Sunday, April 25, 2010

Old "News" still fresh!

From the time I was in middle school through my college years, my room was a veritable shrine to Huey Lewis and the News. If there was a TV show or national radio program featuring Huey, I was sure to tune in. I can't begin to tell you how many hours I spent watching MTV, ready to hit the record button on the VCR. To this day, I still have my collection of Huey Lewis music videos on VHS.

This past Saturday evening at Treasure Island Resort & Casino, I saw Huey and the boys in concert for the first time since 1991. Despite the fact that Huey will turn sixty years old this July, he gave no indication that his musical prowess had diminished. While the faces have changed somewhat with the retirements of original members Chris Hayes (guitar) and Mario Cipollina (bass), the band's sound remains just as distinctive as it did in the '80s.

The set began with four or five soulful tunes from an album which is currently in the works. While HLN hit the mainstream in the 80s with a general pop sound, Huey's roots (and heart for that matter) lie in the blues/soul genre. While the crowd politely applauded this set, Huey ascertained that the oldies (still not comfortable referring to '80s tunes as "oldies") were in demand. The next set began with He Don't Know, a modest hit on 1991's Hard at Play. But then the crowd really got into it when the guys launched into I Want a New Drug from their most successful album to date, the multi-platinum Sports. The band also covered the tunes Heart and Soul and The Heart of Rock & Roll from that same album.

After whipping the crowd into a frenzy, the band covered So Much in Love a capella, and did a mighty fine rendition of it! After a couple more songs, Huey and the gang walked off the stage for the evening. Of course, an encore was in order. Huey knew full well he couldn't end a show without singing The Power of Love from the Back to the Future soundtrack. The guys then wrapped up with Do You Believe in Love and Workin' for a Livin', both from 1982's Picture This.

All in all, Huey Lewis and the News put on a great show on Saturday. And given the lackluster performances recently put forth by 60-something rockers (The Who at the Super Bowl comes to mind) it was a treat to indulge in such a stellar performance.


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