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Huey Lewis and the News Are Still Going Strong

July 14th, 2010

Huey Lewis and the News – The Wellmont Theatre – July 13, 2010

Huey Lewis and the News - The Wellmont Theatre - July 13, 2010
As the lights dimmed at The Wellmont Theatre last night, a nearly unified, low-toned shout came from the crowd. What could have instantly been misheard as booing quickly became a much clearer “Huuueeyyy!” as Huey Lewis and the News took the stage. Now more than 20 years removed from the peak of their fame, Lewis and his band have settled into a remarkably tight groove in their live performance. Starting the show with new, soul-driven material off a forthcoming album warmed up the crowd. “Just wait ’til you get the record and play it over and over,” cracked Lewis in response to cheers.

The band then played the very first song they ever wrote, “Some of My Lies Are True (Sooner or Later).” Lewis spent one more song in what he called the “greatest misses” section of the set and then shifted the show into high gear with the best of the News. “I Want a New Drug” was followed by a two-song a cappella break (a “customary” part of the shows according to Lewis), where he introduced each member of the band, two of whom he’s known or played with for more than 40 years. That long tenure lent the band a stunning ability to play, and the four-piece horn section blared with a groove akin to Tower of Power.

The 60-year-old Lewis performed greatly as a workingman’s Tom Jones, and while Beyoncé he is not, he still never stayed in one place onstage either, belting out notes in his signature gravely voice or sharply soloing on harmonica. The band encored with the best, starting with the smash “Power of Love,” then playing “Do You Believe in Love” before finishing with “Workin’ for a Livin’.” As the crowd once again unleashed “Huuueeyyy!” shouts, the band fittingly substituted a final bow with a sleeve-rolled flex of the arm. —Sean O’Kane

Photos courtesy of Greg Notch | photography.notch.org/music