It had been a long drought but finally on Tuesday evening Huey Lewis and the News rolled into Artpark and performed on the outdoor stage. It’s been quite some time since Lewis & The News last performed in the Buffalo vicinity. Lewis seemed to be in good spirits and promised a few surprises as he addressed the crowd. There seemed to be several die hard fans in the crowd but when Lewis asked if anyone is there seeing the band for the first time the singer received a loud response.
The band has changed significantly over the years but much of the core remains including Johnny Colla who handled guitar, saxophone and backing vocals, drummer Bill Gibson and keyboardist Sean Hopper, all of whom have been there from the start. Joining the band were guitarist Stef Burns and bassist John Pierce. The horn section featured Marvin McFadden, Rob Sudduth and Johnnie Bamont.
Starting things off with “The Heart Of Rock & Roll”, Lewis sounded and looked real good for a man who was about to turn 62 in a two days. The early highlight of the night was “Walking On A Thin Line”, which was dedicated to our troops. It was during this song where guitarist Burns received the chance to shine during an impressive solo.
Huey promised a special treat and boy was he right. It came as Dave “Doc” Robinson and Ron Altbach who were in the band King Harvest, a band who was a one hit wonder during the early 70s, joined the ensemble on stage. Robinson and Altbach also played with Beach Boy Mike Love in his Celebration project in the late 70s. They tore right into their classic “Dancing In The Moonlight”, which scaled up to #13 on the Billboard charts in 1972. From there Lewis and his band went into their top ten smash “Heart And Soul”.
As they came back out for the encore, Huey stated “Who knew when we wrote this song we would have to play it every single night of our lives”. Of course he was referring to his first #1 smash “Power Of Love”. Following up with a pair of tracks, the Mutt Lange penned “Do You Believe In Love” and “Workin’ For A Livin’” both from his 1982 breakthrough album Picture This, the band ended the show.
Despite the threatening weather earlier in the day, it cleared up just in time and the crowd enjoyed another great show at the new Artpark. I must say the improvements made just before the start of the season do make it a much better place to see a show from a fan’s perspective. Opening the show was David Nolf, who received a great compliment by Huey when he said this guy will be going places.
The Heart of Rock & Roll
(She’s) Some Kind of Wonderful
Trouble in Paradise
Never Like This Before
I Want A New Drug/Small World
Doing It All for My Baby
Walking On A Thin Line
Little Bitty Pretty One
Dancing in the Moonlight [with Dave “Doc” Robinson and Ron Altbach] King Harvest cover
Heart and Soul
But It’s Alright
Long Time, Good Time
The Power of Love
Do You Believe In Love
Workin’ For A Livin’
Special Thanks To Maria Costello from Artpark for allowing us to review the show!