Concert Reviews

Huey Lewis rocks St George Theater

Huey Lewis at St. George Theater

Huey Lewis and the News rocked the crowd at St. George Theater Sunday, February 26th. It was their first concert on Staten Island.

Taking the stage around 7:40 pm, the band played for roughly 90 minutes. The evening was jam-packed evening with hits. Opening with “The Heart of Rock and Roll”, Lewis rarely stopped to address the crowd. The first time he did so, he teased; “We will play the hits until you beg for a new song.”

And while he may have been playing on the crowd’s hunger to hear their very favorite songs, Lewis and his eight-piece band did play three newer songs this evening. But, they were well earned after a slew of classic hits that included “If This Is It”, “Doing It All For My Baby” and “Hip To Be Square”.

“We’d have to play every damn night of our lives.”

Throughout the evening, Lewis paced the stage. He let the music move him as he worked the crowd with his microphone stand gymnastics and virtuosic harmonica playing. Bopping around the stage in a manner not unlike a jovial Muppet (and yes that’s a compliment), Lewis proved the music is till as much fun for him and the band as it is for his fans-38 years into their career.

The evening’s slowest moment came when Huey and Co. decided to strip it down to a semi-acoustic set for a few songs. This is a tradition for the band, and showcased why they are considered some of the finest musicians in the world. One song, “Um Um Um Um Um Um Um”, faired particularly well in this setting.

Huey Lewis and the News performed as part of the St. George Theatre’s 87th Annual Gala, a fundraiser for the historic venue. While the show itself was open to the public, the Gala was a formal event for donors and friends of the theatre. This meant that about a third of the crowd was in their Sunday best for the concert-a rarity for a Huey Lewis show, and something the rock icon noted during his encore.

This final round in the main set came like a one-two punch in the musical gut. It was an assault of classics after the acoustic set and some newer material. Lewis kicked it off with “Back In Time”, the News’ contribution to the Back to the Future soundtrack. Appropriately, the main set was closed out by “We’re Not Here For A Long Time (We’re Here For A Good Time)”

After a short break, Huey Lewis returned, band in tow, for the song he joked he never imagined “We’d have to play every damn night of our lives.” The Academy Award-nominated “Power of Love” moved people to their feet. The concert closed with seminal hit “Workin’ for A Livin’”. Indeed, 38 years in and their fans are glad they are still doing just that.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra turns town into winter village on steroids

At a Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO) concert, the music is the star.

TSO wowed the crowd at the PPL center on Friday night, November 18th. This was the band’s first time playing in Allentown, Pennsylvania. They have had tour stops in Philadelphia and Reading, Pennsylvania in the past. But this was their first venture to the Lehigh Valley. According to one band member, the show sold out in record time: one hour. Fitting, seeing as the “Christmas City” of Bethlehem, PA is just a few miles away from the nearly 11,000-seat arena.

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Hinder plays to small enthusiastic crowd in Bakersfield

If you have been around rock radio and the culture as I have for many years, you know the name. However, judging by the small crowd at the Kern County Fairgrounds on Friday night (Sept 30th) one might wonder about Hinder. For a time, the band, from Oklahoma, disappeared from the music scene, after parting ways with former lead singer Austin Winkler.

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Grand Funk Railroad still rocks after 47 years

Modern rock may be dead by some extent, but classic rock lives on in the eyes of Grand Funk Railroad fans. Troves of concertgoers came out to the Kern County Fair in Bakersfield on Wednesday night (Sept 28th) to see the band rock the Budweiser Pavilion. Hundreds of fans, young and old, were in attendance singing along and dancing to some of the band’s greatest hits.

Grand Funk Railroad performs at the Kern County Fair in Bakersfield 9/28/16 Read more

Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood play to a deafening Fresno crowd

If one was to ever attend a Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood concert, opening night in Fresno on Friday (Sept 23rd) was the night to attend! The pair graced the stage to a deafening crowd that never stopped cheering or singing a long. Both artists made reference as to how loud the crowd was throughout the night.

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Chris Cagle rocks Woodbridge, VA

Late last week, Toby Keith’s Bar & Grill in Woodbridge, VA was congested with rowdy country music fans awaiting the arrival of Chris Cagle. The lines were long and getting a drink was damn near impossible. However, the moment Cagle took stage the wait seemed to be well worth it.

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Small Town Spotlight: Wesley Spangler concert review

Southern Maryland native Wesley Spangler has been playing in bars all over the East Coast for ten years now. His set is based on cover songs such as Jason Aldean’s “Hick Town” and Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s “Fishin’ In The Dark.” He also performs songs from his latest EP. Wesley is a multi-instrumentalist that includes the fiddle which has led him to have opened up for artists such as Blake Shelton, Jimmy Buffett and Terri Clark.  His music has been featured on over a dozen radio stations including one of Washington, DC’s most popular country music stations, 98.7 WMZQ.

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Small Town Spotlight: Derek Victor

Haydentown, PA native Derek Victor may be from a small town, but his dreams are big. At the young age of two Derek got his very first drum set and it wasn’t long after that when he received his first guitar. The cards must have been already dealt for Derek especially since his father played bass in a bluegrass band called Buck Fever. Derek’s uncle was also in a well known band called Abilene, so as you can see, music runs in his blood. Derek’s influences include amazing artists such as The Peach Pickers, Jason Aldean and Garth Brooks. Although he has been playing in bars for the last seven years now, it’s his construction job that really puts food on the table.

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Cole Swindell and Easton Corbin concert review

On Sunday Nov. 17, 2013 the small town of Gettysburg, PA was a little more crowded than usual. Restaurants were filled, lines were long and everyone was ready for some country music.

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Chase Rice brings a fresh face to country music

On October 4th, the streets of Silver Spring, MD was crowded with country boys and girls awaiting the arrival of Chase Rice. Chase has had a lot of success lately, especially with a song he co-wrote titled “Cruise” which is performed by duo Florida Georgia Line. Chase is fresh on the scene and believe me when I tell you, he is anything but ordinary.

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