The Freeman Stage at Bayside
Selbyville, Del. • July 27, 2016
Finally, back to the Freeman Stage and right off Coastal Highway. What a great place to see a concert outside under the stars. I've been here a few times now but when I pulled into the lot the place was already more crowded than I've ever seen and as I walked up to the box office, I have never seen that many people coming in and waiting to get inside the venue. But as time would tell, Huey Lewis and the News put on one heck of a show. And as I thought for a moment, I don't think I've ever seen them live; not too many I haven't seen in my days. So I was just as excited as the sold-out crowd was.
As the house music and lights went down, the band took the stage to the opening heartbeat sound of "The Heart of Rock & Roll” when Huey Lewis walked out with microphone in hand, dressed in a black shirt, blue jeans and his signature blue-tinted glasses and rocked the song with his harmonica which he played throughout the night and the show was off and running. In addition to Lewis, the San Francisco-based band still has three original members, Johnny Colla on saxophone and guitar, Bill Gibson on drums, Sean Hopper on keyboards and newbies Stef Burns on guitars and John Pierce on bass, who have been with the band since the ‘90s. And rounding out the band is what Lewis calls the "Sports Horn Section" who are Rob Sudduh on tenor saxophone, Marvin McFadden on trumpet and Johnnie Bamont on baritone saxophone. With so many chart-topping hits which continued throughout the night, next it was "I Want a New Drug", then after the song Lewis addressed the crowd by saying, “Hello Selbyville, Fenwick Island and Rockxana.” A new song, "Her Love is Killing Me", followed by my all-time favorite "Jacob's Ladder". "Is everybody with us", Lewis said and introduced the next song by saying, “if there are any old hippies in the crowd, I wrote this for you,” and starting playing "Hip to be Square". Then they played a cover of a Major Lance song called "Um Um Um Um Um Um Um" that I had not heard before. Lewis then asked the crowd, “Hey Delaware, how's the corn, and how many have seen the band before, and how many are seeing us for the first time?” to about a 50/50 reply. Then he asked, “What took you so long, we've only been around for 37 years.” Now, the roadies bring additional microphone stands to the front of the stage as the backup players joined Lewis who said,” it’s time for a little a cappella in the show,” and he says, “this is a new one and wish us good, we don't do good with it,” as they sang "Looking For Love" and then another new one "While We're Young." The songs featured some nice harmonies and received a nice applause from the crowd. Lewis says, “if you love the new one, let’s go "Back in Time," that we all know from the movie “Back to the Future.” It was then time to dance as he went into "Heart and Soul" and now the crowd was really getting into the show. Once again, Lewis says “are you still with me? Prove it!” And they went into ""But it's Alright" and, “If you’re here for a good time this one’s for you” and "We're Not Here for a Long Time, (We're Here for a Good Time)”, and as the song ended, Lewis waved and thanked the crowd before he exited the stage while the band finished up the end of the first set.
After a short break, they returned to the stage and Lewis thanked the Selbyville, Fenwick Island and Roxana crowd for coming out again and said, “there are so many requests, so little time,” before finishing the night out with "Do You believe in Love", and said, “God bless the workin’ man” and ending their set with “Workin' for a Livin’” before the final bows, waves and good nights. As I mentioned in the beginning, I don't think I've ever seen these guys live, but I would go again and see them - no questions asked. They put on a great show, all their hits that you would expect from a band like this still touring and it also sounded really good for an outdoor venue. What a nice little gem we have right up the road; can’t wait to catch another up there this summer. Stay tuned!!!
– Gary Crouthamel, Concert Photojournalist
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