John Waite – Cohoes Music Hall – Wed, Oct 18th – Review

Written by on October 21, 2023

John Waite Brought His 55 Year Career to Cohoes Music Hall. Review by Michael Bruce.

If I had to choose a word to describe British born professional singer, songwriter, and recording artist John Waite, I would probably choose…Suave! He is a rocker per say, but definitely reeks of a talented “English Gentleman” as well.   John and his talented band, which consisted of Alan Childs on drums, Tim Hogan on Bass, and Mark Riccardi on guitar, performed at the Cohoes Music Hall Wednesday, October 18th.  They all came out dressed in black slacks and dress jackets looking more jazz then rock n roll.  However, I revert back to the word suave, which I think is part of John’s personality.  It was the perfect setting for a full house, and a veteran pop/rocker like John Waite.  I’ve been familiar with John Waite songs my whole life, and I am indeed a fan.  John has always delivered smooth, lite pop/rock with that whispery, but yet scratchy and powerful Rod Stewart like voice.  I’ve never seen John perform live and I did indeed wonder how the voice of this 71 year old 55 year career man would hold up.  Let me tell you kids, and make no mistake about it; I was watching and listening to JOHN WAITE.  He really sounded fantastic.  There were a few big notes here and there that I am familiar with in his songs that he altered, but for most of the show, he sounded just like the records.  It was impressive to say the least.

John and his tight, steady band ripped through an evening of John’s musical history performing all of the songs you’d want to hear him sing and then some.  John has had a great solo career, but the crowd and I were very happy he threw some songs in from the popular bands he’s been a member of.  (A.K.A. The Babys and Bad English)  They performed “Every time I think of You”, “Isn’t it Time”, “Midnight Rendezvous”, and “Back on My Feet Again” by the Babys.  Representing his time with Bad English he performed “Best of What I Got”, and “When I see You Smile”.  As for his solo career songs, John and company performed “Tears”, “Headfirst”, “Whenever You Come Around”, and “Every Step of the Way”.    The opening song? I’m glad you asked.  “Change”.  I personally LOVE that song (and the incredible 80s video for it) so he had me the first note.  John performed a great acoustic song with Mark and himself on guitar called “Bluebird Café”.  Not only was the song very good, but he told a very touching story about a beautiful young waitress in Nashville that inspired the song.   And of course he played his #1 hit “Missing You” which has that amazing pre-chorus chord change that gives me the chills! I truly think that there are foolish people out there that think John is a one hit wonder with this song.  Silly kids.  As for cover songs, John and his band jammed out the best version I’ve ever heard of Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower”, and then just for fun ended the night by totally getting the crowd up and rowdy covering Led Zeppelin’s, “Whole Lotta Love”.  Again, showing that he’s 71 and he can still SING!

I thoroughly enjoyed John Waite and his band.  Not only the wonderful performances of his songs, but John performed with energy and heart.  He was truly happy to be up on stage and loves his job.  The show gave me a real appreciation for the great songwriter he is.  He also showed many moments of quick wit and humor with the audience that had us laughing out loud.   The full house walked out raving about the show as they should have.  I knew John Waite and his collection of songs would be fun to experience in person, but I didn’t know it would be that much fun.  BRAVO!

Michael Bruce



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