Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Power of Love (of free concerts)

Last night, we had the honor of having Huey Lewis and the News perform a free concert close to our apartment.

I was pretty excited about that, but Jenn couldn't really share my enthusiasm. Spending the night crammed in a parking lot full of people listening to music she wasn't all that familiar with wasn't her idea of a fun birthday, and I can understand that. But hey, free Huey Lewis and the News concert. Neither of us wanted to miss an opportunity like that. She downloaded their greatest hits album from Amazon and realized that she actually did know a few of their songs. So we were psyched for this show.

Before the show, we enjoyed dinner at Greenhouse Grill. The food, as always, was amazing. It was the kind of amazing that could only be achieved with bacon-wrapped pork loin. I'll even say that the meal was cooked so well that I was able to eat the asparagus.

To anyone unfamiliar with my childlike eating habits, it should be noted that I put vegetables like asparagus and broccoli in the complete opposite side of the spectrum as bacon-wrapped pork. Though, since I'm technically an adult, I realize I should start eating as one. So, I've been making an extra effort to choke down the veggies I've always hated. I wouldn't say I was happy to eat the asparagus, but thanks to the fine work of the chef, the gagging was at a minimum.

Jenn gave me a taste of her Gorgonzola-stuffed filet mignon, which was as good as it sounds. That came with roasted potatoes and bacon-wrapped veggies. I'm not going to argue with the chef's use of bacon wrapping.
We headed to the concert and got there just in time to catch the first song, The Heart of Rock 'n' Roll. We found a nice spot to settle in that wasn't too crowded but still offered a good enough view of the stage. At this point, the band went into 45 minutes of music I don't know, including stuff from their newest album, Soulsville.

This reminded me of a scene in The Simpsons where Bachman-Turner Overdrive was doing a show. When they said they would be playing their new stuff, Homer yelled at them to play Takin' Care of Business. When they broke into that song, Homer yelled at them to just cut to the guitar solo.

I realize these guys are probably sick of playing the same songs for over 25 years and they're proud of their newer works, but my inner-Homer wanted to stop them so that I could hear the hits. I also realize that maybe I'm getting to be too much of a pill for live music in general, because I get annoyed at charade of the encore.

Hey, I get it. Huey doesn't have the energy he had in the '80s. If he needs a break before getting into the bigger hits, he deserves one. He shouldn't say "Good night, Fayetteville!" as if he really has the audacity to give a concert and NOT play Power of Love. And he shouldn't make me stand there and applaud as if that's going to coax him back out onto the stage. I'm not falling for that nonsense.

Oh, and I also can't stand it when performers, in general, ask me if we're doing alright and then refuse to go on with the night until the collective answer breaks a certain decibel level.
Anyway, back to the show. The band came back for an encore set, which included the bigger hits. An impromptu conga line formed during Do You Believe in Love, which allowed us to snake our way closer to the front. We stayed in the front when the line turned around and headed back, even though this probably goes against the concert etiquette. We didn't stay up front too long because it was too crowded — Jenn and I are big advocates of personal space — and our view was blocked by a wall of two tall drunken bros seemingly intent on recording the entire show on their phones.

All in all, despite their omission of Back in Time and Hip To Be Square — which they actually played the first few bars of before stopping. Oh, what a tease!

Free Huey Lewis and the News concert — I'd have to say, good job, City of Fayetteville.

I'm really bad at estimating the size of crowds. But I'll definitely say there was somewhere between a few dozen and a half-million there. I'm comfortable making that guess.

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