Even amindst divisions within the ranks of its founding members, the buzz around the J. Geils Band's performance tonight as part of the Buffalo Place Rocks the Harbor Series remains as palpable as it was back before any news of the inter-band squabbling had broken. Why? Because this Boston-born band enjoys a well-earned reputation as one of the most exhilarating live bands in rock history. And the majority of that band's original cast - frontman supreme Peter Wolf, keyboardist Seth Justman, harp player Magic Dick, and bassist Danny Klein - will be taking the stage tonight to, as their revered 1976 live album suggests, "Blow Your Face Out!.
The band's namesake, co-founder J. Geils, will not be in attendance at tonight's "houseparty" - he's involved in a lawsuit with the other original members over rights to the band's name. This is a complex issue, but is highly unlikely to diminish the band's performance at the Harbor tonight. (Veteran Boston session guitarist Duke Levine, a killer player who has been second guitarist with the J. Geils Band during its recent reunion shows, including 2010's sold-out Fenway Park gig shared with Aerosmith, will fill Geils' vacancy.)
Buffalo expatriate and former singer/guitarist with the Electric Bushmen Matthew Facciolla will bring his new outfit, the Matthew Facciolla Band, back home to open for the J. Geils band tonight. The group's new disc, "Second Chances," also hits the streets (and the ether) today. The show takes place this evening from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the Erie Canal Harbor Central Wharf. Remaining tickets are priced $20, and can be found through Tickets.com.
- Jeff Miers