Huey Lewis & The News (Ribfest - St. Petersburg, FL) - 11/11/16
By: Gail Gerdes
What a great kick off tonight to Ribfest 2016 in St. Petersburg. The weather was wonderful. Bar-B-Q Vendors were lined up on both the north and the south sides of Vinoy Park as far as the eye could see. The Fran Haas Law Group Stage (main stage) to the east and directly across the park was the Lloyd BBQ – Guardian Trust Stage. Food, music and plenty of fun for the whole family.
The Millennials opened with Robin Zander’s (of Cheap Trick) son, Robin T. Zander, with a fat, rocking sound, they performed mostly all original songs, with the exception of Neil Young’s “Southern Man,” reflecting on the current events of the country. The young men were well received by the crowd and the festival was off to a great start.
The ‘hometown favorite’ and veteran to the Ribfest, The Greg Billings Band, absolutely lit the place on fire. Spending most of his performance on the cat walk, Greg Billings sang several of his hits from his band Stranger, including “Swamp Woman”, and “Okeechobee Whiskey”. Seemed like everyone in the audience knew all the words. He laced his set with several new songs from his new CD, “Boom Boom All Night!” Greg definitely got the crowd fired up for the headliners tonight, Huey Lewis and the News.
By the time the sun set and the night was in full force, Vinoy Park was crowded. The size of the audience had grown exponentially in a short time. Everyone was ready for Huey Lewis and the News. Huey came out strong with many of his big hits like “Heart of Rock and Roll,” “I Want a New Drug,” and his dedication to our service men, “Walking a Thin Line”. Huey still puts on a great show after 39 years of performing. He was very interactive with the audience and they were loving every minute of it – singing, dancing and cheering.
The weekend has just begun. Two more days of ribs and music. I predict that Ribfest 2016 is off to amazing start and it’s just going to get better and better as the weekend unfolds.
For additional photos from the show, please click on the link below:
Huey Lewis & The News Gallery