John Waite, Head East Among November Concerts at the Wildey Theater in Edwardsville


A legendary British rock star, a classic rock band with a history spanning over 50 years and several top-notch tribute bands are among the concerts playing in November at the Wildey Theatre.

The month’s concert schedule kicks off with the return of John Waite on Thursday and Friday November 3 and 4.

Waite first rose to prominence as the lead singer and bassist of English rock band The Babys, best known for the hits “Isn’t It Time?” and “Whenever I Think of You” in the late 1970s. This band disbanded in 1980, and Waite went on to a successful solo career, scoring a US number one hit with “Missing You”.

In 1988, Waite teamed up with former Babys members Jonathain Cain and Ricky Phillips, along with Neil Schon and drummer Deen Castronovo to form the supergroup Bad English. At the time, Cain and Schon were also members of Journey, which had been on hiatus for a few years. Bad English soared to the top of the charts with Diane Warren’s ballad “When I See You Smile.” The band disbanded in 1992 and Waite resumed his solo career.

“John Waite has been here a few times before and I’m honored to say John and I have struck up a friendship,” Wildey manager Al Canal said. “He loves playing at the Wildey and he loves the crowd. He could go to a bigger venue and perform in front of more people, but he’d rather come to the Wildey.

“He’s had quite a career with Bad English and the Babys as well as his solo career and his voice is still as strong as the day he started. He did an acoustic show here, but this time he’ll be accompanied by a band. You could call it semi-acoustic, but they’ll plug in the electric guitars for some songs. He’ll play all the hits, but he’ll add some deeper cuts and maybe some cover versions as well.

Both shows are nearly sold out; Canal suggests contacting the Wildey box office at 618-307-1750 to see if additional seats are available.

On Saturday, November 5, the Wildey will host two different acts, with “Latin Pulse – Latin Music Meets Tap Dance” at 2 p.m. and Rich Guzzi Hypnosis Experience at 8 p.m.

Latin pulse

The Latin Pulse concert will be the first performance of the event. Latin music meets tap dance in this collaboration between dancers from STL Rhythm Collaborative and musicians from Acoustik Element.

Familiar tunes are brought to life through percussive music and dance and beautiful originals inspire the soul. The choreography includes works by acclaimed dancers Maria Majors, Amy Gammon, Megan Mayer and Anthony J. Russo, with arrangements by musical artist and composer Aaron Burlbaw.

“Earlier this year we had a tap troupe for a show called ‘In Due Time,’ which featured the music of Dave Brubeck,” Canal said. “There was a mixture of purely musical numbers, solo tap dancing and group tap dancing, and it was very well received.

“During that time, we had a Santana tribute band called Black Magic, and they had members who were also part of Acoustik Element. I thought it would be a good collaboration, so I’m proud to say I hooked them up They’ve put together a show where there’s Latin music and tap dancing, and they’ve been working on it and they’re going to do it here on Saturday for the first time.

Tickets are $25 for adult-only seats, $20 for seniors (60+) and $20 per student, plus a small service charge.

Rich Guzzi

Rich Guzzi, meanwhile, is another Wildey regular and is considered one of the best hypnotists in the United States and the world.

Guzzi has been featured on Access Hollywood, TMZ, Parade Magazine, FOX, NBC, and more. Several celebrities and big companies have hired him for private shows.

In his live performances, Guzzi hypnotizes audience volunteers and places them in the funniest scenarios you can imagine. He demonstrates, using humor and the power of the mind, how you can achieve any goal you desire.

“Rich gives seminars on hypnotism in Las Vegas and to up-and-coming hypnotists across the country,” Canal said. “His shows are always great fun and I tell people to bring a big group so chances are someone in your group will be hypnotized.

“Rich will make you do fun things, but you won’t be shy about it. People who volunteer seem to have such a positive experience.

My girl, Patsy

The concert schedule resumes Friday, November 18 with Wildey’s premiere of “My Gal, Patsy – A Tribute to Patsy Kline” with Josie Waverly.

The 90-minute tribute show touches on all of Patsy’s early hits and culminates with an unforgettable rendition of her final recording “Sweet Dreams.” Songs include “Walking After Midnight”, “Lovesick blues”, “There He Goes”, “Leavin’ on Your Mind”, “Crazy” and many more.

“A few years ago we had a tribute to Patsy Cline that was almost a show about her life, but this is the first time we’ve had this show,” Canal said. “I was made aware of this lady, Josie Waverly, by a friend of mine in New York. Her nickname is ‘The New York Queen of Country’, but she also has a Patsy Cline tribute with a band.

“It recreates a Patsy Cline concert as you would have seen it. People leave this show feeling like they’ve seen a real Patsy Cline concert.

Super Tramp Celebration

“Breakfast in America: A Supertramp Celebration” returns to the Wildey for a pair of shows, at 8 p.m. Saturday, November 19 and 3 p.m. Sunday, November 20.

Breakfast in America features acclaimed musicians from Dogs of Society–The Ultimate Elton John Rock Tribute, Billy the Kid–The Definitive Billy Joel Tribute and Thunderhead–The Rush Experience, including Billy Audrain (vocals, guitar), John Gore (vocals, keyboards ), Steve Johnston (guitar, vocals), Louis Michael (keyboards, guitar, vocals), Curt Shaw (bass, vocals), Dave Johnson (drums) and Waylon Schroeder (sax, percussion).

“Supertramp is a band that still has a huge following around the world and this band is made up of some of the best musicians in St. Louis,” Canal said. “I would match the best musicians in St. Louis with the musicians from any city in America. We are so lucky to have the music scene that we have here.

“They played mostly in the Midwest, and they played much bigger venues in the St. Louis area. Now they come to the intimate 326-seat Wildey Theater.

Both shows are nearly sold out, but again, Canal suggests calling Wildey’s box office to check ticket availability.

“As I always say, the only bad seat at the Wildey is the one you didn’t get because you waited too long,” Canal said.

Society dogs

Dogs of Society, the St. Louis-based Elton John tribute band, returns to the Wildey on Wednesday, November 23.

Driven by the “on-the-spot” vocals of Elton Juan (John Gore), the Dogs’ high-energy show delivers a ’70s-style live rock concert faithful to the spirit of Elton John’s classic early recordings.

Inspired by Elton from the early years, Gore formed Dogs of Society with the idea that Elton’s songs should be the star of the show, hits like “Bennie and the Jets”, “Tiny Dancer” and “Crocodile Rock” to deeper cuts. like “A Friend’s Funeral”, “Madman Across the Water”. “All Girls Love Alice”, “Mona Lisas & Mad Hatters” and many more.

“John Gore isn’t the main guy on Breakfast in America, but he’s the star of Dogs of Society,” Canal said. “It just nails the look and sound of Elton John and it’s a fun show to watch.

“I’d love to say he plays all of Elton’s hits, but there’s too many for one show. He’ll play most of your favorites, plus a few you might not have heard It’s been the day before Thanksgiving and there aren’t many tickets left, but if we can add a few seats, we’ll do it. We’re trying not to disappoint people.

Tribute to Bob Seger

On the night after Thanksgiving, Friday, November 23, “Silver STL Bullet STL – A Tribute to Bob Seger” returns to the Wildey.

“Normally they play here in January, but the Thanksgiving weekend date was opened up and they were available,” Canal said.

“We were right to choose them because there are only a handful of tickets left.”

Head East

A St. Louis and Midwestern favorite, Head East, returns to the Wildey on Saturday, Nov. 26. The founding member and keyboardist has been the leader of the band for five decades.

“Head East hails from the Champaign, Illinois area and they’re still a KSHE favorite with songs like ‘There Was Never A Reason (Save My Life),'” Canal said. It’s a show where people stand up and sing.

“Especially in the summer, they can play festivals or open for bigger bands and they’ll play a shorter set. Tonight will be an extra-long set.

Leonid and his friends

The last concert of the month, Wednesday November 30, features the return of Leonid & Friends, a tribute to the rock band Chicago.

Three years ago, Leonid Vorobyev’s goal was a dedicated studio project in Chicago. Their first video went viral, but they really gained traction when Chicago itself posted the video on its official website. They have since expanded their repertoire to include Earth Wind & Fire, Blood Sweat & Tears, Ides of March, Stevie Wonder, Steely Dan, Deep Purple and new original tracks. This 11-piece band now has over 600,000 social media followers, with over 120 million video views and over 200 hit US shows to their credit.

“They were here not long ago and sold out and they’re an incredible tribute to Chicago,” Canal said. “It’s an interesting mix because the musicians come from Russia, Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus.

“They play Chicago better than Chicago plays Chicago. Some of the band members who sing don’t speak English, so they basically do the singing phonetically. I asked people about it and found that there were American or British artists doing the same thing with other languages.

For more information about any event at the Wildey Theater, 252 N. Main St., call 618-307-1750 or visit wildeytheatre.com.

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