Huey Lewis and The News, a Soulsville release date and The Power of Love

VALLEY CENTER, Calif. _ I attended a Huey Lewis and The News concert on Saturday and was pleasantly surprised to learn that 1.) Huey Lewis is still alive 2.) The News accounts for approximately one-third of all professional saxophone jobs in the United States 3.) I was the only man in attendance who did not look like he was thinking about how sweet Huey Lewis music sounds on his pleasure boat. This is mainly because I do not own a pleasure boat, and if I did, I would not play Huey Lewis music. I would only play the theme from Shaft.

We arrived at Harrah’s Rincon Casino on time, but missed the opening song. We missed it because the security guards at Open Sky Theater would not let my girlfriend Jen enter with her digital camera, which she mainly uses to photograph summer salads, and is in no way powerful enough to capture perfect photographs of Huey Lewis that she can then sell to TMZ or the Russian mafia or whomever concert organizers imagine people sell Huey Lewis photos to on the black market.

Good boyfriend that I am, I ran the camera across the casino floor like a modern Pheidippides, through a sea of smoke and into the parking garage and back to my car. Then I ran down three flights of stairs, back across the casino, secondhand smoked another pack of cigarettes, rejoined the thankful girlfriend and walked into the show already in progress. So, great job, concert organizers. You prevented a fan from taking an amateur photo of Huey Lewis at your venue and posting it on her Facebook and Twitter pages. Instead we took low-resolution photographs with our cell phones. If anyone wants to know how Huey Lewis looks these days, I am happy to report that he is now one inch tall and appears to have just emerged from an alien spacecraft.

The 90-minute concert, which I did enjoy, was broken into five parts, each entertaining for different reasons. The band opened with songs from its forthcoming album Soulsville, which comes out Nov. 2. Soulsville is a collection of covers from Stax Records and the Memphis soul era. I am no professional music critic, and I will prove that to you right now by telling you that the songs from the new album, and I don’t mean to show off as a writer here, but get ready for it – sounded good. If you like Huey, or that sound, you will probably want to buy Soulsville because – and you can feel free to quote me on this one record company people – it is good.

The band also performed its “greatest misses,” a run of songs that included “I Want A New Drug,” which I always thought was a hit, because most greatest misses don’t chart at No. 6 and get stolen by Ray Parker Jr. Huey and some of the guys from the band sang a little a cappella, and they nailed it, according to the sea of 60-year-old women who squealed and swayed and fought the urge to remove their tops. Then the band did its greatest hits, but not all of them. “We can’t really get to all of them,” Huey quipped, as if to say, that would be far too many songs to play. True to his word, the band did not play all of its hits, skipping “Hip to Be Square.” Then, in what might have been the least-mysterious lead-in to an encore ever, Huey Lewis and The News walked offstage without playing “The Power of Love.”

Like they weren’t going to come back and play “The Power of Love.” Right. The upscale, older crowd would have torn the theater to shreds Russian-soccer-riot style or, lacking the physical strength to do so, successfully filed a lawsuit to order Huey Lewis and The News to return to the Open Sky Theater at a later date to play “The Power of Love.” Huey Lewis and The News not playing “The Power of Love” in concert is like The New York Yankees dressing for a home game at Yankee Stadium and not taking the field, or Francis Ford Coppola ending the movie “The Godfather” after Sonny gets murdered, or Letterman doing a Top Nine list or Paula Deen cooking with ingredients that take into account regard for human life. It can’t and shouldn’t be done.

Personally, I got the feeling Huey would rather not play “The Power of Love,” mainly by the way he told the audience he would rather not play “The Power of Love.” I am paraphrasing a bit here, but this was the gist of what he told us: This song is 25 years old, and if you would have told us when we wrote it that we would have to perform it every time we play live … we would have let Foreigner record it instead.

Then Huey Lewis and The News played “The Power of Love” and the crowd went wild. It’s a great song. It’s why we were there – to hear that song and sing along to it. The Power of Love – it really does make one man weep and another man sing.

If only someone would invent a machine so Huey Lewis could travel back in time to un-write the song. But then that time machine would need a theme song.

And the circle of Huey Lewis’s anguish continues for eternity.

UPDATE: This column has been linked to by hln.org, a Huey Lewis & The News fan/wiki site. Some of the commenters did not like my column. You can read their thoughts, which they are perfectly entitled to, here.

Share
Joe Donatelli
Joe Donatelli is a writer in Los Angeles
  • Joe, I love that you’ve had nothing but good things to say about Huey Lewis both before and after the concert and yet the Huey Lewis Nation despises you for not liking him more. LOL. I don’t know, they might have a point: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cg1AdAEDF9c
    80s music vids had so much character development.

  • Joe Donatelli

    Music is a touchy subject. People get fired up, even when you are being positive and honest. Ask Ace of Base Nation. Or … wait … don’t.

  • Al

    Huge HLN fan here. I ove your review. Straightforward and: very funny!

  • Moi

    The member of the forum named Bill is Bill Gibson, drummer and founding member of The News. He doesn’t like you.

  • Joe Donatelli

    I am sorry to hear that. I dig the band’s music. I was just writing about my unique experience at this particular show. I am not qualified to write about music, but I am qualified to write about me. Please tell Mr. Gibson that if he wants to voice his displeasure, I will be happy to print whatever he has to say on my site. He can reach me at contactjoed@gmail.com.

  • Al

    Bill loves you, he just had a bad day. :D

  • HueyJewish

    Bill is a dick. Your review is perfect (without actually being any good at all).

  • Sue Donatelli

    Thanks Joe for the funny commentary on attending the HLN concert. I especially enjoyed the Power of Love encore comments.

  • Joe- It’s nonsense that myself or HLN doesn’t like you. When I read your blog, I was mistaken in thinking it was a review. I didn’t realize it was your blog. I had no problem with what you wrote about the show, in fact I thought it was great. My problem was thinking I was reading a music critic’s review,so I stand corrected. Sorry for the confusion

  • Bob Squires

    I think the last time I listened to Foreigner was twenty Five years ago. I still listen HLN.

    Uncle Bob

  • Bill Robinson

    As a Fan of HLN and a Radio Jock that Overplayed the Hell out of the band, i LOVE the review..the Night this posted, the HLN fan site went nuts and Mr. Gibson took to listening to a bunch of fools instead of reading it himself.

    With that said, i’d rather slam my DICK IN A DOOR then go back there again..unless your comments are 100% PRO for the band, your ripped to pieces and i hope they wake up from “Hueyville” and take the Band’s Advice: “Ain’t no living in a Perfect world”.

Follow

Get every new post on this blog delivered to your Inbox.

Join other followers: