If you are a fan of the good stuff, and I mean the rock solid, no nonsense classic Heavy Rock then you just have to be a fan of the band Y&T and if you are not up on what this band brings to the table I feel really sorry for you. It’s really that good and that much of an experience when they come into town and you are always able to count on a lengthy show with numerous songs that you will find as favorites after you leave. Tonight the guys were back in NYC for the first time since August of 2010, and most know how difficult 2011 began for the guys with the passing of founding bassist Phil Kennemore. Though difficult to move on from, the never ending quest in Rock and Roll requires that we be strong and continue on. This would be exactly what we found happening tonight at the B.B. King Blues Club. Scroll past the logo below to dig into our full concert article and a number of photos.
Venue: B.B. King Blues Club (New York, NY)
Opener: The Noise Factor
Label: Frontiers Records
It’s been a little over a year and a half since we last found Y&T delivering some Hard Rock justice in New York City and I have to say that their return was a welcome thing. They last played here in August of 2010 and at the time their bassist Phil Kennemore had been diagnosed with cancer and was being temporarily replaced by Brad Lang. Sadly, the music world would lose Phil in the beginning of 2011 and while the band would keep on moving, they were certainly going to need a little time off after this terrible deal of the cards. Founder Dave Meniketti eventually appeared on “That Metal Show” and told the world that they would indeed be pressing on soon enough. Fast forwarding to 2012, the band had offered their fill in bassist Brad Lang the job of official member and he now joins John Nymann, Mike Vanderhule and Meniketti with the business of bringing the band’s sound to the masses. Tonight’s show was at the obvious B.B. King Blues Club and while there was an opener this evening, I opted to hang out with some of the members of the Official Y&T Forums because they have been super supportive of my writings over the last few years. The group of us all arrived and Y&T went on within minutes. Talk about timing.
The show would start almost at the ring of 8pm, and while that might strike you as a little early for the headliner, it actually makes sense since there was a later evening event being hosted at the venue and that would be the Hip Hop Karaoke. Like a lit firecracker, Y&T launched into “Black Tiger” as their opener and it’s a great way to kick off the night. It would be followed by a tune that the audience seems to love singing in “Don’t Wanna Lose” and I had to say that these melodies were a great way to close out the hectic work week for the fans. “Lipstick And Leather” has always been a favorite of mine even thought it might not be one of the bands most revered classics by some when compared to their older stuff but I still love it. The guys sounded on fire and it has to be the fact that they can feel that energy from their fans. There were no tables set up on the floor this evening and the crowd was able to get right up and close to the action. It was a hit laden set for the ones who were well-schooled in the band’s sound and an education for the ones in need of some lessons. It was without question that everyone was into the show and when I turned my attention over to the sound board I caught glimpse of Eddie Trunk who was standing with some venue heads and Mike Orlando who is the guitarist of the new band with Mike Portnoy, The Adrenaline Mob. Their new album is coming out or had just come out, I am not too sure right now. Speaking of new albums, the last Y&T album is called “Facemelter” and it came out in the middle of 2010. They would pepper in three tracks from the release and they fell in perfectly with the bands established gems. Let’s hope for some new material soon and tunes that stand up to what the fans crave most from the band.
Dave would speak to the crowd a few times over the course of the gig and I guess that someone in front yelled something about Phil for he replied how they missed him as well. Then another must have wanted a guitar pick and he stressed that they were not Y&T branded picks but instead just Dunlop ones. That’s too bad since I know people eat those up like candy. Of course it does get expensive but maybe if enough people write to the company they will endorse him for such coolness. I think we can make that happen if we want to. I’m pretty sure Nymann has them though. Overall this was a powerful night and one that was loaded with some monster guitar playing and tunes that stayed with you long after the show has ended. Comparatively speaking there was a lot of the same stuff that we got the last time around in terms of the set list composition but of course the tunes had been switched and swapped around a little bit. For this gig we did get three more songs than the one in 2010 and that was great. As they checked their time they must have realized that they had some play room and added in “Midnight In Tokyo” and “Open Fire” which were not originally on the set list that I snapped a photograph of at the beginning of the show.
Eddie Trunk would hit the stage to get the guys some extra applause before their encore which was “Rescue Me” and that was all she wrote. Since there was another event coming in we all had to get out of the main venue but Dave said that they were going to go over to Lucille’s next door and hang with the fans for a little while. Tomorrow the band performs a benefit show for a police officer up at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center with Twisted Sister. That should be a great one but I cannot attend as I will be at Deicide at the Gramercy Theatre which is more my stomping grounds than up in Poughkeepsie. Hopefully we can get another Y&T show before more than a year passes us by the next time around. Interestingly enough, a friend had been wondering and decided to muse aloud about what a gig for the band would be like at either Gramercy Theatre or Irving Plaza and I replied, why mess with what works. Everything is around us in Times Square and Y&T surely seems to love playing this particular room. If it isn’t broke don’t fix it. Come back soon guys, we’ll be waiting on you.
1. Black Tiger
2. Don’t Wanna Lose
3. Lipstick and Leather
4. Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark
5. Midnight in Tokyo (not listed but performed)
6. Mean Streak
7. Summertime Girls
8. Shine On
9. Blind Patriot
10. Winds of Change
11. Open Fire (not listed but performed)
13. I’m Coming Home
14. I’ll Cry for You
15. Eyes of a Stranger
16. Dirty Girl
18. Drum Solo
20. I Believe in You
22. Rescue Me
Official Website: http://www.yandtrocks.com
I know you expected to see this so here we go again. The ever interesting marquee of the B.B. King Blues Club as it announces the return of Y&T to their stage. Part of me said that I could have used an older shot, but then a friend corrected me and said that they finally were using the “&” sign as opposed to a “+” and by George I think he was right.
I have mentioned how much I love the show posters that the venue has been doing for awhile now and in addition to my presentation of the venue shot I always try to get the poster as well.
As the night drew to a close I got the ever trusty Lumix ready and recorded the band doing “Forever”. My goal here being to inspire the masses who might not yet be aware that they need to catch this band while they are still active. Let’s face it, I don’t see a lot of these groups being around in another ten years. Of course I hope I am wrong.
Here’s the great bass drum head that was on Mike Vanderhule’s kit. I just had to snap a photo of it for you all to see.
OK, so this next part was rather amusing to me. After the show was over, the band had announced that they would be hanging out in Lucille’s and signing autographs or just meeting with their fans. That was cool to know they were doing. They had to move it over to Lucille’s since there was a late night Hip Hop Karaoke event going on, so the Rockers had to make way for the Rappers. Such is the way it works in the city at the venues nowadays. Two things in one night since its so expensive to stay open. Anyways, as I stood there making some side pleasantries, I was approached by a very lovely girl who asked me where The 69 Eyes were. Now this inquiry stunned me because its the last band that I ever expected to find people asking about at a show by Y&T. Anyways, when I cleared the air and told them they were mistaken about the Helsinki Vampires I snapped a few photos of their pretty selves. “From Russia with Love”? Most assuredly.
A few more of Victoria for you…..
and her friend Lana….
Out of the corner of my eye I caught the bands now official bassist Brad Lang and asked him if he would mind coming over and doing a few photos as well. Oddly enough he had no problem with this request of mine. That was nice.
One more for Brad fans everywhere….