J. Geils Band
The first opener was local band “Handsome Jack“. Â I really liked these guys as they sounded a lot like the Black Crowes (you can check out some of their music on ReverbNation). Â However, I was much less impressed with the second opener, The Matt Facciolla Band. I can’t say that the band itself was bad, but they’re music style was all over the place and I just couldn’t really get into them. Many in the crowd disagreed, as it was a ‘coming home’ of sorts for the Buffalo native.
When the J. Geils Band finally took the stage, it was well worth the wait. Due to some family obligations, I opted to skip the show at the New York State Fair earlier in the week. Â The fair show drew around 14,000 people and the band played for 2 hours and 20 minutes. Â In Buffalo, although I didn’t see an “official” attendance, I can say that the South Central Wharf was much larger and by time the band hit the stage, people had really began to pack in. Â This was in addition to a completely different area that allowed for people with lawn chairs to set up. Â Even further back was the food vending area which also featured picnic tables and standing areas along the harbor.
A couple of other cool aspects about the venue was the fact that they had a separate area where people with boats could pull up in the harbor, present their tickets, and enjoy the show. Â Of course, I don’t know much about “ships” but the vessel — possible coast guard or navy — that was stationed in the harbor, was impressive as it towered over the area as the sun set. Â Did I mention it was hot? Â Well, it was very hot. Â Although the temperature cooled as the sun set, the breeze disappeared and a packed crowd had sweat dripping down my face the entire time J.Geils was on stage!
What about the music you ask? Â Outstanding! Â Although Jay Geils himself wasn’t on stage, he was not missed at all. Â The current lineup of Duke Levine, Peter Wolf, Seth Justman (keyboards), Danny Klein (bass) and “Magic Dick” Salwitz (harp), featured the other founding members of the band. They were joined on stage by a couple of backup vocalists and the Uptown Horns brass section. I liken the experience to being at a rock ‘n roll tent revival. Â From the out set, the band made it clear that they were focusing on the early music (although “Freeze Frame” and “Centerfold” were both included in the set) which was absolutely fine by me! Â I was happy a clam to hear live versions of “Sanctuary” and “I Do”, but was hoping for “Monkey Island” and “Land of 1,000 Dances”.
Of course, my nemesis, the dreaded curfew, had the band scrambling toward the end of their set. Â Like rumors of the police spreading through a speak easy, someone off stage warned the band about the time and as a result, I think they rushed through a few songs in the later portion of the set. Â They closed with “Whammer Jammer” and “Ain’t Nothing But a Party”. Â I waited a long time to see these guys play live and with high expectations, I wasn’t disappointed. Â A great tour to catch this fall!
You can read the review from Buffalo News, where they also have additional pictures from the show.
Although Kevin and I didn’t do a lot of “catching”, we did get to fish some new waters that were outstanding fishing opportunities. Â Below are a gallery of a few images from Olcott, recognized as the best fishing town in the USA, and Lewiston. Â Olcott had a really nice layout. Â Even if you weren’t interested in fishing, the park was very nice, there was beach, a small amusement park for the kids and a little shopping strip off the beach. Â Lewiston also had some nice shops, several historical associations and is the home to ArtPark.
Of course, our main fishing destination was the Niagara River — specifically Devil’s Hole and the Whirlpool Hole. Â The Devil’s Hole, located in Devil’s Hole State Park, was just an outstanding place to fish the Niagara River — at least in spots where you can gain access to the water. Â Of course, it comes with the physical challenge of a very steep descent and an even more challenging ascent back to the top. Â It is touted as a trail for “those who know their limitations” and I’d say that’s pretty accurate. Â Although, with almost 100 years between my cousin and I, we managed to tackle it — however, there were a few stops required to prevent my lungs from collapsing!
The trail that runs along the base of the Niagara River from Devil’s Hole to the Whirlpool Hole is well worn, but there are portions of it that are loose rocks, roots, narrow pathways and close to cliff edges. Â However, if you’re careful, it offers some outstanding views of the river and the tour boats that frequented the trip back and forth all day.
Much thanks goes out to Kevin for taking me around the various parts of the American side of Niagara Falls. Â Although I’ve seen the falls from the Canadian side many times, I’d never seen many of the parks and islands on the American side. Â Yes, I have many other pictures of the falls, but I’m sure they’ve all been seen before so I’m opting not to post them here.
“Home” over the weekend was Four Mile Creek state campground. Â This was a beautiful site (#161), although we had one little problem … spiders. Â We originally setup the tent under a nicely shaded group of trees. Â Unknown to use was the fact that it was infested with these little red spiders. Â It a matter of minutes, the entire outside of the tent was crawling with them. Â We opted to keep the tent there for the evening and move it the following morning. Â The first night, we had to brush them off the doors before getting inside the tent.
Have you ever been infested with something before and then you get in your head that there is something still crawling on your or biting you? Â Well, this was the tone for the rest of the weekend. Â Even driving back home, it couldn’t help but feel that I was getting bit (yes, these spiders were biters) as I was driving. Â Sometimes, however, its not always in your head! Â I had left the vent open in the blazer the last night at the site and I found that the entire car was infested with these spiders. Â I must have 30 bites are ankles and on my feet. Â So, I had to strip everything out of the car and bug bomb it yesterday. Â Then the vaccuming told the final story as at least 50 spider carcuses where sucked away …. lesson learned!