Aging News (05 to 09)
WITE LITE - CARLYLE YACHT CLUB 12/04/09
Continuing a December tradition, the band with special guest Pat Smith played Proud Mary to a MasterCard friendly crowd in the morning and then headed off to the Lemp Hall downtown to play the end of year celebration for the Carlyle Yacht Club.
This was one of the finer establishments the band has played in and the tension was high early on as Tom Greene had a "large bread" moment listening to the Eagles music in the background during setup. In addition, the band's bowling shirt motif did not seem to mix well with the tuxedos and evening wear though this crowd was clearly there to have a good time. Hosts Bob and Cheryl Reany were very gracious providing the band with first dibs on the food and it's own table and although the late start forced a compression of the band's set list from 3 to 2, it was a great event.
Opening with the now standard acoustic set that showed great promise, the band kept things relatively quiet in the beginning with Beatles (including We Can Work it Out) but by the time Little Wing was played , the crowd was already on the dance floor. Early set dance numbers included End of the World, Squeeze Box, Honky Tonk Woman, and Cinnamon Girl, which seemed to be a soundtrack of life moment for some. Kevin again flew in for the event providing solid rhythm work and a great version of Folsom Prison Blues though did forget he was not the lead singer for I Am the Walrus. IRONMAN sound professionals Rusty and Brad provided an outstanding mix as always.
The second set opened with a tribute to Frank Zappa, who had passed away on this date 16 years ago. Cosmik Debris has taken on a life of its own, adapting to the audience thanks to Kevin's adlibs and schtick. Whether it was the tacet in Rock and Roll Music, the ZZ Top tribute, the soda glass slide or the band leaving the stage during Bill's Funk 49 drum solo, they are clearly mastering their performance craft. Bill was outstanding during the rock block and Closing with Sweet Home/Werewolves (an audience request) and Fight For Your Right, the band left them wanting more, a rarity for WITE LITE but essential, as bass player Tom Greene had vacated the building seconds after the closing G chord.
Mike again took MVP honors given a recent return from Australia and a solid schtick performance but all of the band was in strong form. 2010 promises to be a great year with a new album and tour dates already in discussion. Look for a rerelease of Christmas with Me in time for the Holidays.
WITE LITE - MOA 2009 10/02/09
After two less than stellar performances, the band needed a strong outing and with the presence of East Coast members Zach and Kevin, that's just what happened at Lake of the Ozarks for MOA's 2009 event. With an excellent mix from Brad (Will West Music) through a BOSE sound system that had to be heard to be believed the band's vocal's have rarely sounded stronger or clearer. Opening with Shame and playing two originals (bringing back When We Were Younger for Kathy Mac who was in attendance), the band ripped through 3 sets with all members strong throughout. Zach took vocal duties for Fire, Heartbreak Hotel (I thought it was good), Roadhouse, Tush, Squeeze Box and Born to Run among others) while Kevin added rhythm guitar, excellent bantor ,a sea of white paper and a customized (though unauthorized) optometric version of Cosmik Debris. (Click here to see the performance on YouTube).
Tom was the crowd favorite and Apolitical was a standout. Bill's rock block was superb as was his drumming. Mike took MVP honors with one of his best performances in quite some time (Getting Better a particular standout) along with the call to bring the session indoors which given the weather was the right call and provided the band with one of the better stages it has performed on. Closing with Fight for your Right, the performance rejuvenated the band who then celebrated with an evening cigar and impromptu performances of A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall and Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds (You had to be there).
WITE LITE - BRIAN AND TRACEY'S WEDDING 09/26/09
WITE LITE did a short 2 set performance and Brian and Tracey's wedding adding another notch to a long resume of public performances. Meticulously planned by Brian (including stopping the rain) the night at the Chatillon-DeMenil mansion was an enjoyable one for all. The performance stretched the band including numbers like I Will (which Tom thought was "I Won't" as the bass was conspicuously absent during the first few songs), Here There and Everywhere (the couple's wedding song), My Girl, Brown Eyed Girl and Glory Days. This had the band off to a bit of a rocky start but they then found their groove and played more of the notable rock standards, and even closed the night with Shout.
Dan and Mike from IRONMAN sound provided a great mix (we can't help saying it but these guys are the best and we don't know what we'd do without them) while challenged to not have a sound check. Play That Funky Music was a highlight of the show and the band now heads off to Jeff City for a performance next week with Kev and Zach joining for the occasion.
Congrats Brian and Tracey and thanks for taking a risk with us. We can now say "WITE LITE does WEDDINGS!" All the best.
WITE LITE - JOUJIN 09/12/09
What other band can you give $20 to the band to hear a song and receive more back after they have fulfilled your request? Yet that's precisely what happened when WITE LITE returned to John and Sue Hertel's new "Joujin" last night. A strong mix from John and an excellent first set (which included We Can Work it Out in a Beatles laced song list) had the band starting off in good form. John also provided strong lead vocals including the third set Zeppelin rock block which included a proper version of Good Times, Bad Times (well done Tom!). The complete set list as best I can remember is here.
The band had vocal problems in the second set (battling colds and West Nile Virus) and it was during this set that the band lost its way. Mike stopped Don't Pull Your Love (a cardinal sin in live performance) and had an overall subpar guitar performance and jumped too far into the audience request pool. Bill had some froggy moments (though sounded great with the new Zildjan cymbals) and mumbled his way through I Am The Walrus while Tom had some froggy moments as well. Sweet Caroline (yes Sweet Caroline) and Born to be Wild were part of the audience request section and the end of the night the band included such staples (kidding of course) as Fire and Rain, For You Blue and Love in Vain.
Soundman John took MVP honors for keeping the mix to a reasonable level , and doing an overall excellent job though each band member lost MVP consideration at some point throughout the night. A splendid time was had by all though upon reflection, it is clear that the band needs some practice and a return to a higher level of professionalism. With three gigs already lined up for the remainder of the year, we promise that you'll all get your money's worth (though unlike last night, hopefully not with interest).
Thanks John and Sue!
WITE LITE - JOUJIN 6/20/09
WITE LITE played a public show at John and Sue Hertel's new "Joujin" displaying their new logo prominently on marketing merchandise and Bill's bass drum. The band started with some low volume numbers including an acoustic version of Shame and the debut of John Lennon's "Mother". When the band lost power midway into the third song, the sound crew scrambled to reduce power requirements and did an excellent job throughout the remainder of the night. (Special thanks to Bob Horner or IRONMAN sound for getting Brian's team there to do the show!). The band also debuted Marvelous 3's Every Monday and Green Day's Peacemaker proving that they can learn some songs that are not older than 25 years. Click here for the setlist as best as I can remember it.
The show had a little bit of everything. John Hertel did a superb job handling both the patrons and the Zeppelin rockblock including Stairway and Heartbreaker while providing background vocals for some songs throughout as well. ( His growl to come back into Heartbraker after the solo was the highlight of the night for me). LITE WITE members joined the band for Cadillac Ranch and a guest drummer handled Honky Tonk Woman, Squeeze Box and Tush.
Band members were generally very strong though a bit rusty. Manchisi lost MVP honors for the worst version of Brandy in recent memory, Bill for missing War Pigs timing and Tom for "Bad Times, Bad Times" which the band wisely aborted mid way. MVP honors however go to Michelle Harter for designing the new logo and getting it to the bass drum in time for the show, improving the professionalism of the band.
Discussions are underway for future gigs at this fine establishment. (Thanks John for having us)
WITE LITE - LIFE SKILLS 4/25/09
A beautiful Saturday was the setting for the annual Life Skills event at Tower Grove Park. The band was in strong form throughout and guest guitarist Glenn Zimmerman sat in for most of the session while also providing emcee duties. Opening with Cadillac Ranch and closing with Roadhouse Blues the band played all the standards and sounded very good thanks to Bob Horner from IRONMAN sound who while he has clearly outgrown the band, continues to donate his time to these causes.
Manchis took MVP honors with a strong Roadhouse, an impromptu Doobie Brothers during a wedding proposal and Here Comes the Bride to cap an excellent performance. Tom and Bill were excellent though a key change to Tush and a lost voice on Rock and Roll Music eliminated both from MVP consideration.
Look for an evening gig soon.
WITE LITE - CHILDREN'S ADVOCACY 4/18/09
The skies cleared for WITE LITE's first of an "April in the Park" series at Creve Couer Park as the band helped support a fundraising walk for Children's Advocacy. The band was in good form for a few diehard fans as the strategic placement of the stage had the band facing opposite the lake (and most of the attendees) While strong winds were cited, it might have been a more strategic decision after the band's most recent performance. Tom Greene took MVP honors with a rock block of Killing Floor, Hymn 43 and Cosmik Debris and a strong bass performance throughout. (The bass has been officially removed from "buy it now" on eBay. It was a relatively short set but presented a good tune-up opportunity for the band who hadn't played for almost 3 months. Most importantly, the event raised money for a very important cause.
Special thanks to Bob Horner and Rusty from IRONMAN sound for a great mix and a donation of time as well. These guys are the best.
WITE LITE - SALLY'S 50th 01/30/09
Sally's 50th birthday party had a little bit of everything at "Bones" in Jeff City last night. A new soundman, an acoustic performance of Taylor Swift’s “The Best Day” by Tom and his daughter Julie that stole the show, an appearance by a more confident LITE WITE including young t-Bone on lead vocals, and a blistering solo by young James Manchisi on the Sky is Crying after being handed the guitar in mid-song.
The band opened with a stripped down acoustic like performance for the first set and vocals were especially strong throughout. End of the World and Folsom Prison Blues were early standouts and the full band (including Zach and Kevin) made for a more diverse performance throughout. There was even a Frank Manchisi sighting in the crowd and the band was thisclose to a reunion during Hymn 43 though a flute was nowhere to be found. (I guess we'll have to wait another 20 years but let's hope sooner). Heartbreak Hotel was also superb with Zach's vocals being as strong as ever thanks to an excellent monitor mix by Shane that earned him a hefty tip at the end of the night. Little Wing closed the first set and was also outstanding.
Set 2 and 3 got progressively louder and the bands acapella opening of Don’t Pull Your Love may have seen it’s last live performance. Bill even had a drum solo during Funk 49 and was typically solid through the rock block vocals.
Tom threw an awesome party and played an outstanding version of Apolitical Blues and Born to Run though it is not often when we will remember Tom's acoustic guitar performances more than his bass ones. The band had to talk him out of putting the bass up for sale on eBay at the end of the night.
Kevin was solid throughout (earning him the distinction of “the filler” by the soundman) and his bantor is sorely missed when not in attendance. Kev also was more mobile hopping back and forth through out the crowd during Play That Funky Music.
All Manchisi's were excellent and Mike earned MVP honors for rising above technical challenges, and playing 3 strong sets with a bad leg as well as entertaining the crowd with AC/DC and Aerosmith requests.
Look for a full set of tour dates in 2009. Happy Birthday Sally!
WITE LITE - GANNON XMAS PARTY 12/12/08
A new first for the band. Playing to a MasterCard friendly crowd in the morning that was webcast to multiple locations (some outside the US!) WITE LITE performed a short 3 song set at the MasterCard O'Fallon office early this morning before heading off to the evening XMAS party gig.
Opening with an acoustic set that showed great promise, the band kept things relatively quiet for the first set, the ony exception being the Little Wing guitar solo that prompted two complaints for volume early on in the evening. Kevin's version of Folsom Prison Blues reincarnated Johnny Cash with the help of a team of IRONMAN sound professionals including Paul (the fifth member of WITE LITE), Fred, Red, Barney and Brad.
The second set opened with an a cappella opening of Don't Pull Your Love, complete with 4 part harmony and the band's vocal performance was as strong as in recent memory. Bill Greene took home MVP honors with a strong performance throughout despite cutting his hand as Manchisi's trademark cymbal hit dislodged the cymbal and knocked over the microphone stand. IRONMAN agreed to provide a wingnut to secure the cymbal for future sessions. With a full moon in place, the band did play Sweet Home Alabama/Werewolves of London though Finnegan's randomized vocal selections throughout the song left most of the band wondering where he was going. When asked later, Finnegan said he mistook Manchisi's "WTF are you doing look" for a plea for vocal help. The band closed with an uncharacteristically slow version of Walrus that eliminated Manchisi from MVP honors.
Greene's rockblock vocal performance secured the win though all band members were strong throughout, including Bob Greene, who opened the second set with a blistering version of Sympathy for the Devil on guitar, making many in the Gannon audience wondering how he has time to practice given his work commitments.
2 Gigs in one day, Multiple locations around the world - "Priceless"
WITE LITE - THE SHELDON 11/12/08
WITE LITE played a 5 song set at the Sheldon, the finest hall the band will ever play in as part of the corporate battle of the bands event for charity. The band performed Don’t Pull Your Love, Wall Street, Hard to Handle, Fire and I am the Walrus to a MasterCard and family friendly crowd in a very tight performance. Pictures and a video of the event are currently in the works.
Oneinchead took honors for best band of the evening and WITE LITE took home the best stage presence” award prompting numerous second guessing from band and family as to why. Was it the guitar player throwing a t-shirt that accidentally hit one of the judges or the numerous references to deceased artists that made up the band’s setlist? Was it the drummer’s oozing stage presence capped off by a concert bow at the end of the show? Too much bantor?
Regardless, the band was in strong form, and most importantly raised some money for a good cause. Thanks to all that came out to support us!
Click here for a photogallery from the Sheldon. Photos courtesy of Ray Marklin.
WITE LITE - SANDY AND STEVE'S 25th 09/13/08
A strong performance celebrating Sandy and Steve's 25th anniversary. Bill Greene took MVP honors despite being out of uniform (no WITE LITE t-shirt) and providing an old set list. He overcame disqualification with superb drumming and strong vocals through the 2nd set rock block. though almost lost an eye with the drumstick toss at the end of Born to Run. Opening with Don't Pull Your love, the band was solid in the first set and Tom Greene delivered a particularly strong Apolitical Blues with a new ending based loosely on the Waiting for Columbus version. Tom was particularly error free in the first set though this changed in the second and in particular third set after enjoying the refreshments during set breaks. Manchisi was strong but was again challenged with noise problems in the first set which were ultimately corrected. Judy Bierman's version of Sympathy for the Devil was a third set highlight as was the debut of Only the Good Die Young which showed strong potential. The band delivered two encores and left the crowd wanting more as we were forced to shut down for the 12 o'clock curfew. Hard to believe there were only three of them playing tonight with songs like Cosmik Debris, I am the Walrus and Born to Run. Ian of IRONMAN sound delivered a strong mix and is becoming a band favorite.
WITE LITE - ANGELA'S 40th 07/05/08
Playing to a friendly Fidelity crowd, WITE LITE helped Angela celebrate her 40th birthday at a surprise party at Saratoga. Electrical challenges again plagued the band at Saratoga with Manchisi serving as the "ground" in the soundcheck until the talented folks at IRONMAN sound (led by Karyn) fixed the issue to avoid the guitar player's electrocution. Tom Greene eliminated himself early from MVP honors by forgetting that there was a gig which required the use of a backup bass and POD, again causing challenges to the soundcrew. Bill Greene turned in another strong performance with a setlist quite similar to the 6/21 gig. Strong drumming and audibles of Blitzkrieg Bop amazed the Fidelity crowd, most of whom had only seen Bill as "Clark Kent" in the office. Manchisi took MVP honors with strong vocals on Born to Run and excellent recreations of Fire and Little Wing. The show ended with War Pigs and featured the most dancers the band has ever seen for the Black Sabbath finale.
WITE LITE - BOB AND JUDY'S 50th 06/21/08
Saturday's party for Bob and Judy's 50th was a significant change for the band, who delivered one of their best performances in recent memory. Sparked by a critical review, the band took matters into their own hands with Kevin Finnegan overhauling the set list and Bill Greene putting in a "Secretariat" like performance behind the drum kit as well as outstanding vocals - earning him MVP honors for the show. Opening with Don't Pull Your Love, the band focused less on originals and more on the hits, with Apolitical Blues (featuring T's extended ending), Getting Better (the only original played during the evening) and Walrus being first set standouts while the audience warmed to the bands diverse set list.
The second set opened with Celebrate and Birthday and with the crowd on the dance floor, Zach Manchisi made sure they stayed there with Fire and Jack Daniels Blues. Kevin followed with the ego tribute to Johnny Cash and Frank Zappa and the band then launched into the classic rock block where Kevin made sure that everyone knew that he "saw her face" in I'm a Believer . The set closed with Bill Greene delivering strong vocals on Slow Down, I Saw Her Standing There and Rock and Roll Music. Even Born to Run was inspired to close out the second set. Click here for the complete set list.
The third set opened with Fire and Little Wing and Manchisi delivered strong Hendrix like performances on guitar followed by Tush ( surprisingly a crowd favorite). The only weak spot of the show came during Twist and Shout which killed MVP consideration for Kev (and Tom who joined him) as his Fred Gwynn like "Ah's" were delivered way too early. Bill's only set audible of Blitzkrieg Bop was inspired, leaving no doubt as to who keeps time in WITE LITE. War Pigs closed the evening despite a crowd protest though the band enjoyed it nonetheless.
Ian and Nick from IRONMAN sound delivered a great mix. These guys are the best and more importantly, WITE LITE is back.
WITE LITE - WENDY'S 40th 06/20/08
While the band has added Funk 49 to the set list, it seemed like Funk #2 to this writer. A beautiful night at Bob and Wendy Greene's was the setting as WITE LITE played at Wendy's 40th surprise birthday party. The show again saw it's share of highlights and challenges. Highlight's included Cosmik Debris, Apolitical Blues, Jack Daniels Blues (featuring Zach Manchisi) , Mary Jane and 2nd set classics like Brandy, Don't Pull Your Love and Ain't Seen Nothing Yet. Challenges included Shame, Back in The USSR and Blitzkrieg Bop with "Big Brown" Bill Greene again having tempo problems (I had no horse!) though his vocal on Play That Funky Music was outstanding. Third set featured a lounge version of Train Surfer as the band had been told to turn down during the outside performance and were eventually shut down after Roadhouse Blues because of volume - A "Let it Be" like ending to the show which was appropriate as the show included versions of Let It Be, Just What I Needed and Green Onions from two guests. LITE WITE again made an appearance and kudo's to young T-Bone Greene for taking vocal duties with "Very Little Help from his Friends" to stick with the Beatles theme. Click here for the complete setlist.
Ian and Megan from IRONMAN sound did a great job and while "a splendid time was had by all", a setlist overhaul may be in order. Look for the band to come out strong next time.
WITE LITE - SARATOGA 05/24/08
It was the best of times and it was the worst of times. WITE LITE played at Jeff Gatti's graduation party that saw it's share of highlights and challenges. Things did not start well as the radio interference coming out of Manchisi's guitar rig was reminiscent of Spinal Tap's performance at the Air Force Base. Early into the first set, a power outage mercifully killed an inadvertent lounge version of When We Were Younger. The band finally got into a groove with versions of Mary Jane, Apolitical Blues, Cinnamon Girl and Walrus being among the band's best! The second set featured guest vocalist John Hertel who returned to sing Suffragette City, Heartbreaker, Living Loving Maid, Stairway to Heaven, Funk 49 and a ZZ Top medley that included Tush and La Grange among others. Tom Greene took MVP honors with standout performances of War Pigs, Cosmik Debris and Apolitical Blues though needs to invest in new cables as the band turned into a two piece a few times during the evening prompting a 2 minute jazz odyssey during San Berdino. Bill Greene rose above a summer cold and stiff neck to put in a strong performance despite tempo problems in Younger and Blitzkrieg Bop. Mike Manchisi overcame most of the technology challenges though the version of Brandy with the unintended harmonized horns made it their worst ever. The third set closed with versions of Aqualung and Hocus Henry (a mashup of Hocus Pocus and Henry the 8th). Yes James, you were right.
Paul Abouchon from IRONMAN sound was great as always and was a trooper dealing with the stairs and the ad-libs throughout the night.
WITE LITE - TOWER GROVE PARK 04/19/08!
In their 3rd return benefiting Life Skills as part of the "Walk Run-n-Roll", WITE LITE played on a rainy Saturday morning.
Opening with Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head, the band was sloppy early as the cold weather made it challenging to feel your fingers. Guest musicians again included Vic Porcelli (harmonica) and Mark Christopher (saxophone) from KTRS radio adding punch to band staples such as Mary Jane, Apolitical Blues, Roadhouse Blues, Tush, Squeeze Box, Honky Tonk Woman and the sax solo on Born to Run (This and Funk 49 were newly added to the setlist)! Glenn Zimmerman from Fox2 News also joined the band for many of the songs and had a great slide solo in Tush and did lead vocals for Play that Funky Music. MVP honors went to Mark for the sax work. The band had fun as always as did the crowd. Special honors to Bill who had a spare bass drum head which proved handy when he broke his during the gig. The band closed the festivities with I Am The Walrus, Little Wing and Cosmik Debris. Special thanks to Paul Abouchon of IRONMAN for coming out early and providing a great mix - we say it all the time but these guys are the best.
Click on the Life Skills hyperlink to learn more about this great organization
WITE LITE - BOBBYPALOOZA 9/22/07
You had to be there. They will be talking about this one for years to come. They will be talking about the inaugural appearance of LITE WITE, made up of young Tom Greene on bass, young Zach Greene on the drums and young James Manchisi on guitar playing Cadillac Ranch to open the session. They will be talking about young James Manchisi and the keyboard player launching into a 15 minute Jazz Odyssey based loosely on the Beatles “She’s so Heavy” and what a fantastic guitar player this kid is. They will be talking about the beautiful home that housed Boobypalooza , the hospitality of Bob and Wendy Greene and the gorgeous weather . They will (or at least the band will) be talking about Paul Abouchon
of IRONMAN sound and the comparisons to George Martin of the Beatles. They will be talking about Zach Manchisi’s ability to start a song block with no one on the dance floor and finish two or three songs later with a packed house. They will be talking about the best version of Cosmik Debris since FZ was alive and Kevin Finnegan’s ability to channel the spirit for that and Folson Prison Blues. They will be talking about Tom Greene’s ability to channel John Entwistle’s bass playing from the grave on Squeeze Box and Lowell George’s vocals on Apolitical Blues. They will be talking about the Heartbreaker intro in the third set leading to the band’s on Train Surfer (complete with Whole Lotta Love guitar solo) even though Mike Manchisi was 50 feet from the stage. They will be talking about Bill Greene channeling John Lennon for Rock n Roll Music and I Am the Walrus which audience members commented they had never seen a band (other than the Fab Faux on television) attempt, never mind play so well.
The band left it all on the stage last night. Opening with Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (“and let me introduce to you the one and only Bobby Greene”) the band then played the Beatles “Money”, Sister Hazel’s “Shame” and Butch Walker’s “Taste of Red”. Click here for the complete setlist. Mary Jane, Getting Better (off the bands iTunes available first Album - click here) and the Walrus were standouts though after the first two songs, the band was really in top form throughout.
Zach Manchisi joined the group in the second set for Jack Daniel’s Blues and Fire and the band then launched into the power set including Don’t Pull Your Love, Brandy (aka Wendy) complete with a guest keyboard player and the three Beatle song closer with Bill Greene taking lead vocals to close the set.
Third set opened with two originals…Train Surfer for young Clayton Greene and Can’t Go to Sleep though the band needs to rework that one for live performance. A Hendrix rock block of Little Wing and Fire brought down the house and Zach Manchisi rejoined the group to channel Elvis and Jim Morrison (which as I write this, I’m realizing how many times I’m using the word “channel” and the fact that the bands setlist includes a lot of songs sung by artists no longer with us – 17 of the 46 tunes played based on my quick analysis! Zappa songs were standouts and War Pigs closed the set with one of the band’s strongest versions ever. Again, Paul Abouchon’s mix (Funky Music and War Pigs being standouts) was superb along with a great IRONMAN light show.
Even Buttercup was well done to close the night. MVP honors went to the entire band (Bill, Mike, Kev, Tom, Zach and yes Paul) .For a band that plays live 4-5 times a year, they showed they can go back to back with the best of them!
WITE LITE - BLUEBERRY HILL 9/21/07
WITE LITE delivered a strong two set performance that included Kevin and Zach which always makes for a more fun evening. The small crowd enjoyed the diverse selection of tunes and specifically recognized I am the Walrus and the Zappa selections. They even asked for a third Zappa song, sending the band back to the drawing board though I suspect that the two selections (Cosmik Debris and San Berdino) are "two more" than most bands play!
Finnegan's bantor is a clear asset to the band though comments around having some "General Fun" and the catastrophic Sweet Home Alabama/Werewolves medley eliminated him from MVP consideration as he was in London and Soho in the rain long before the band had left Alabama! Getting Better was a strong original and the Hendrix version of Fire won raves from the audience as well. Click here for the complete setlist. Tom's bass on Squeeze Box was a highlight and the band was solid throughout the performance and a bit more animated than usual in preparation for the next gig at Bobby's.
But it was Zach Manchisi who lit up the crowd with Heartbreak Hotel, Roadhouse Blues and Summertime Blues resulting in a unanimous MVP vote from the band. Bob Horner of IRONMAN sound did a great job dealing with a challenging room as always.
WITE LITE - LAFAYETTE SQUARE PARK 9/08/07
In their first gig of the summer, WITE LITE played Lafayette Square Park kicking off the "Taste of Lafayette" event at noon today.
The band put in a strong two set performance though the struggled through the Shame opener with no vocals in the monitor mix. The crowds commented on the diverse set list especially the Zappa selections, Hymn 43, Hendrix , I am the Walrus A big hit with the kids
entertainment "Baballo" for the day) and Don't Pull Your Love. Weak spots were Taste of Red and Substitute, which the rhythm section inexplicably cut short after the bass solo. Click here for the complete setlist.
Many inquiries for upcoming gigs were received after the sets and additional iTunes servers have been added to ensure demand for the band's CD is served and WITE LITE is looking forward to the back to back gigs over the 9/21 weekend with the full band.
WITE LITE - TOWER GROVE PARK 04/21/07!
In their return benefiting Life Skills as part of the "Walk Run-n-Roll", WITE LITE played outside on another beautiful Saturday morning.
The band was in excellent form and benefitted from guest musicians Vic Porcelli (harmonica) and Mark Christopher (saxophone) from KTRS radio adding punch to band staples such as Mary Jane, Apolitical Blues, Roadhouse Blues, Tush and even a sax solo on Cosmik Debris! The band had a blast as did the crowd with the additions. MVP honors were shared by the entire band as everyone was strong throughout the day. Playing without a net (songlist) Bill Greene called the songlist throughout, added the thrown drumstrick to end the songs and did a superb job and even included the "It's the End of the RACE as we know it" in recognition of everyone completing the walk. The band reintroduced Train Surfer (the only original of the setlist) to close the festivities. Special thanks to Bob Horner of IRONMAN for coming out early and providing a great mix - we say it all the time but these guys are the best.
Armed with attractive business cards bearing the band website for the occasion, we are closely monitoring inquiries and a burst in traffic given the high demand.
Click on the Life Skills hyperlink to learn more about this great organization
WITE LITE - TAMMY AND MIKE'S - 03/10/07
A strong three set performance highlighted by MVP Kevin Finnegan rocked the VFW hall in Overland, MO. Playing a number of originals in support of their wildly successful first album (including Getting Better, Can't Complain and Train Surfer) the band benefited from the fullness of the dual guitars and Kevin's vocal performance of Bill Withers' "Use Me" and Cosmik Debris secured MVP honors in addition to his strong rhythm playing. Click here for the complete song list.
Manchisi suffered from electrical problems through the first set eliminating him from MVP consideration and even after cable problems were addressed, the well intended "Peace of Mind" tribute to Brad Delp (who passed away the prior day) was also a questionable audible. Other changes included snippets of Won't Get Fooled Again to open the third set.
The band benefited from the added energy of Bill's old neighborhood who crashed the party later in the night including Paula's version of Twist and Shout in the third set (not shown in the setlist). However, it was the Zappa selections that seemed to bring the crowd alive with one commenting that "noone plays that stuff".
Upcoming gigs include "Bobbystock" and some other charity benefits. Stay tuned.
Happy 50th Mike!
WITE LITE - GRAND HYATT - 3/08/07
A strong two set performance to a friendly MasterCard crowd highlighted by guest appearances on Mary Jane (Debbie Hagan - Guitar), War Pigs (Tom Fauth on Air Guitar and Vocals), Honky Tonk Woman (Chris Petranoff on Guitar) and Sweet Home Alabama/Werewolves of London (Mike Rethorn on Vocals) made for a fun time had by all. The band debuted new live performances of Legalese (off the tremendously popular iTunes album) , Shame, Down on the Corner and an unrehearsed version of Proud Mary. Given the multicultural crowd in attendance, the band also performed Wall Street, currently the most popular downloaded WITE LITE song in Europe. Thanks to all and especially to Paul and Bob from IRONMAN sound who were outstanding as always.
WITE LITE - SHERATON WESTPORT (12/05/06)
A tight short performance to what looks like an annual friendly MasterCard crowd seemed to be a big hit in Westport. Band harmonies were strong throughout and even IRONMAN seemed to be impressed with the band's vocals. Audience requests again became a big hit with Sweet Home Alabama/Werewolves of London, Back in Black and Free Bird being the singalong standouts.
Bill Greene took MVP honors for a great performance (I actually don't remember any missed words or mistakes throughout the entire evening!) and Paul Abouchon and a rare WITE LITE appearance by Bob Horner of IRONMAN again demonstrated why these guys are the best with an outstanding mix and light show.
WITE LITE - CINDY'S 50th (11/04/06)
The band hit a new milestone playing it's first 50th birthday for Cindy Reeg at the Missouri Bluffs. A crowd of Cindy and Rob's family and friends had a good time and though the band was requested to turn down three times in the first set, they eventually won the crowd over with a few slow songs and a strong second set. Click here for the set list as best I can remember it. Debuting Butch Walker's "The Taste of Red", the band also added Steve Miller's "The Joker" and an audience request section in the third set that included snippets of Blackbird, China Grove, Tush, Good Times Bad Times, I'm on Fire, Take it Easy, Pink Houses (with guest vocalist Mike Rethorn), Joy to the World, Rock Candy, You Shook Me All Night Long, Rock n Roll Hoochie Koo, Sweet Emotion and Walk this Way. Paul Abouchon of IRONMAN sound again provided an outstanding mix battling the dreaded Missouri Bluffs stairs and power challenges early on in the night which is why they are the exclusive provider of WITE LITE sound in St. Louis County. MVP honors were shared across the band and Paul who all provided strong performances throughout the evening.
Given the presence of lawyers in the room, the soundalikes of Sweet Home Alabama and Werewolves of London may result in posthumous litigation and the band is looking at another December gig to round out 2006. Stay tuned and Happy Birthday Cindy!
Playing outside of the St. Louis area for the first time in years, WITE LITE brought it's 2006 tour to Lake of the Ozarks in honor of Tom Greene's election as President of the Missouri Optometrists Association. Kevin Finnegan flew in for the occasion and was strong throughout, slowly weening himself away from the lamp and music stand. The band also debuted a new look - sparkling monogrammed bowling shirts that will be used in all upcoming bowling alley gigs and depending on demand, may be added to the band's merchandise store.
Opening with Tom Greene on vocals for I Fought the Law the band played two strong sets (other than a horrific version of Rock and Roll All Nite) that had the friendly crowd on it's feet throughout the 3 hour event. A strong mix by Will West Music (a departure from IRONMAN sound given the location) as well as a light show added to the overall WITE LITE experience. Click here for the complete setlist as best I can remember it.
Afterwards the band settled back in the presidential suite to celebrate a strong outing. Congratulations Tom!!
WITE LITE - ROCK 'N' BOWLA V 08/26/06
WOW! Other than Jefferson Airplane, it seemed like WITE LITE covered the 60's and 70's last night. Again playing 50 Songs, WITE LITE played one of its favorite gigs of the year at the annual Rock n Bowla. The gig featured many guest vocal appearances including John Hertel who returned to sing Suffragette City, a few Zeppelin covers and provide harmony vocals throughout the evening as well as Joel (Sweet Home Alabama, Come Together, Takin Care of Business) Mike (Cadillac Ranch) and another spirited performance of Twist and Shout. It was clearly the most Karaoke session the band has played though the crowd enjoyed the event. Scott (a new name) from IRONMAN sound provided a very strong mix and took MVP honors (even though the light show was delayed) as a result of a good monitor mix and a very strong house mix (Thanks Scott!!)
The band was very relaxed in the first set inserting many ad-libs which made for a fresh sound. Tom Greene was vocally strong on Apolitical Blues and War Pigs and Bill Greene was outstanding on drums and vocally throughout the night, coming up slightly short of MVP due to offstage antics. Click here for the set list as best I can remember it.
Thanks again to Smitty and Arlene for throwing a great end of summer party! After 5 years, we feel like we know these people! The Missouri Optometrists Association were also in attendance scouting the band for the upcoming October gig. In the words of John Lennon "I hope we passed the audition"!
WITE LITE - KIENER PLAZA 08/19/06
WITE LITE played a United Way benefit at Kiener Plaza on a hot Saturday afternoon to a crowd of about 100 people who had worked the morning. Including the sound check (I Fought the Law and Can't Explain) the band played a short 14 song set (Mary Jane, Cinnamon Girl, Hard to Handle, Apolitical Blues, Fire, Back in the USSR, Hymn 43, I Saw Her Standing There, Sweet Home Alabama, Werewolves of London, End of the World and I am the Walrus) before the heat sent most of the crowd packing. Mixing duties were handled by Brian (IRONMAN sound was not available) and the band received a certificate of appreciation for donating their services. Portions of the set were captured by the local news which all band members are frantically trying to obtain.
WITE LITE - SARATOGA LANES 07/01/06
Celebrating Raffaele Gatti's graduation from DeSmet, WITE LITE played a very strong 3 set show at Saratoga Lanes. Playing 50 songs (click here for complete Setlist), and with the Wizard in attendance, the band put on on one of their best shows in recent memory thanks to an outstanding mix by Paul Abouchon of IRONMAN again. From the infinite delays at the end of Play that Funky Music to the Zeppelin ending, these guys again demonstrated why WITE LITE only uses them for performances (Paul - you need to get to Lake of the Ozarks in October!)
The band opened with American Idiot to show the largely younger crowd that they knew recent material though requests for Trivium were largely ignored. A weak When We Were Younger solo put Manchisi behind in the MVP honors early though the crowd seemed to enjoy the Tom Petty material and asked for more prompting the band to revisit the Petty setlist for upcoming gigs. Apolitical Blues was the set's standout with Tom Greene supplying the best performance of the tune in recent memory. Bill Greene was also strong in supplying most of the first set vocals.
The second set opened with Birthday for Wendy Greene and when Tom "spread Satan's wings" on War Pigs, MVP honors were virtually wrapped up. Little Wing and Fire were also standouts in the second set as was John Hertel's performance of Honky Tonk Woman, quite a departure from the Stephen Greene guest vocals the band has seen.
After Jeff Gatti and friends performed Johnny Cash's Hurt, Simple Man and original (yes it's the new generation), Zach Manchisi opened the 3rd set with Roadhouse Blues and performed 4 tunes, including resurrecting Jack Daniels Blues complete with a bottle of Old #7! Rock and Roll all Nite seemed to have the crowd's interest, though key challenges prompted Paul to bang on the mixer as if there was a technical problem. John's return for Suffragette City and Sweet Home Alabama set the stage for an unrehearsed Led Zeppelin tribute that included Heartbreaker (complete with guitar solo), Livin Lovin Maid, Stairway to Heaven and Good Times Bad Times which closed the evening. Though many in the crowd believed Manchisi's Page impersonations catapulted him to the MVP spot for the night, this writer is not convinced. Overall, an outstanding performance by the band that will be talked about for days (or at least hours!)
WITE LITE - TOWER GROVE PARK 04/22/06!
In a benefit for Life Skills as part of the "Walk Run-n-Roll", WITE LITE played outside on a beautiful Saturday morning.
The band started off a little slow (it was 8:30AM) and it looked troubling when they were told to turn down after the soundcheck version of Somethin' Else (one of the quieter tunes the band plays). However, the band quickly got into their groove and introduced two new Hendrix tunes in their entirety (Little Wing and Fire) as part of the set list. No MVP honors to give today other than to Tanya, who asked for a t-shirt and to have her picture taken with the band, not realizing she made our day more than we made hers! Bill Greene , recovering from a basketball finger injury was solid though his I am the Walrus remix without notifying the band caused some challenges on 3 occasions throughout the song. Other notables were snippets of Don't Fear the Reaper which seemed to have selected crowd interest and Bill Greene's "Don't Pull Your Hamstring" revision of the Hamilton, Joe Frank and Reynolds classic. Special thanks to Bob Horner of IRONMAN for coming out early and providing a great mix.
Favorable reviews from the crowd and inquiries as to future gigs made the band realize they were at a loss for marketing materials with Tom Greene writing the website location to many with a Blue Sharpie!
Click on the Life Skills hyperlink to learn more about this great organization!
WITE LITE - SHERATON CLAYTON 12/08/05
Inspired on the 25th Anniversary of John Lennon's tragic death, WITE LITE played to a friendly MasterCard crowd at a private event in Clayton. The band was very strong throughout the night playing a long single set for the corporate gig, and debuting new songs such as Stories in Your Eyes and Good Times while also including snippets of I Want You to Want Me, Lola, Little Wing, Good Times Bad Times, and Sweet Emotion, which turned out to be the highlight of the evening.
The Grinch also was a big hit for the holiday event and the Lennon dedication (I Am The Walrus) was very strong though John may have been rolling over as Bill butchered the lyrics to All I've Got To Do ("Whenever I Call You Up Yeah"??????).
Tom Greene took MVP honors for a great performance and simply for making the drive from Jeff City on a snowy day only to return home that same evening!! Paul Abouchon of IRONMAN again demonstrated why these guys are the best with an outstanding mix and light show, even though the band did not have time for a soundcheck.
WITE LITE - MA GEE'S - 11/05/05
Playing their first "non private party" gig in years, WITE LITE brought its diverse selection of tunes to Ma Gees. The evening started off tense as a private party for a local Rugby team pushed into the 8:00 PM start time. None of the rugby team seemed to be thrilled with paying the cover charge and tension ensued (including a rare display of emotion from Bill Greene!)
With that event behind them, the band performed three sets though were a bit sloppy throughout the night. No band member received MVP (Manchisi turned off the horn section in Brandy, Tom was challenged with Cinnamon Girl and Fight for Your Right, Bill's unannounced drum solo before Rock n Roll All Nite and Kev inviting Steve Greene for Honky Tonk Woman at a public event were all grounds for disqualification) and the honor was shared between Paul Abouchon of IRONMAN who again provided an outstanding mix and light show and Katie Ventura who desperately tried to get a crowd to the dance floor. (Click here for the SETLIST)
First set standouts included Yer Blues and Mary Jane and the band called an audible and surprised Manchisi with a rendition of Birthday in the second set. The third set included a rough version of Live and Let Die and Plush and strong versions of Zappa tunes, as well as a reprise of American Idiot. A strong turnout from MasterCard, Fidelity and Brian's soccer team helped give the appearance of a packed house for the event (Thanks to all who came!!)
The band will look to the private party circuit in December before evaluating offers for a 2006 tour.
WITE LITE - ROCK 'N' BOWLA IV 08/27/05
Playing 50 Songs (many more than once!) , WITE LITE again rocked Saratoga Lanes last night at the annual Rock n Bowla. The band opened with American Idiot (one of the few songs played that is not more than 20 years old!) and continued trough a strong first set which closed with I am the Walrus. Rich and Tim from IRONMAN sound provided a very strong mix and the band was in very good form throughout the evening.
Requests to turn down were largely ignored as the band opened the second set with War Pigs, a tune usually reserved as the evening closer. Once through the Ramones tunes, the band went into Free Fallin (a new one) and then the legendary 70's selections that have earned the band the reputation as having the most diverse set list in St. Louis. Click here for the set list as best I can remember it.
The third set included many guest vocalists, and Smitty calling audibles to the set list which included a reprise of 5 tunes from the second set, Please, Please Me and Can't Explain.
Manchisi earned MVP honors for calling Buttercup in the second set and the "We're Not Gonna Take It" chant during the Please, Please Me solo though the band was all in strong form.
A November gig at McGee's is in its early planning stages and a DVD from the Saratoga show is currently in the works.
WESTPOINTE CLUBHOUSE 6/3/05
In a prelude to Mary and Tom Greene's 50th Anniversary Party, WITE LITE played a two set performance at the WestPointe Clubhouse Friday to what was largely a family crowd. Band presence was strong with both Kevin and Zach (and families) flying in for the event. Kevin provided strong rhythm work and vocals on Folsom Prison Blues and When the Whip Comes Down while Zach performed a 3 song medley of Fire, Heartbreak Hotel and Roadhouse Blues.
No broken strings this time, though Manchisi's performance was clearly affected by Singapore jet lag and Bud Lights. The second set opener of American Idiot ("cluck America") went over extremely well with the younger audience though both of Manchisi's sons commented on the sloppiness of the guitar solo. Click here for the complete set list.
The second set also featured an American Idol contest with Steve Greene's Honky Tonk Woman ousting John Manchisi's Sweet Home Alabama (it must have been the dancing) and Dana Greene and Margaret Manchisi also competing (though no winner was ever chosen).
Bill Greene took MVP honors with a very strong vocal night and IRONMAN sound again provided sound duties. Snippets of Good Times, Bad Times also seemed to go over well with the crowd (too bad we don't play the whole song) and the band closed with a blistering version of Fight for your Right to Party.
Look for an upcoming gig in August.
MISSOURI BLUFFS - 2/19/05
Clearly moving up in the world and playing to one of their larger crowds, WITE LITE completed a strong 3 set performance for CFD ("Carolyn's Farewell Day" or other meaningful abbreviations!) . Thanks to Jim Whalen, the band played in their most prestigious venue to date (flanked by salmon and a pasta bar!). The I Fought the Law opener started a strong first set which closed with Birthday (yes I believe there was one in the crowd!) and I Am the Walrus. (Click here for the complete set list)
The second set was most diverse, opening with Ramones standards and then moving back to the 70's which opened up the dance floor. A broken string during Don't Pull Your Love was the only problem though the song went on without many noticing. All band members were strong and Manchisi fought off a cold to give a reasonably strong performance thanks to Paul Abouchon of IRONMAN providing a "stellar" (yes stellar) mix.
By special request, the band opened the third set with War Pigs and also included Tell Me Where to Go (which maybe only one or two in the crowd would have recognized) and continued on well past the planned setlist to include songs like Twist and Shout, Werewolves of London, Sweet Home Alabama, Brown Eyed Girl and Smoke on the Water (with guest vocalist Mike Rethorn). The band also played two Zappa songs back to back which the MasterCard friendly audience seemed to enjoy and will also work on Rock Candy (I promise Mike!). Look for another gig in the next few months which includes the full band and wear those T-shirts proudly!
Best of luck Carolyn and hope everyone had fun!