LIVE: The J. Geils Band @ the Times Union Center, 12/2/14

Peter Wolf
Peter Wolf of the J. Geils Band

Review by Greg Haymes
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

I never took a course in Physics, so I’ve always been somewhat flummoxed by Newton’s Law which says something like, “A body in motion tends to stay in motion.” Then I saw Peter Wolf fronting the J. Geils Band at the Times Union Center last week…

Once he hit the stage and launched into “Hard Drivin’ Man” (following the band’s opening around-the-horn, instrumental rave-up of “Sno-Cone”), Wolf simply could not stop moving.

11 songs.

50 minutes.

Dancing… Twirling… Testifying… Stalking the stage. Shaking those skinny legs and all. Wearing his sparkling, sequined jacket, he was like a human mirror ball. Or a glittering Tasmanian devil.

And the man is 68 years old…

Yes, they were only the support act for Detroit rock vet Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band, but the nine-piece J. Geils Band – which, by the way, no longer includes guitarist J. Geils – packed a high-energy, headline-worthy opening set with a breathless, 11-song, 50-minute blast of old-school R&B. They also romped through a couple of their latter-day hits – “Centerfold” and “Love Stinks” – and those were obvious crowd-pleasers.

With longtime core members Seth Justman (keyboards), howlin’ harmonicat Magic Dick Salwitz and bassist Danny Klein churning out a non-stop blitz of a performance, the highlights of the night included “Give It to Me” (with rhythms shifting mid-song from reggae to disco-blues), the blues-goes-gospel testifying of “Must of Got Lost,” a super-charged romp through “Lookin’ for a Love” (dedicated to the late Rolling Stones saxman Bobby Keys, who had passed away earlier that day) and Magic Dick’s fiery instrumental showcase, “Whammer Jammer.”

Pete Mason’s review and Jim Gilbert’s photographs at Upstate Live
Nancy Nutile-McMenemy’s photographs at Photos by Nanci
Excerpt from David Singer’s review at The Daily Gazette: “‘We’re going to blow your face out,” Wolf yelled before launching into the next basher. Much of the original gang was on stage: Magic Dick on harmonica, Seth Justman on keyboards and Wolf. They jammed their set without a moment between songs, moving through ‘Give it to Me,’ ‘Centerfold,’ ‘Love Stinks,’ and ‘House Party.’ He dedicated ‘Detroit Breakdown (Motor City Shakedown)’ to Seger. Beyond that tune, the Boston band has other Detroit affiliations, including recording some of their live records there. He gave us a speedy version of the infamous introduction to ‘Must of Got Lost,’ on his knees preaching, ‘Love comes once and when it comes you got to grab it fast and I believe I musta, I musta got lost!’ The energy didn’t rise or fall, it just stayed sky high for his full set.”

LIVE: Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band @ the Times Union Center, 12/2/14

Hard Drivin’ Man
Just Can’t Wait
Give It to Me
Detroit Breakdown
Must of Got Lost
Love Stinks
Lookin’ for a Love
Whammer Jammer
Ain’t Nothing But a House Party

The J. Geils Band
Left to right: Duke Levine, Peter Wolf and Magic Dick

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