Huey Lewis and the News - Annette Strauss Square - June 13, 2013

Categories: Last Night

huey-lewis-photo.jpg
Jay Blakesburg

Really, in terms of appreciating material at live concerts there are two distinct paths - bands you go and see because you like their current stuff, or to hear new things or unashamed nostalgia fests where we all collectively suspend the clear evidence that, well, it ain't like it used to be in the old days, but we all love these songs so much that we're happy to see the musicians responsible trot them out for the umpteenth time.

There is no doubt that last night's Huey Lewis and the News gig in the gorgeous Annette Strauss Square of the Arts District was the latter, and that's not to bash it at all. How could it be anything else? On an evening of stultifying heat, with a start time of 8 p.m., the Square was full of the sort of concert-goers you suspect only get out to one or two live performances a year, when the latest band of their era swings through town. Age of the crowd aside (in the seats at the front, which were going for $70-85 a pop, I was the youngest person by so very far that it was verging on impressive), it's really pretty amazing that a band whose most famous album was released in 1983 and who never really stopped touring can fill a relatively large venue like this thirty years on.

The volume of the crowd and the epic line to get through the bag checks lent this concert the impression of a real event, an impression that the Back To The Future DeLorean by the entrance, belching fumes into the hot, sticky evening like a futuristic chain-smoker, did nothing to dispel. Everyone crowded round to get their photo taken by it, but it's difficult to know how Huey Lewis feels about the now-permanent association between the film and his music. Before dutifully trotting out a "Power of Love" that lacked a lot of the punch of the recorded version, Lewis said "little did we know when we wrote this song that we'd be playing it every night since then," a sentiment which does not smack of joy at the thought of playing it again.

Preceding that classic, which of course came during the encore, the album Sports was played from beginning to end, with Huey Lewis, who is really old now you guys, stopping the music only to remind us that, in the old days, this is when you would have turned the record over. This was part of a speech venerating a time without the internet, CDs, or wrinkles, which the crowd ate up.

One character next to us, cooler full of Shiners in hand, wide-brimmed hat on his head, Huey Lewis t-shirt and combat shorts attire, wasn't just singing along but SHOUTING EVERY WORD BACK AT HUEY LIKE THIS. When the band did an "I say yeah, you say yeah!" call and response bit, this guy did all the yeahs Huey was doing as well as all the yeahs the crowd was meant to do.

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5 comments
urdmann
urdmann

Sports came out the year I graduated high school 1983. I wore out the record and the cassette tape. I'm 48 now and just saw the 30th anniversary of Sports concert. While each generation never see themselves as too old the next generation clearly does. I like music of all kinds but I've always been a big fan of Huey. One of the things he mentioned at the show tonight was after doing the entire Sports album he said that was 46 minutes of American music. I like that. I also like the other comments that you said in your article that he also said tonight like turning over the record. I like that too. There are plenty of audiophiles out there are just now experiencing the joys turning the record over due to the resurgence of vinyl records among those purists. My how things come full circle. I know that there are obviously a lot of fans out there like me that appreciate groups like Huey Lewis of which there are very few out there these days. Many will be quick to classify them as 80's pop but that's simply because they got there recognition and fans in the 80's. Let's not forget about the other categories they fit so nicely into, like Blue eyed soul mixed with some rhythm and blues, new wave, even a little Ska and of course good old fashioned rock and roll. My girlfriend who I mercilessly drag to see Huey every year said it best when she said with satisfied amazement "They have so many good songs!" Well I guess you could say that about a lot of newer acts these days...or can you?

urdmann
urdmann

I graduated high school the year Sports came out. I'm 48 and although each generation sees themselves as not so old even though the next generation clearly sees the opposite,

whirlingdervish00
whirlingdervish00

Really, there were old people at a concert featuring an act from 30+ years ago? What keen

observarion, what a stunning revelation. BTW, how many black people were there? How many hispanics? So tired of this lazy "journalism." 

Steve
Steve

Beats the shit out of that shit-metal you normally write about.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

Christ, he was a dinosaur when those songs were popular.

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