Author: Cie Martin
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Sure, I recall that Hawaiian Tropic scented hit “Summertime Girls” in the 80’s, but I have only come to love and appreciate Y&T since I saw them on this year’s Monsters of Rock Cruise and more recently at the Fillmore in San Francisco.
Fun and carefree? YES! Rocked my ass off? YES!! Band members that smiled, smirked and grinned the whole time? YES!!!
I can’t recall the last time I attended a concert that was so damn happy! These guys LOVE what they do. It shows, and lucky for us, it’s contagious! I truly believe that when we’re allowed to witness another living their passion, it unconsciously gives us permission to do the same; hence there were A LOT of passionate, happy people at the Fillmore that night.
Last year was the 30th year anniversary of the release of “Black Tiger”, so it was only appropriate that they started the night off with the title track. They then rocked us through “Hard Times”, “Lonely Side of Town” and then put us on a “Mean Streak” from the album with the same name, released in 1983.
Suddenly I felt dirty, but I assure you I showered that day. I wasn’t sure what the cause was until I realized it was time for “Dirty Girl”. This song gets the ladies and some of the boys going to the 10th degree, the massive amount of pheromones in the air even had me glistening a tad. Like animals in heat, the grinding was out of control, looking around I started to feel nervous, I was afraid someone was going to break a limb. And then it happened, I got “goosed”, enough said. For those of you younger folk, “goosing” is the act of poking or pinching (a person) on or in between the buttocks.
The boss, Dave Meniketti and his Gibson guitar, screeched, squealed, cried, howled, bellowed, bawled and wailed through every human emotion. The dynamic duo brought us up, brought us down, then drove us home and tucked us in. This man truly is a great musician. A powerful song for me was “I Believe in You”. An undercurrent of soul topped with a layer of that signature screaming Meniketti guitar. I felt grief and loss build to a high pinnacle of angst and when the song was over, I actually let out an audible breath.
“I’m Coming Home” a wonderfully, accessible song with all the proper elements of rock. Now I’m no Y&T expert, but oddly, this late career release is the most viewed Y&T video on YouTube, with over one million hits. And, because I like math, I’ll guess that this was possibly bassist Phil Kennemore’s final video performance. Sadly, on January 7, 2011, bassist Phil Kennemore died at the age of 57 after a short battle with lung cancer.
Let’s give them a few more hits, shall we? I'm Coming Home Video
This leads me to current bassist, Brad Lang. He is a joy to watch because he includes and takes us, the audience, on his journey with him. Each note, plucked effortlessly, turns into raw passion and is extended like a current through his body. We get to witness and feel the music with him, see the tones on his face and read the words on his lips. Best described, Lang’s playing is organic and humble, red and explosive, with a sexy strut through the humid French Quarter.
To round out the cast of characters, Mike Vanderhule is like a mysterious black bear, a force keeping us grounded and in time, all the while watching over his cubs. John Nymann, one of the smiley ones, is fresh and hands us complete perfection on guitar and on vocals.
“Forever”, a real crowd favorite; heavy, deep, tribal and sprinkled with a little Iron Maiden influence is an epic song. The encore, “Rescue Me” is flawless and roars with a ‘Whoa-o Rescue Me’, it makes you want to throw your fist in the air Rosie the Riveter style and defend, well, something… I mean this is San Francisco, there’s a cause around every corner.
After I watched Meniketti and his troop rip through 21 songs, I started to wonder if a guitar player by the name of Edward Van Halen got any riffs from him, because let’s face it, Y&T were first.
In summary, a Y&T concert is like an all-inclusive resort vacation. With a sixteen-ounce pint of Guinness, Y&T cheers us to happiness and passion. It’s all there, hard edged rock and roll to rip your face off, meticulous guitar riffs, deep soul, decades-long loyal fans, plenty of hair and plenty of fun.
And lastly, some great news...a brand spanking new Y&T album is in the works!
Fantastic, love it Cie!! Y&T is one of those bands that always impresses, always hear the best feedback from everyone and that proved to be true on the cruise as well. As you said, they always have a smile on their faces and that says a lot, you can tell how much they still love what they are doing and how much passion they put into it. Lemme know which Y&T tune you wanna hear and I will crank it up for ya on the next show! \m/
Well, of course Dirty Girl... I'll relive the memories of getting goosed! LOL!
Another great write up Cie!
And I bet you weren't even trying to make an old title track reference in the fourth paragraph...LOL
I commented extensively (read: way too long) on seeing these guys live last time on Andrews interview link earlier this month regarding a new album in the works & the brief albeit memorable conversation I had with Brad Lang at the bar post show outside Chicago...but you hit it on the head...these guys really, really love what their doing and I jump at the chance to see them each time they're around.
Dave & the boys are easily in my favorite top five bands regardless & across all genres \m/
CONTAGIOUS! That's funny, I wasn't trying. Thanks for the kind words. They really are a fun band to watch.
Y&T always delievers a good fun rock n' roll. Their latest album was simply great & a new one in the works....bring it.