Do You Believe In Huey Lewis & The News? We Do!

By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Aug 9, 2012 3:00PM

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Photo via the artist's website
Huey Lewis & the News are bona fide American treasures. They are cultural artifacts. They are musical legends. And while the group has a healthy, and sometime twisted, sense of humor they are no joke. In a creer that's in it's third decade these guys turned out some of the best pop in the American songbook, with melodies that were concise, catchy and filled with more earworms than should be physically possible. And, though it may blow your mind, they did it as a good old fashioned rock and/or roll band.

We understand that a lot of you probably only know the band from a handful of silly MTV videos, or Lewis' cameo in Back To The Future, or even as Gwynth Paltrow's dad in Duets. But keep in mind those MYV videos were considered groundbreaking, Back To The Future is not only a classic but Huey Lewis & the News contributed two songs to its soundtrack, and Duets showed Lewis had formidable acting chops. So no matter how you try to break any of the band's elements into mere cartoonishness you're bound to fail.

The band's only released a handful of albums since the late '80s, but they've never been dormant for too long. The heat at the center of the group's power was the fact that there were a tireless live band, long before they started spewing out hits and long after they pulled back from the spotlight. And those hits; the four albums Huey Lewis & the News put out showcase a band revving up quickly to go from solid to stellar in under six years. Run down their hits—far too many to list here—and how many other bands have seen their music woven so seamlessly in our social fabric, appealing to so many different audiences. And in our estimation they come at the tail end of hard working true and blue, road blooded bands that went on to massive mainstream success. There are still a few from time to time nowadays, but back during their ascendance they made it primarily on their musical chops and not their looks.

Nowadays only a few of the original members are in the band—and we would love to see original bassist and oddball Mario Cipollina jump in again sometime—but there's enough of the old blood there to ensure that the music behind Lewis' powerful vocals still throbs with life.

Huey Lewis & the News play tomorrow, August 10, at Ravinia, 200 Ravinia Park Rd, Highland, at 7 p.m., $33-$75, all ages