John Waite - Live at One World Theatre
An old friend brings a new band and new music to town on Wednesday night!
by Greg Testerman
Okay admit it. A classic rock band comes to town - maybe one of your favorites from back in the day, and you buy your ticket to get what could be your last shot at seeing them play in concert and those old radio hits you grew up with in the '80's and 90's. You're fulfilled because these songs take you back to a time in your life when you were more youthful, full of spirit, and maybe had less responsibility or whatever the case. Hey! and if the band is still good at what they do, you actually stand most of the time and sing along and leave the show feeling satisfied and maybe even a few years younger! On Wednesday night, I experienced this when asked to cover the John Waite show at One World Theatre - one of the most intimate settings in Austin for live music. John did a great job of combining his biggest hits from the past with new rockin tunes as he is currently on tour promoting his new album Rough & Tumble.
Personally, I have always been a fan of John Waite and I'll give you a little background here. He really came onto the scene back in the late '70's and early '80's when he joined a young Jonathon Cain (now with Journey) and Ricky Phillips to form The Baby's. You may remember, over their five year run, they produced big hits such as; Head First, Every time I Think of You (it always turns out good), Here I am (back on my feet again), and a few others. When The Baby's broke up in the early '80's, he also enjoyed success as a solo artist releasing 6 solo albums producing hits such as Change (1982) (my favorite) and Missing You (1984) among others. In 1988, John reunited with Jonathon Cain and Ricky Phillips (former band members from The Baby's) and the legendary guitarist Neal Schon from Journey to form the super group - Bad English. During their three short years together, the band enjoyed moderate success with hits like When I See You Smile and Forget Me Not. After Bad English dismantled, John continued to tour, release solo projects, and work on new material. He continues to develop and evolve and in my opinion, has become an important part of Rock-N-Roll history.
When the lights went down at 8PM sharp, John came out all smiles and waved to the adoring crowd. The show opened with the 1982 single Change (again, my favorite) followed quickly by The Baby's hit Here I Am (back on my feet again). The night took off as John played most of the hits throughout the evening as predicted. I was impressed for the most part by the young band he is currently touring with. Although they lacked absolute perfection, each member of the band showed their talents and capabilities and seemed to be excellent musicians. On a couple of occasions, I did notice the lack of strong background vocals which are a big part of Johns music but it wasn't a deal breaker to a point that it ruined the songs. One of many highlights of the night was John's rendition of the Bob Dillon hit - All Along the Watchtower - which included a heavy rock twist that really seemed to engage the crowd. Other Highlights included Downtown, When I see You Smile, and the hard rocking title track from the new album Rough & Tumble. The group ended the main set with the Head First and after a brief encore bowed to the standing, cheering crowd and promised to return.
John and his band played for a good two hours and it looked to me like the crowd got everything they wanted. A fantastic night of great music and perhaps a step back in time to a familiar past...Myself included...GT
Additional images from the show will be posted on the photo section of this website.
On the web:www.johnwaite.comwww.gregoryphotography.com