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Are Huey Lewis and the News the new Hall and Oates?

It seems every year or so an old band is “rediscovered” and becomes fashionably cool. Whether it be an anniversary of a great album, overdue recognition, or just a viral sensation (See Rick Rolled). Recently the so called Hipsters made Hall and Oates the object of their affection. All of a sudden Daryl’s House became must watch tv.

Recently it feels like Huey Lewis and the News are poised to be that cool rediscovered band. It seems every generation has a different association or memory of the band. If you were lucky enough to be at their concerts in the early 80’s rocking a snap back hat and tank top, you might remember an epic show or where you bought the Sports vinyl. If your a child of the 80’s the first thing you think of when you hear a song by Huey Lewis is that “Your Late for School!” And why did Doc Brown mess with all those clocks? Top 5 most useless experiment of all time by the way. Later generations might quickly associate them with American Pyscho and handy axe work.

Whatever memories are brought up by hearing any of their songs, Huey Lewis and the News are hard not to like. With catchy hooks, explosive vocals, and the Tower of Power providing enough sound to drown out the E Street Band, they are an all time great band. The past few years has seen Huey Lewis and the News everywhere; touring, singing the National Anthem at sporting events, and in print. It’s hard not to respect a band that still goes all out performing live and giving fans exactly what they want. I’m sure many parents have dragged their kids to see these “old guys” and made instant fans of a new generation.

I hope the Huey Lewis and the News revival continues. Huey still sounds amazing and the songs are timelessly fun. If only I was smart enough to have this as my wedding song:

I dread the day a band I listened to as a youth is put in to this category….I’m looking at you Spin Doctors and Blues Traveler.

-Back of the Crowd

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The War On Drugs – Concert Review – Bowery Ballroom – March 20, 2014

“And I realize now that the room was better” Adam Granduciel sings in the opener “In Reverse”. The room, no doubt, was when The War on Drugs hit the stage.

There is something about a band that exonerates every breath of music into their set. And TWOD came through in every aspect at Bowery Ballroom last night, third day of their latest, and potential album of the year “Lost in the Dream”. From the piano smarts, and drum smash of “Under the Pressure, to the subtly of “ Suffering”, Granduciel shows us how he handles himself , prides his music, and takes us on his personal journey through that dream. It was at that point someone (maybe me) screamed “New album is ridiculous!!!” Granduciel raised his hand and pumped out a rock sign. Connected. We all were.

Following the whimsical “Eyes to the Wind”, the riffs in “An Ocean In Between The Waves” circled around and around. Closing out the third verse, Granduciel sings ” And there’s a haze right between the trees, And I can barely see you , You’re an ocean in between the waves” the band knew the proper moments to kick start the drums as they rolled into the 3 minute jam sesh that makes the song so impactful.

Speaking of year end list, “Red Eyes” will be right at the top for song of the year. Closing in on probably 100 listens by now, I am still getting chills when Granduciel screams “Whoo!” before shredding the guitar. Tonight was no different. In fact tonight was proof that great music can be played great live, but sound like its digitally mastered. So many intricate details on the album come out here in every facet. In particular you have the guitar and synths prior to “Burning.” You can argue it was the song of the night, and a particular fan favorite, again, just three days into the album’s release. Before closing out with the excellent title song “Lost in the Dream” Granduciel calmly states “or just a silence of a moment.” Everyone there was in that moment.

The nights encore sought out a reemergence of 2011’s excellent Slave Ambient, with the single Come to the City and the closer on Slave “Black Water Falls”. Reminding us that they are not a different, but rather a more polished band. A band creating a dream, that we are all too fortunate to be lost in.

– The Back of the Crowd