Legendary Boston rock act The J. Geils Band have lived up to the reputation over the last 40 years as being one of the most exciting live bands on the circuit, which is why some of their classic live albums such as Full House Live and Blow Your Face Out remain fan favorites to this day. Eagle Rock are now releasing this thrilling live set from Germany in 1979, recorded for the Rockpalast television show. Touring in support of their Sanctuary album, the band dip into some of the then new tunes from that album, along with some older favorites. The line-up a the time was comprised of Peter Wolf (vocals), J. Geils (guitar), Magic Dick (harmonica), Seth Justman (keyboards), Danny Klein (bass), and Stephen Jo Bladd (drums).
As a companion piece to those two stellar live albums I mentioned earlier, this one's a can't miss. Recorded a few years later, you only get a little overlap as far as the songs go, the band instead highlighting some of their more recent material. Classics like "Whammer Jammer", "Give It to Me", "Looking For a Love", "First I Look at the Purse", "Pack Fair and Square" and of course "Ain't Nothing But a House Party" show the bands penchant for groove laden, sweaty bar blues, highlighted by Wolf's powerful vocal presence, Geils' tasty guitar licks, and the harp outbursts from the one and only Magic Dick. Newer songs "Sanctuary", "Wild Man", and "One Last Kiss" rock hard, and "Jus' Can't Stop Me" is a groovy funk machine that will have you on your feet in seconds. Justman's keyboard work throughout is spectacular, whether he is laying down some honky tonk piano or commanding Hammond organ, and the rhythm team of Klein & Bladd keep things locked and loaded.
The audio quality on the CD is very good, but be warned the video on the DVD shows its age, not unlike most of the Rockpalast footage that has surfaced in recent years. Lots of grain and washed out colors frequent the picture, but, it's hard to ignore the sheer exuberance of the bands performance and the excitement of the crowd, making it easier to look past the obvious age of the source material. The entire televised concert appears on both the CD & DVD, so regardless of what mood you are in, you have both options in one set. Despite the somewhat lackluster video quality, this is a great live album of a band firing on all cylinders back in 1979, and while it might not match the sheer power of Full House Live or Blow Your Face Out, it's not far off and easily beats out 1983s Showtime as the third best live album in the J. Geils Band cannon.
See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!
1) Jus' Can't Stop Me
2) I Could Hurt You
4) One Last Kiss
7) Wild Man
8) Looking For a Love
9) Give It to Me
10) Whammer Jammer
11) Ain't Nothing But a House Party
12) Where Did Our Love Go
13) Pack Fair and Square
14) First I Look at the Purse