If music has the power to bring us back to an earlier and often happy time in our lives, then there's no question as to why I won't change the radio station when Huey Lewis and The News comes on. They were one of my favorite bands of the era, so when I heard from a coworker that they would be playing in my area my friends and I jumped at the chance to go "back in time", so to speak.
The show took place a few weeks ago at the South Shore Music Circus in Cohasett, MA, underneath a tent that only seats about 2,250 in a "theater in a round" setting, making for an intimate concert experience. I was actually tempted to wear an orange vintage 80s romper I'd won on eBay to get the full experience, but the Boston weather had other plans, changing a day that started out sunny and warm to rainy and gloomy in a matter of hours. But who cared? Nothing could take away from the excitement of seeing Huey, and he didn't disappoint.
For starters, the man has aged extremely gracefully, with not a trace of chunk on him, considering he's now 58 (please don't remind me that that much has passed). But more importantly, he SOUNDED exactly the same, because as we all know, there's nothing worse than an artist who has lost his or her voice (Bob - cough - Dylan.) Huey casually sauntered down the side aisle to cheers and whoops like a prize fighter entering an old familiar ring. He and the band immediately launched into "Some Kind of Wonderful" and continued with most of their hits, including "The Power of Love", "I Want a New Drug", "Heart and Soul", "If This Is It", "Working For A Living", "Jacob's Ladder", and a slowed down version of my personal favorite, "Do You Believe In Love." Sadly, "Heart of Rock and Roll" was not among the set list. The stately coastal town of Cohasett apparently has a curfew to curb the noise factor for local residents, and the band had to stick to it. Their total stage time including an intermission was only an hour and a half, but it was worth every minute.
Many of the original members of the "News" have left the band. I won't go into detail behind the names (that's what the Internet is for anyway), but I will say the younger fill-ins were more than passable. At one point the guys did a few acappella songs and the harmonization was perfect. They also seemed genuinely humbled by the audience's reaction, and that's probably a major reason for Huey Lewis and the News' popularity after all of this time. No frills, no pyrotechnics, and no ego. Just good music, which is why Huey Lewis can prove that it's still "hip to be square."