Huey Lewis and the News at the Borgata, 06-19-2015

DSCN1607On June 19th, I went down to the Borgata casino in Atlantic City, NJ, to see Huey Lewis and the News. It turned out to be a more emotional event than I had anticipated, but it was also an awesome show.

I suppose it shows my age that Huey is one of my favorite groups. My teenage years spanned the 1980s, the era of Back to the Future, which is when Huey Lewis and the News really shot to fame. The soundtrack of my life is peppered with Huey songs, so hearing them brought back tons of good memories.

DSCN1602At one point Huey asked how many in the audience were first-timers at one of his concerts, and a surprising number said they were. While not that many “young” kids like teens, there were plenty in their late twenties, early thirties. That made me feel good for Huey and company. And then I felt really old when he reminded us that the band has been together for 37 years.

I’m going to run down their set list. I didn’t have a pen, so some of these are out of order but I believe I got them all.

DSCN1501He opened with his usual Heart of Rock and Roll. A steady heartbeat throbs through the dark and still theater, until the band is in position and they explode into the song. Very effective in getting the crowd excited.

Huey then rocked the house with I Want A New Drug, and slowed it down with If This Is It, and He Don’t Know.

DSCN1540Sprinkled in there somewhere were two new songs: Her Love Is Killing Me and While We’re Young. Her Love Is Killing Me sounds like one of his classic love ballads, and While We’re Young features the group’s characteristic humor as they poke fun at the trials and tribulations of growing older.

Those who have seen Huey live know that he always does an a cappella set. This time around it was not truly a cappella, as he had light instrumental accompaniment, but they still sounded good. He did not do the usual songs he reserves for this set, but did one I did not know where the refrain was something like “Da-da-dee”, and a fantastic rendition of Under the Boardwalk, which he said they worked up that afternoon just for us. (If anyone knows the first song, please let me know what it was.)

DSCN1575The rest of the show flew by with Rhythm Ranch, Heart and Soul, We’re Not Here for a Long Time, and Jacob’s Ladder.

Naturally the band had to do an encore, which they opened with their signature Power of Love (aka “the DSCN1594song we’ve played every night of our lives for the last 29 years.”) Huey then invited Brandon Flowers, lead singer of the Killers, to join them onstage for Do You Believe In Love?, and then Huey Lewis and the News wrapped up the whole thing with Workin’ for a Living.

DSCN1585They did not do Stuck With You or Hip to Be Square (my personal teenage anthem), but with so many fantastic songs to choose from, we were rather spoiled for choice! The show was everything I have come to expect from Huey and his band. The performance was high-energy, Huey had great rapport with the audience, and as usual the band’s wonderful musicianship shone.

Huey Lewis and the News—better than ever and still hard at play.


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