Huey Lewis & The News, Private Lives, Cardi's, April 5, 1983
Reviewed by Robert Draper, Fri., Jan. 26, 2001
Huey Lewis & The News, Private Lives
Cardi's, April 5, 1983"How boring!" exclaimed the anonymous goddess, referring to me. "Get up and dance!" Then she scuttled off in her Espadrilles. The music being piped in was "Let's Go" by the Cars. Welcome to Cardi's. And welcome to Huey Lewis, who, rumors say, didn't really want to play at Cardi's. But there he was on a slightly sluggish Tuesday night, in defiance of record-company hassles, grinning at his admirers and exhorting them to rock out to his San Francisco band. At this point I should mention that Lewis is no earth-shaker and probably doesn't ever want to be, but his songs linger closer to the valid reasons for listening to AOR than, say, John Cougar. Lewis seems to appreciate music, to have an unfabricated affection for what he's doing. In addition, he shows signs of awareness, as in his new Vietnam-vet tune "Walking on a Thin Line": "Don't you know me -- I'm the boy next door/The one you found so easy to ignore/Is that what I was killing for?" Finally, while the News live only to serve Huey, they carve out melodies with unobtrusive finesse and show more versatility than most California rockers (witness the surprisingly clever a cappella medley). Even the News' guitar demons don't have quite the requisite amount of AOR distortion in their amps. But Lewis is beholden to AOR, and his hits -- "I Hope You Love Me Like You Say You Do" and "Do You Believe in Love" -- soured an otherwise decent set. Opening the show were Private Lives, Austin's answer to Quarterflash. Pat Benatar's success brought a number of self-conscious slick-and-sleazy rockers out of their caves, but Private Lives are far, far better than most of this ilk. If you like that sort of thing.
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