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For Jerry Lee Lewis, It’s Business as Usual at the Palace

Jerry Lee Lewis has canceled so many shows lately that when he actually walked on stage Friday at the Palace the feeling was one of triumph mixed with relief.

This audience may have been a little larger and a lot more pumped up than the usual Jerry Lee crowd because of the hoopla surrounding the new film “Great Balls of Fire.” But the rock ‘n’ roll legend himself seemed removed from all that. He didn’t even mention the movie--maybe that would be seeking a validation he doesn’t need.

Lewis just took off his coat, rolled up his sleeves and played without special inspiration, as if his still being here was enough, which in a way it was.

Lewis doesn’t build his show around his own music, but on a series of songs by other rock ‘n’ roll pillars, from Elvis to Little Richard to Chuck Berry. Perversity? Perhaps. Modesty? No way. Most likely, Lewis gets a kick when he ends with “Great Balls of Fire” and “Whole Lot of Shakin’ Going On” and hears the response dwarf that accorded to the tunes of his old rivals. Even after 32 years, you don’t top The Killer.

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