Huey Lewis & The News
(DTE Energy Theatre, Clarkston, MI - July 2nd, 2006)
You may not know this, but back in 1972, singer and harmonica player Huey Lewis and keyboardist Sean Hopper joined the Bay Area jazz-funk band Clover, who would eventually become the original backing band for Elvis Costello's first album My Aim Is True, before he attracted The Attractions!
After getting a singles contract from Phonogram Records in 1979, Huey Lewis united his former bandmate and three of his former rivals to form "Huey Lewis & the American Express". The group would release a single "Exo-Disco" (a disco version of the theme from the film Exodus) that was largely ignored. But in 1980, the band would woo guitarist Chris Hayes and move to Chrysalis Records, changing their name to "Huey Lewis & the News".
And so it is that phenomenal musical legend that came to town yet again and wowed the packed house here in MI. Opening for the powerhaus Chicago, Huey played his one hour twenty minute set like it was his own gig, on his own time, and in front of strictly his own fans.
Walking out on stage alone, dark sunglasses blocking him from the outdoor venues bright sun rays, he reaches the mic and says, "Hello everybody. I'm Huey Lewis." From there he lifts the harmonica to his lips, blows and sucks in equal measures and were suddenly straight into 'Build Me Up.'
Continuing forward with a plug for the latest 'Greatest Hits' CD the band go on to sing 'Some Of My Lies,' 'I Want A New Drug,' 'Small World' (inclusive of one long-ass sax break), 'Doin' It (All For My Baby),' and 'Power of Love' before we hit the acapella portion of the evening.
With four additional mic stands brought front and center for various band members, Huey introduces the band before heading into 'It's Alright' (bathed in purple light) and then; with the aid of some guitars, 'Uh Huh Uh Huh Huh.'
The rip-roaring 'Heart Of Rock 'N Roll' is next which is followed by 'Heart and Soul.' Joined on stage by Chicago trumpeteer for 'But It's Alright,' Huey then brings the set to a close with 'Not Here For A Long Time, Here For A Good Time.'
Coming back out, he announces to the crowd that they are about to go "... back in time" which they do with their Back To The Future movie track 'Back In Time.' Joined on stage by Chicago guitarist Bill Chaplin, they both trade off vocals on 'Thank you, Baby,' before the entire show is brought to a final close with the pulse-pounding, fist pounding, beat-pounding 'Workin' For A Livin'.'
Review by Russell A. Trunk
Photos by Chris Schwegler