When the J. Geils Band was announced as the final concert of Artpark’s Tuesday In The Park 2015 schedule, you just knew they were the perfect choice to close it out. Oddly enough it was one of those rare after Labor Day concerts as the J. Geils Band helped end another fabulous season on a very high note. As an added bonus Ian Hunter and the Rant Band were brought along to open the show.
The J. Geils Band had not played a show in the area in over thirty years, mostly due to being disbanded for a fourteen year period. They finally returned in 2012, opened for Bob Seger last December and Tuesday evening made their way to Artpark. I can honestly say this show was the best of the three. The band played a rare hits oriented set list, something they generally tend to shy away from. They also gave a good dose of their debut album covering seven of the eleven tracks.
Although the band’s namesake guitarist is no longer in the band, the core still includes vocalist Peter Wolf, keyboardist Seth Justman, harmonica player Magic Dick and bassist Danny Klein. Rounding out the live band were two lovely background singers, drummer Tom Arey and guitarists Kevin Barry and Duke Levine.
The band started off with three of their first four songs from that debut album including a great rendition of “Homework”. Things picked up when the band delved into their Love Stinks album for a cover of “Night Time”.
Wolf and Company really gave the crowd a good mix of their history by playing most of the hits from their two biggest sellers Freeze Frame and Love Stinks. They also brought out some deep cuts from earlier in their career. The energetic Wolf was all over the stage as he danced and pranced from one end to the other all night long.
The main highlights were “Just Can’t Wait”, “Give It To Me” and of course the band’s number one song “Centerfold” which had the crowd dancing and singing along.
“You got your cameras ready” Wolf asked as the band tore into the title cut of their number one album Freeze Frame.
The band quickly came out for a fabulous three song encore that was capped off with “Must Of Got Lost”, a song many in attendance were hoping to hear. It featured one of those famous Peter Wolf fast-talking quip intros that led into the song. A great way to end the band’s near two hour set.
As mentioned rocker Ian Hunter and his band known as the Rant Band opened the evening with a very fast paced set that saw the 76-year old artist play a good synopsis of his long career in the music business. Highlights were “Once Bitten Twice Shy”, “Just the Way You Look Tonight” and show closer Mott The Hoople’s staple “All The Young Dudes”. Overall a very satisfying performance and if you never seen him before, this one was one you may remember for a long time to come.
It was an amazing season at Artpark this year as outgoing President George Osborne went out with all guns blazing. The lineup this year was one we can hope is only half as good next year. From the rare area appearance of metal legends Deep Purple and pop icons Blondie, to the Artpark regulars of Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Doobie Brothers and Peter Frampton and everyone in between it was a great season capped off with a big party by the boys from Beantown, The J. Geils Band. There surely were no defects to be found.
J. Geils Band
Hard Drivin Man
Cruisin’ For A Love
Just Can’t Wait
Pack Fair And Square
Serves You Right To Suffer
Give It To Me
I’m Looking For My Love
Where Did Our Love Go
Start All Over Again
Must have Got Lost
Once Bitten Twice Shy
Just the Way You Look Tonight
Now Is the Time
Just Another Night
All the Way From Memphis
When I’m President
23 A Swan Hill
All The Young Dudes
Special thanks to Maria Hays for all her help all season. I also want to give a special mention to the fine staff and security at Artpark for a job well done.