Current News (Since 2019)

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WITE LITE - LAURA TOWNSEND AND JOE KERKHOVEN REHEARSAL DINNER (11/11/21)

WITE LITE returned to St. Louis to have the distinct privilege of playing a rehearsal dinner celebration for Laura Townsend and Joe Kerkhoven.  Like many weddings in 2021, this one was rescheduled from 2020 due to COVID but this story is much deeper than that. For more on that, read Laura's beautiful essay as seem in Marie Claire magazine. Click here to read it.

After some touching words by Joe's parents (Kelly and Joe), the band took the stage at Urban Chestnut to perform a short set that included Sam Cooke's "Bring it on Home" along with many WITE LITE standards. Then, Walter Parks took the stage and performed with Kim Pelote a 5 song set that included With a Little Help from My Friends and Can't Take My Eyes Off of You. Walter made us all go back and appreciate the song structure of that one.

Jeanne Townsend then said some lovely things about the band and with Kevin Finnegan providing Emcee duties recognizing our Veterans and questionably Peter Tork, Davey Jones and the still living Mickey Dolenz, the band did its "One Hit Wonders" and "Rock Block" . All band members were in great form and took collective MVP honors. Nate Townsend then joined the band for Apolitical Blues on guitar to the delight of the band and the attendees. And to close out the show, WITE LITE performed one of Tom's favorites (Abbey Road) tastefully introduced by Kevin for our beloved keyboard player. Tom's presence could be felt in the room and it was a fitting closing to a beautiful night.

Special thanks to Brian at Nightshade DJ for doing a great job on sound as breweries do not make for the easiest musical venues!

All the best Laura and Joe, thank you Kelly and Joe for the lovely words (and scotch) and thank you Jeanne. Wishing you both endless happiness.

Congratulations!

 
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WITE LITE - MICHELLE AND MICHAEL'S REHEARSAL DINNER (05/08/21)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Celebrating the Wedding of Michelle to Michael Kennedy, WITE LITE returned to the live stage for the first time in 2 years. For the 60+ people in attendance, the answer to the trivia question “ Who was the first band you say after the COVID pandemic?”, will be quite simply WITE LITE.

With a superb mix from Ray and a great sound system from Lightworks and Skip (Thanks guys). WITE LITE did two sets and premiered new songs “The Gambler” (sung by Patrick O’Neill), I Don’t want to Spoil the Party (It didn’t), Sgt Pepper Reprise (It almost did)  No Matter What and Give Her Away (I will tomorrow :)

The set also included the standard rock block with Brian Manchisi assisting Frank and Zach with backup vocals a first! Zach was also in great form with Fire, Heartbreak Hotel and Roadhouse Blues whipping the crowd up. 

All band members were in good form and despite Bill Greene blowing the count in to I Feel Good (5 not 6), he took MVP honors for thoroughbred drumming and the Give It Away encore that even had the mother of the bride dancing. 

It was a wonderful open to an incredible weekend in Marco Island. Michael and Michelle are blessed to have such great family and friends. Congratulations to you both!!

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WITE LITE - TOM TOWNSEND CELEBRATION (03/07/20)

Tom Townsend was a father, husband, friend, mentor, marketer and philanthropist among many other things. I met Tom over 30 years ago when he flew in from London to come to Clayton Studios and lay down piano tracks for our first professional recording session over 30 years ago. Since then, he has played with WITE LITE many times and has been a source of inspiration musically and in life in founding Pianos for People and most recently in his dealings with the tragic shooting that occurred in 2017 and the subsequent illness that took him from us far too soon. One of Tom's favorite songs to play with us was the Abbey Road ending and together with Jim Messina, we were honored to perform it on this evening - an evening that featured many other musicians and friends to pay tribute to a life well lived. Our hearts go out to Jeanne and the Townsend family and even the Mayor recognized Tom's importance in the St. Louis community by proclaiming March 7 , 2020 "Tom Townsend Day".

Rest in peace friend.

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WITE LITE - KELLY AND ADAM'S REHEARSAL PARTY (09/27/19)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Playing Saratoga Lanes for the first time in over 7 years, WITE LITE rocked Kelly and Adam's rehearsal party the night before an absolutely perfect wedding. The band had to cut a few songs from the first set as the guests of honor arrived late, but thanks to a stellar mix from Todd the soundman, they were at the top of their game. The first set included When We Were Younger to a singalong East Coast crowd as well as Abbey Road on the 50th anniversary of it's release. Zach Manchisi provided superb vocals for Fire and Heartbreak Hotel and the Manchisi backup singers (Matt, Michael and Frank) were there for Brandy and Butttercup. Kevin has vowed to overhaul the first set for the 2020 season, which has largely gone unchanged for over 30 years.

 

The second set opened with Chelsea and Kelly on I'm a Believer and  with the crowd on the dance floor, Kev displayed another moment of Ethnic Brilliance with La Bamba, complete with an "All Apologies" intro. The set also included the rock block and the standard Fight For Your RIght closer, and WITE LITE again showed why they are America's favorite party band! All band members were strong and Mike took MVP honors for the night

 

Look for 2 more weddings in 2020 and some new material.  Congratulations Kelly and Adam and many years of happiness and health!

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WITE LITE - JEFF AND HANNAH'S WEDDING RECEPTION (08/24/19)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continuing the Wedding Circuit, WITE LITE returned to St. Louis to celebrate Jeff and Hannah Gatti's wedding at the luxurious Marriott Marigold (actually it was the Magnolia) in downtown St. Louis. Kevin Finnegan performed double duty doing a superb job introducing the couple and the first dances and after learning and singing Hava Nagila, seemed an obvious lock for MVP. (Hey where did it go?). But after coming in early on Brown Eyed Girl, doing his best barking impression in Bak in the USSR and skipping over the Little Band from Texas, he finished a close second to Tom Greene who was superb. It was a great performance by the whole band with Dan Kury providing a great mix throughout the night. 

It's not often you hear American Idiot and War Pigs at a wedding but the band proved they could rock hard and perform the classic one hit wonder blocks (though guest vocalists reinterpreted Brandy in a way you might never hear again). The band is gearing up for Kelly and Adam's rehearsal dinner next month with a full band reunion. Congratulations Jeff and Hannah!

 
 
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WITE LITE - MEAGAN AND JIM REHEARSAL DINNER - 06/14/19

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was a fantastic weekend in New York to watch Meagan and Jim get married on Saturday but the Rehearsal Dinner show is what this web page is all about. Father of the Bride and Bantor-extraordinairre Kevin Finnegan took home MVP honors with a well scripted setlist that included new songs Mama Tried, I loved her First, Everybody Knows About My Good Thing, and To Win Just Once in tribute to Pete Manchisi that did not leave many dry eyes in the house. Birthday was also special as it was Michelle Manchisi's birthday and the 2 set show also featured background vocals by Frank, Matt and young Michael Manchisi on Brandy, lead vocals by Matt Manchisi on Build Me Up Buttercup, and Zach Manchisi lead vocals on Heartbreak Hotel, Fire, and Roadhouse Blues. The band was in excellent form and Jason provided a strong house mix to the over 100 well wishers. The other highlight of the show was Jim Heenan playing guitar to I Should have known Better which also featured Tom on harmonica and Mike on Bass. Kev had clearly thought of everything here and the band gained an additional following with the Heenan clan, cementing its reputation as the world's greatest partyband. Look for a St. Louis wedding gig in August.....

Congratulations Meagan and Jim!