The Gods cooperated last night in Town and Country and the WITE LITE reunion gig was a memorable event! Threats of rain throughout the day never materialized and WITE LITE hit the outdoor stage (The terrace at Bob and Wendy Greene's home) at around 6:30 with one of the larger sound systems ever seen in Town and Country. (Special thanks to Ponch for keeping the sound at ?comfortable? listening levels as well as Ralph Gatti for road crew work)
The opening standard (Cadillac Ranch) was followed by Summertime Blues with Zach Manchisi on lead vocals. Zach would later bring the house down with versions of Roadhouse Blues, Fire, Twist and Shout and Jack Daniels Blues. Kevin Finnegan (without Lucille for the first time) provided the evening bantor and turned in great vocal performances on When the Whip Comes Down and especially No Woman, No Cry. Tim Doyle provided great keyboard support on standouts such as Fight for your Right and Apolitical Blues.
The two set performance featured many Beatles tunes though Manchisi's song selection of Please, Please Me and War Pigs in succession would later come into question as it cleared the dance floor and turned into the final song selection of the evening. (Click here for complete song list) Bill, Tom and Mike provided the backbone and the only thing missing tonight was Frank Manchisi to make it a complete reunion.
The session was videotaped from multiple actions and an audio tape board mix also exists though heavy on vocals and keyboards. Discussions are underway to release the commemorative video by Christmas!
WITE LITE along with the Benders raised $200 for the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation at the Duck Room on Friday, August 6th. After a slow start (the band had vowed not to go on until there were at least 10 in attendance but ultimately began Cadillac Ranck at 9:20 with 7 people in the audience though the bartenders and soundman brought the total to 11) The first set played largely to a small crowd and last gig's highlight (Apolitical Blues) was hampered by Manchisi's broken strings (he seems to be developing a McCabe-like reputation as of late) though Macanelli's harp playing was again superb.
Set 2 was much stronger though the opener (I Saw her Standing There) was not one of their stronger performances. (Click here for the complete set list). Yer Blues was strong with the second verse sounding remarkably familiar to the first and Brandy and Buttercup got the crowd going. The Uncontrollable Urge finale along with War Pigs (clearly now the band's signature song) won many new fans though sent some for the exits.
A short two-set performance (the second set being only 5 songs) again gained WITE LITE increased popularity, this time with the college crowd. War Pigs was again a highlight though the show stopper was clearly the Beastie Boys "Fight for your Right" where the band was joined by 15-20 collegiates with Buddy on tamborine. Sweet Home Alabama was a new addition to the set and although a bit sloppy, by that time of the evening no one seemed to notice.
Rumors are circulating that WITE LITE will return to Kilabrews this Saturday, July 23 for an impromptu performance celebrating Benders guitars Michael Dukes move to Nashville. There are also rumors of another DUCK ROOM gig on August 6th as a co-headliner with the Benders, as well as rumors of Manchisi joining the R&B group. Stay tuned.... The band is becoming very active in preparation for the reunion gig.
In another spirited performance to mostly friends and work acquaintances, WITE LITE performed a solid 3 set show Saturday, July 3rd at the Duck Room. A strong first set topped by Apolitical Blues with guest harp player Ray Macanelli (a Benders member) was the clear first set highlight. Ray also joined the band on Roadhouse Blues and the Romantics hit "What I Like About You". The second set brought back the crowd favorites and War Pigs (again thanks to Tom Greene's vocal and Bob the soundman's mix). Discussions are currently underway to release the performance as a live recording.
Guitarist Manchisi was plagued by broken strings and a less than stellar vocal performance but the band still won rave reviews. The third set was highlighted by Uncontrollable Urge, Fight for Your Right and a cover of the classic Nukes hit "Administration".Click here for the complete set list). WITE LITE continues to develop a solid following and is building up well for the upcoming reunion gig in September.
In a spirited performance, WITE LITE won the affections of the small crowd and most importantly, the sound man! Things started very tense as the band (referred to as Band #1) was not provided with an initial sound check. All that changed though through the night and the War Pigs finale was the best the band has ever performed it thanks to Tom Greene's (clearly the band MVP of the night) "OZZY-like" vocals and "Ponch" the sound man's unbelievable mix!
The opening audience introduction "Put your hands over your ears for WITE LITE" left the band climbing uphill, but by the time they had completed Hymn 43 and The End of the World as we know it, the band had overcome the initial tension. Requests to turn the volume down were largely ignored and the band ripped into blistering performances of Yer Blues and Roadhouse Blues.
Brandy was clearly a crowd favorite followed by a Beatles dance number, and closing selections from Frank Zappa and OZZY (A more diverse set list has yet to be seen! Click here for the complete set list)
The 50 minute set was an ideal warmup for the reunion gig scheduled for September 6th though based on the reaction, it is more than likely that WITE LITE will have additional opportunities to win over a larger following.
WITE LITE TO PLAY THE DUCK ROOM!
WITE LITE will be performing Saturday, May 29th in The Duck Room at Blueberry Hill. The band is planning to open for the Benders on a night that promises to put WITE LITE back on the tour circuit in 1999.
After an extended absence, WITE LITE returned to Kilabrews on December 5th and turned in a stellar performance. From the opening chords of Cadillac Ranch to the closing vocals of San Berdino, the show was one that will not soon be forgotten. The SET LIST included a number of new tunes including No Sugar Tonight, Rock and Roll All Nite, Build Me Up Buttercup (though no one seemed to respond to Bantor's connection with the recent hit movie Something About Mary) and a blistering version of Helter Skelter with a twist on the opening lyric ("When I get to the top, I go back to the bottom of the slide..."). The band even teased the crowd with excerpts from many tunes including Riders on the Storm, Mother Nature's Son, Wondring Aloud, Carry on Wayword Son and Cat Scratch Fever. Clearly the diversity of the band was on display tonight with the wide variety of tunes, though the band only scratches the surface of the most recent decade.
Rumors of a New Years Eve gig are currently surfacing, though the band is evaluating its options at this stage and would need to perform without the services of Bantor Trebly, who returned to the New York area to wrap up a solo tour. Bantor's presence was clearly felt and many including members of The Benders (who shared the bill with WITE LITE) commented on the fullness of WITE LITE's sound with the additional rhythm guitar. Bantor also took on vocal chores for Honky Tonk Woman, When the Whip Comes Down, Uncontrollable Urge (which had more of an unrehearsed feeling with Bantor's lyrical twists) and the infamous If You Don't... as an audience request. After this kind of performance, one can only hope that WITE LITE does not stay away as long next time!