By Chuck Cox
If you read my posts on a regular basis, you know my parents did not let me attend concerts while I was still in high school. And while I missed a lot of great tours during the early days of my adolescence, I feel like I’ve more than made up for the shows I didn’t get to attend since.
But Thursday night was a really special one for me.
My senior year, 1986-87, I was in my first year at Spring Hill High School, in Longview, Texas. As I was trying to make new friends, a big concert came around that several people from our school attended. It was Huey Lewis and the News‘ tour for the album Fore!. The band was on top of the world at the time after 1983’s Sports album had made Huey Lewis and the News a household name during the MTV generation.
The show was in Shreveport, La., which is about 60 minutes from Longview. And the day after the show, I must have seen 25 or 30 classmates sporting T-shirts from the show. This was really tough for me to take, especially since I had become such a huge music fan. Before the show, I even reviewed the Fore! album for our school newspapers, The Panther’s Paw.
Twenty-seven years later, I finally got to see the band play live. And while I’m sure it wasn’t a whole lot like that 1986 show during the band’s heyday, it was still pretty cool. I made my way to Annette Strauss Square at the AT&T Performing Arts Center to find a replica DeLorean from the “Back to the Future” movies, which also featured Huey Lewis and the News songs. That was pretty cool. It was all decked out with the flux capacitor, Mr. Fusion, and even the 2015 California license plate.
It was also mighty warm outside, with pretty much no breeze at all. Former Cowboys quarterback Babe Laufenberg came on stage first to say a few words. And then it was time for Huey Lewis and the News, which is celebrating the 30th anniversary of Sports.
The band played the entire album to start to the show, which honestly had a very “going-through-the-motions” vibe to it, although I enjoyed hearing several big hits, like “The Heart of Rock & Roll,” “Heart and Soul,” “I Want a New Drug,” “Walking on a Thin Line,” and “If This Is It.” Once the band finished playing the album, things seemed to liven up a bit.
Huey Lewis and the News followed up with a news song, “While We’re Young,” followed by “Trouble in Paradise,” covers of “Some Kind of Wonderful” and “But It’s Alright,” followed by “We’re Not Here For a Long Time (We’re Here For a Good Time,” to close the main set. By that time, fans had moved up to the grassy area between the seats and the stage to sing, dance, and take pictures.
After a couple of minutes, the band came back out to finish up with a hit-filled encore of “The Power of Love,” “Do You Believe in Love,” “Jacob’s Ladder,” and “Workin’ For a Livin’.” By the time the 95-minute show ended, it had turned into a pretty fun night of music. And it was so great to finally see one of the biggest 1980s bands ever.