John Waite, the former lead singer of The Babys and Bad English as well as a great solo artist, brought his Wooden Hearts Tour to The Kent Stage on September 28th.

This tour features some acoustic, as well as some electric versions of songs that span Waite’s four decade recording career.  Waite and his band dove in head first by opening with the number one smash “When I See You Smile,” then segued into two Babys hits “Midnight Rendezvous” and “Back On My Feet Again” before he spoke to the audience.

Waite mentioned that he lived in the Cleveland area for about five months in 1974 before heading back to England where he eventually joined The Babys.  He said that Ohio has always been a special place for him and he even played two songs that he usually doesn’t play, a great acoustic version of “Every Time I Think Of You” and “Downtown.”

Sounding and looking fantastic, Waite appears as if he stepped straight out from one of his early ’80s videos.  Waite quipped that he was going to wear his street clothes for the evenings performance.  However, when he saw his bassist in a suit, he decided he better change.  But he was still wearing his Doc Martin’s so he could have “street cred.”

A surprising cover of Bob Dylan’s “All Along The Watchtower” fit nicely in the middle of his set.   When the opening chords of his massive hit “Missing You” were played, many fans in the audience broke out their camera phones to record the moment.

Promising to close the set by “going electric,” he did not disappoint his fans.  Starting with his first solo hit “Change” which was also featured on the Vision Quest soundtrack, the band proceed to rock out to The Babys “Head First” and a great cover of Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” to close the show.