You can’t say I’m not loyal

If you’ve been a reader for a while (or you know me in real life), I’m sure you’re aware of my lifelong devotion to Huey Lewis and the News, illustrated by my need to see them live every time they come anywhere near me (counting last night, that’s five concerts – more than any other show of any kind except Les Mis, whose count is at six, soon to be seven).  (And that’s five concerts with John in tow, who, even though he enjoys the shows and likes Huey just fine, gets a little irritated when he realizes he’s seen them more times than, say, U2 (two, maybe three) or Van Halen (two, maybe three) or Springsteen (four).)

I love Huey.  And because of this love and the knowledge that I will never abandon him or the News (whatever their lineup), I can say this.  Last night’s concert was….not the greatest.  It was not like the other four.  The other four were awesome.  They did what any band (ANY band) who’s had a bunch of hits in the past does.  They played the hits.  Sure, at other concerts they played some stuff from the more recent albums, but those were upbeat and fun and there were only a couple.  Mostly, they played stuff everyone knows and loves and everyone sang along and danced and had an all-around good time.

Last night, there was a distinct lack of energy, both from the band and the audience.  The band recently released a new album (“Soulsville”), (which I will buy and enjoy, I’m sure), but rather than play a handful of songs from that album and then old stuff the rest of the night (like they’ve done in the past, like EVERY OTHER BAND with a back catalog of hits does), they played almost the entire album last night.  In a row.  It was good, it was fine, but it’s not what we (I’m fairly certain the whole crowd was with me on this) were hoping for.  Huey opened with “Heart of Rock and Roll”, of course, with the stage lights flashing red in time with the bass drum heartbeat, and that was cool, but then there were six or seven songs (at least) from “Soulsville”.  Then five or six old songs (“Heart and Soul”, “Small World”, “I Want a New Drug”, “60 Minute Man” (that one was a cappella), a couple others I can’t remember right now), and then back into another two or three songs from “Soulsville” and then they left the stage.  Disappointing.  Of course, they came back for the encore (I’m not entirely sure why everybody plays along with this charade – as long as the house lights haven’t come up, you know they’re coming back.  Maybe they need the break.), started with “The Power of Love” (which finally got everyone on their feet – that was the best song of the night), and then Huey took a few requests (“Bad Is Bad”, “If This Is It”, and I think there was one more, but I can’t think of it), and then it was really over.  The best part of the night was the encore, but every other time I’ve seen him, the whole concert has been like that part.

I feel like I’ve been a little too negative.  The soul stuff was good.  I love his voice.  There’s something about it that makes me very happy.  Even though he didn’t play the songs I was hoping for, I still had a good time.  And I will see them again.  And again.  And again.  I can’t help myself.


  1. ibcrandy

    Five times? Egad. The most I’ve seen any band is twice (Bon Jovi and REM). Wait, are you saying you’ve seen them more than Harry? The mind wobbles.

    Yes, any band should play their back catalog of hits, especially if they’re not really a current band. You don’t go see Pat Benatar for the jazz stuff she’s doing now, you go to see her for her old rock stuff. Or maybe not. I’m not sure. Does that rule count if a musician completely switches genres?

    As For Huey Lewis and the News, you should watch the Double Dragon movie. Okay, really you shouldn’t because it’s terrible. But there is a terrific HL&TN joke in it which is the only redeeming quality of the movie. The villain in the film has two henchmen reporting back to him, and as he sees them he says “Ah! Huey! Lewis! Any news?”. It made me happy.

  2. momma betty

    Randy, you are so weird! Anything for a play on words.

    Ricky Nelson (I know, I know) wrote a song about being booed at a concert because the audience only wanted him to play the old stuff (from the 50s) in 1971. “Garden Party” became his biggest hit.

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