Boston’s House Of Blues: Grand Opening Brings Geils Back Together

house-of-bluesLansdowne Street comes back to life this week a full month and a half before the Red Sox return to Fenway Park.  The Hub gets a brand spankin’ new House of Blues … rising from the demolition of Avalon.  Also rising for the grand opening, The J. Geils Band, local heroes who grabbed a healthy chunk of mainstream success in the early ’80’s before “artistic differences” broke them up.

geils-paintTruth be told, I never liked sharing Geils with the rest of the music world.  They were our bluesy, late night party band.  Peter Wolf’s signature howl offset by Seth Justman’s melodic hooks.  The early stuff was the most raw and fun … songs like First I Look at the Purse, Ain’t Nuthin’ but a House Party, and Musta Got Lost all had a ragged charm, perfect for less than sober sing-a-longs.  That was the 70’s.

In the 80’s everyone climbed on the bus when Centerfold, Freeze Frame, and Love Stinks shot up the charts … good stuff, but much more produced and spiffed up.  At least on disc.  Live, the boys always delivered the goods, with plenty of grit and a conspicuous lack of political correctness.  Yup, good and dirty!

So now Geils is back to christen the city’s newest music venue.  This ain’t no reunion thing … it’s a one night stand (it’s also sold out).  Those lucky enough to be inside will probably share a lot of similarities with the band … older, wiser, and in many cases richer.  This music center was built from the ground up to be a profit pump.  Nothing wrong with that, but all that folksy authenticity has a lot of corporate bucks behind it.  It’s the musicians who hit the stage that will make it real.

And man, there’s a great lineup of talent coming our way in the next few weeks.  Here are some of my favorites.

2/26 – Jimmy Eat World (emo, yes … but they rock t00).

3/1 – Tom Jones (you know what, love is like candy on a shelf).

3/10 – Flogging Molly (celebrate St. Patty’s a little early with the real deal).

3/27 – Live (hey, Throwing Copper was epic rock genius, everything since hasn’t quite lived up, but they’re great live … as their name suggests).

4/17 – Presidents of the United States of America (they better play Lump).

5/5  – GWAR (crazy … good, bad and ugly, a band that has to be seen to be appreciated … or reviled).

5/8 – Etta James (bring on the Beyonce smack talk).

So, save up some green, and maybe will see each other at The House of Blues.


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