July 6, 2016 Whitford St. Holmes Return To Revolution Amityville, NY 6-24-16
Some stories are short but sweet, like the Whitford/St. Holmes project that sprung up in 1980. A joining of forces between Aerosmith guitarist Brad Whitford and then ex-Ted Nugent vocalist Derek St. Holmes, the duo released a self-titled studio album, followed by some touring, but soon they would return to their regular gigs, all but concluding their run together. Then, surprising many, in 2015 the talented musicians recollected to add a new chapter to the Whitford/St. Holmes saga with live gigs and plans for new studio album, appropriately titled REUNION. Playing shows here and there to get a feel of fans’ reactions, it has been a hit, and now in 2016, they return for more touring in support of the sophomore album that hit stores on June 3rd. Sharing the stage with Whitesnake just a few days earlier in Brooklyn, Whitford/St. Holmes found their way out to Amityville, New York on Friday, June 24th, to revisit Revolution Bar & Music Hall. A familiar setting, one which they visited back in November of 2015, fans of the Long Island area were ecstatic to see the musicians return for an energetic concert experience.
Greeting early arrivals as they walked into the club was Poughkeepsie, New York’s Retrofeelya. A five-piece Rock band comprised of Eric Dalton (Vocals), Tommy Leak Jr. (Guitar), Mike Wunderlich (Guitar), Steve Albea (Bass), and James Fabio (Drums), they took to the stage with a ton of energy, having fun on stage while showcasing tracks off their most recent EP, Future Disease. Second to the stage was local act Captain to Copilot. The Lindenhurst based band is no stranger to the Revolution stage, having graced it multiple times. These past experiences include an opening spot for Whitford/St. Holmes the last time the band rolled into town. Short a member this time around, Chad Willems (guitar, vocals), Jeff Frohman (bass), and Justin Willems (drums) prepared to greet old friends and make new ones, rocking out with songs that included “Ten Times a Day” and “Ghost Ships” before closing out with “Angels to Go.”
Moving the show along, and keeping the New York flavor, Midnight Mob was next on the agenda. Enjoying the recent release of their third EP, Honest Brutal Glorious, Midnight Mob’s trip in from New York City made for a special performance as the third act of the night. With the powerful vocals of Blackey meeting the likes of Mickey Squeeze (Guitar), Carly Quinn (Bass), and Beatz (Drums), Midnight Mob are a perfectly blended brew of Rock, Punk, Metal, and Soul music. Towards the end of their set, Blackey chose to bring the music right to the fans, jumping off the stage and singing her way through the crowd.
As the night went on, it was time for main support, also hailing from New York City, local favorites, Killcode. One of the areas hardest working bands, Killcode has supported a long list of national acts, including most recently, KISS’s Ace Frehley at The Paramount in Huntington. With Tom Morrissey (Vocals), Chas (Guitar, Vocals), D.C. Gonzales (Guitar), Erric Bonesmith (Bass, Vocals), and Rob Noxious (Drums) all coming together in 2008, the band now celebrates the release of their newest album, The Answer.
Opening with “Lita,” they soon delved into their newest album with “The Answer” and “Show Me.” Immediately sucking in fans with their strong stage presence, Morrissey and the band took no prisoners as they played “Hands Up” before hitting fans with another new track in “Shot.” As they continued to play, the comradery the band shared with one another and their followers was evident as they fist-bumped and encouraged everyone to sing along. Continuing on with “6AM” before closing with “Kicking and Screaming,” Killcode received a mass of applause, proving why they are kings of modern New York Rock.
With four bands down, it was time for the headliner everyone had been patiently waiting for all night long. Joined by Aerosmith’s Buck Johnson (Keyboard, Vocals), Slash’s Conspirators’ Brent Fitz (Drums), and Chopper Anderson (Bass), Whitford/St. Holmes were ready to bring old classics, some surprises, and new music of REUNION to the eager audience at Revolution Music Hall.
Wasting no time at all, the band took to the stage and immediately showcased their new cuts with “Shapes,” “Rock All Day,” “Hell is on Fire,” and “Tender is the Night.” All high quality tunes, the crowd dug the new material, fully attentive as they grooved to the rhythm, wondering exactly what would come next. Appreciative for all those who came out and took the time to check out their set, Whitford Holmes were all smiles and interactive with fans throughout. Continuing to show a mass of enthusiasm with their new album, they went into “Hot For You” and “Gotta Keep On Movin’.” Then, paying homage to their past, they went into the classics such as “Whiskey Woman,” which saw many erupt into cheers.
Continuing to flash back to the past, “Sharpshooter” was a quintessential Rock anthem that had everyone in the venue dancing along as each musician took full control of the stage. Returning to REUNION, they set their eyes on “Catch My Fall” before another classic, “Shy Away,” as they focused on putting together a set that was fulfilling to fans. Trucking on with “Shake it,” they soon pulled another trick out from their sleeve as they jammed out a medley of Aerosmith and Ted Nugent songs. What makes the medley even more of a surprise was Johnson leaving his keyboard to join the stage front and center, taking over for vocals on the first cover. While Johnson is certainly no slouch on the keys, his voice was truly something to behold as the band tore into Aerosmith’s very popular “Last Child.” Spending many years on stage with Aerosmith clearly has helped Johnson in channeling in Steven Tyler’s vocal range as both Whitford and St. Holmes tackled guitar solos. As the song concluded, fans gave Johnson a well-earned applause as he returned to his keyboards before the tributes continued as the band took on Aerosmith’s “Train Kept ‘On Rollin'” to the delight of everyone on the floor. Turning their attention to the other half, they moved into Ted Nugent’s “Hey Baby” before closing with “Stranglehold” for a rousing ovation.
When Whitford/St. Holmes last visited Revolution Bar & Music Hall in 2015, fans reveled in the duo’s returning. Reemerging from a lengthy hiatus with a new album, and a ton of fanfare surrounding them, the men behind Whitford/St. Holmes have proven to be every bit as good as their original incarnation, if not better, as they continue to tour intimate venues, giving fans an up-close and personal view of the Rock legends behind Aerosmith and Ted Nugent. Their live show was a thrill ride that one simply has to see to fully appreciate. With REUNION acting as the fruits of their labors, the band continues to tour throughout the month of July, finishing off with a show co-headlined by Lynyrd Skynyrd on a night sure to be never forgotten. With all that said, Brad Whitford and Derek St. Holmes might have taken over three decades to join forces once again, but the wait was well worth it.