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Make It Live – J.Geils Band at Rockpalast

Posted By Jorge Fitz-Gibbon On July 30, 2012 @ 8:00 am In Uncategorized | Comments Disabled

Make it Live is a new Listening Room feature that looks at classic live rock performances from the past, focusing on raw stage shows that are unedited and unfiltered by overdubs or studio gimmicks. Our goal is to make longtime music fans nostalgic and younger music fans appreciative of the performers and performances that influenced today’s artists.

And what better band to kick off “Make It Live” than one of the greatest live bands of their era – The J. Geils Band.

Formed in 1967, the band was named for guitarist John Geils, and featured a solid rhythm section of Stephen Jo Bladd on drums and Danny Klein on bass, who were joined by keyboard player Seth Justman. But the group’s two most visible members were harp player Richard Salwitz, better known by his stage name, “Magic Dick,” and front man Peter Wolk, who gave Geils’ performances most of their energy.

The clip we’re featuring comes from the band’s show at Rockpalast in Essen, Germany, on April 21, 1979. By then, the band had established a firm reputation as a top live act, and were probably at the height of their live game. Here they are performing “Looking For A Love,” a track that first appeared on the their 1971 release, “The Morning After.” In all, they would release 16 albums before disbanding in 1985, including two live albums and two “best of” albums.

At Rockpalast, the song was the eighth tune in a 14-song setlist. The beautiful thing about this performance is that it comes close to capturing the energy Geils brought to their shows, as well as the playful nature of the shows. The band has reunited periodically in recent years, but, in music, it’s hard to recapture past glory, particularly on stage. Enjoy.

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