Y&T @ B.B. King Blues Club (7/30/2006)

Logo - Y and T

Artist: Y&T
Venue: B.B. King Blues Club (New York, NY)
Date: 7/30/2006
Opener: The Lizards
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After an absence of seventeen years in New York City, Y&T has returned to remind the Hard Rock world what made them so special in the first place. One of their last appearances here was at The Beacon Theatre where the band opened up for former KISS guitar slinger Ace Frehley. The festivities and fun would once again fall to the one and only B.B. King Blues Club where a close to 500 person crowd had assembled. Tonight I would the tables setup and I can never tell when this will be the case but I do know that when they are present it makes picture taking a bit of a pain. You see, since Y&T is not the kind of band that one normally sits down for made this aspect a little annoying tonight but I knew the fans in attendance would get past it very quickly. Opening the show would be the ever smoking Lizards who are becoming a regular set of faces on many of this venues Rock oriented shows. Having seen them a number of times I can only stress that if you have been paying attention you already know what you get when it comes to this group. If you are not then you best get with the program for this outfit cooks, and never strays from delivering a rock solid set of music to gear up the audience. For those hiding under the rock instead of rolling with it let me sum them up for you very quickly. If you are a fan of Classic Rock with a tasty Blues feel then the Lizards is possibly the kind of band that you have been looking for. Members Mike DiMeo and Bobby Rondinelli bring the experience gained from working with some of the hardest rockers around (Black Sabbath, Blue Oyster Cult, Rainbow and Riot) while Randy Pratt and Patrick Klein are entrenched in Blues Rock mixing this together into an incredible group. Smoke would be the best description of a live set, and the band is set to release their new album very soon. I’m always satisfied when I see a set of their material and I hope for bigger and better things for them going forward. Keep your eye out for them as they will quickly win you over with their fine brand of Rock.

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After a short break between sets it would be time for Y&T to hit the stage. I admit that I was excited about this show but sad that some friends couldn’t be there with me (especially since they were the reason I had first heard them). The thing about Y&T music is that it is a very tight and solid “Traditional-based Hard Rock” with no bones or nonsense to its content. The show was also planned as being mainly the original lineup of the group (Dave Meniketti, Phil Kennemore, and Leonard Haze) but something went down and caused Haze to no longer be part of this set of shows. In his place would be Mike Vanderhule while second guitar would be handled by other long-time member John Nymann. Nymann had replaced Stef Burns who went on to join Huey Lewis & The News a few years ago. The show began with local radio personality Eddie Trunk who cited his absolute appreciation for Y&T out of the crop of bands he enjoys. Since he was sponsoring the appearance you know that he was happy to see the crowd. By now it seemed to be at a comfortable 500 or so, which is never bad on a hot summer night in NYC. He made mention that even though the tables were there that everyone should get up and rock, and that is exactly what happened the minute Meniketti and company hit the stage. I don’t recall ever seeing the band in the past but of course I always enjoyed a fair number of their songs which as the show began I would find present in the set list for tonight. One had to smile as you watched Meniketti up on stage since as he was super enthusiastic about the gig while Phil Kennemore was just a ball of energy on the bass and backing vocals. You were clearly watching seasoned professionals tonight and it showed during every single song. I remembered someone telling me before the show that they felt annoyed that Haze would not be there but to be honest I hardly saw a difference while watching Vanderhule (he looked as though he was having as much fun as the other guys by his smiles). Since he leads the charge it was left to Dave to do all the talking and he was quick with the jokes as well. What you were able to take from this was the clear fact that band had no gimmicks or dramatic stage show and instead gave everyone in attendance fantastic material that is still very relevant today. The energy in songs like “Don’t Stop Runnin’” and “Mean Streak” had the crowd singing with fists pumped proudly into the air. The tables and sitting down was no longer an issue as most of the crowd in the front areas were jumping and moving the stuff around. The band performed these and of course their biggest “hit” – “Summertime Girls”, the song giving the band the most radio airplay when Rock stations were known to play bands like this. Everywhere you looked was someone enjoying themselves with a beaming smile and this crowd also had one other stand out fact to it – they were mainly members of the “Old School”, supporters of the cause from way back when. I would have liked to see more Metal kids present at this one since the younger fan base is really keeping all this music alive these days and are to be commended for it. They would have been able to see that music some twenty plus years in age could still hold up incredibly well, and not be a flash in the pan like some of this Emo or Grindcore stuff.

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I had a great time and was not left for want when the set had ended. Meniketti told the crowd the first half would be their choices and the second half the audience picks but to me the whole thing seemed like one defined set. He was a great front man and of course is one of the better guitar players in Hard Rock music. His voice was on target and newer fans might be able to find some similarities in the voice of Sammy Hagar from time to time (if you needed a reference of some kind). After the show the band would do a meet and greet which I am sure everyone who attended loved very much. I had to bolt since work was the next morning but I hope this is not the last time we see Y&T rocking in New York City. Open fire forever!!!

Song Listing:
1. Hang ‘Em High
2. Lipstick & Leather
3. Don’t Stop
4. Dirty Girl
5. Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark
6. Mean Streak
7. Barroom Boogie
8. Lonely Side Of Town
9. Beautiful Dreamer
10. Winds Of Change
11. Eyes Of A Stranger
12. Midnight In Tokyo
13. Hurricane
14. Rescue Me
15. Instrumental
16. Summertime Girls
17. I Believe In You
18. Forever
19. Sail on Back
20. Open Fire
21. Black Tiger

Official Website: www.yandtrocks.com

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