up song, “Wait” which dates back to the band’s first album. Wolf, accompanied by the two female back-up singers, received a huge applause as he instantly transformed into one of the great frontmen in rock n roll. His dance moves mirrored fellow Boston frontman Steven Tyler during the jams of “Night Time” and “Southside Shuffle.” Also joining the J. Geils Band that evening was The Uptown Horns, beginning with the “Peter Gunn Theme,” before making their presence heard on the song “Homework.” Harmonica player Magic Dick stepped to the front of the stage for his solos in “Give It To Me” and “I Do” which turned the concert in one big party as the crowd couldn’t help themselves, but to dance along. J. Geils Band paid tribute to the early days of rock n roll with “Pack Fair & Square” as Wolf invited a woman from the audience to get up on stage and dance along with him. The band played on all their strengths, showing off their blues prowess on “One Last Kiss,” before heading into their “MTV video” phase with hits like “Freeze Frame,” “Centerfold” and “Love Stinks.” The J. Geils Band was running on all cylinders for the instrumental “Whammer Jammer,” led by Magic Dick’s harmonica, before ending their set with a blazing version of “(Ain’t Nothin’ But A) Houseparty.”

The band’s five song encore began with another tribute to the early days of rock n roll with a cover of The Supremes’ “Baby Where Did Out Love Go.” From there, the J. Geils Band dove back to their first album for a rare performance of “First I Look At Your Purse.” Then Peter Wolf acted out his long, but classic "wooba gooba" introduction to the fan favorite song, “Must Of Got Lost,” which found Peter Wolf strolling through the audience singing the chorus as the band jammed on stage. They continued with the deep cut, “Start All Over Again,” before closing out the party with a cover of the song “Land of 1000 Dances.” As all twelve members of the J. Geils Band’s live show stood arm in arm and bowed “good night,” the two-and-a-half hour show certainly gave all in attendance their money’s worth that evening.

Fellow Boston musician Jesse Dee began the night with a 40 minute set of soul, R&B, and classic rock n roll originals to get the party started.

Setlist: Sno-Cone, Wait, Hard Drivin’ Man, Peter Gunn Theme, Homework, Night Time, Southside Shuffle, Cry One More Time, Sanctuary, Pack Fair & Square, Give It To Me, I Do, Just Can’t Wait, One Last Kiss, Surrender, On Borrowed Time, Freeze Frame, Detroit Breakdown, Centerfold, Love Stinks, Looking For A Love, Whammer Jammer, (Ain’t Nothin’ But A) Houseparty
Encore: Baby Where Did Our Love Go, First Time I Look At Your Purse, Must Of Got Lost, Start All Over Again, Land Of 1000 Dances

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