Recap: John Waite and the No Brakes Band w/s/g Frank Viele at The Strand -By: Rob Smittix -Photography By: Stephanie J Bartik

Written by on November 17, 2022

The Strand is a beautiful state of the art, historical theatre nestled in the heart of Hudson Falls, New York and on Tuesday November 15th you certainly would’ve wanted to be a face in the crowd, for sure. John Waite returned to the stage with his No Brakes Band and he packed the house as expected.

Frank Viele opened the show with an epic solo acoustic set. I was sitting with my friend and keyboardist Bear Campo (Black Mountain Symphony/Smittix) who pointed out that Frank had a lot of Jon Bon Jovi in his vocal stylings, patterns and runs. He didn’t mean that in a bad way at all but once he said it I couldn’t unhear it. Trust me we mean no offense by this at all but rather the opposite, Bon Jovi has a great voice or at least he did in his prime and Frank had many of these qualities but with more of a cutting edge. I talked to Frank after his amazing performance briefly and he’s also a very approachable nice guy.

Recently. I interviewed John Waite for the Xperience Monthly prior to this show and here’s an excerpt from that conversation: “I walk out on stage and what you see is what you get. There’s a sense of connection, of family, history and expectation for something new. That’s my job and that’s what I love and when I look out there at the people, they’re one with me. That’s all I know. I can’t describe it. I’m not so gifted with words that I can describe what that is but it’s the reason I get up in the morning and have a life. It’s seriously important. You look at them and you’re connected, it’s the most wonderful thing, you know? To have someone understand you in life is the biggest thing and I feel understood.”

Well, John Waite did connect with the audience and this show will remain in the memories of fans that were there, forever. The set started out with a unique rendition of “All Along The Watchtower” and led pretty quickly into Bad English’s “When I See You Smile,” an acoustic version. In fact John Waite played his biggest radio hits early in the set, which I totally love because you know most people expect a song like “Missing You” to be the last song. John and his No Brakes Band actually played a really cool version of “Whole Lotta Love” toward the end and it was a crowd pleaser for sure. Hopefully, we’ll see John Waite come through again in the near future, besides he owes me a beer.

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