|» Y&T 2009 10 10||
One day prior to the appearance of Y&T in Sala, a small city in the middle parts of Sweden, the news came that frontman Dave Meneketti had lost his father, Remo Meneketti. While naturally feeling sympathy with the singer, many doubtless also expressed concern as to what it might mean to the scheduled performances.
As the legendary group from the Bay Area kick off the show with the appropriately named Open Fire, all question marks are blown away in an instant. The band are in brilliant form, showcasing passion and energy as they air one quality tune after another. Dave Meniketti is the obvious focal point, his character-filled voice and tasteful, talented guitar playing always a treat, while longtime sidekick Phil Kennemore, as always a cool rocker onstage, delivers solid bass lines. The cheerful six-stringer John Nymann accompanies Meniketti perfectly, and Mike Vanderhule, drummer since three years back, fits the bill brilliantly with an unfussy but effective display.
While principally a blues-based hard rock band, Y&T boast an impressive collection of crowd-pleasing songs which stretch over different styles, all demonstrated this evening. Straightforward, groovy numbers which rock your socks off are aplenty, such as Meanstreak and Black Tiger, while more commercial-sounding numbers like Summertime Girls fit in nicely. But Y&T have a more reflective and sophisticated side as well in their repertoire: slow-paced numbers such as Lonely Side Of Town, I Believe In You and I'll Cry For You offer emotion and soul and are true highlights in the set. Moreover, the sound at Rockland tonight is close to immaculate; it is loud, well balanced and it simply sounds great.
When mingling with the spectators before show time, it is clear that many have returned after having seen the band here before, something which is further evident when seeing many adorned in t-shirts from previous Y&T tours. As a matter of fact, this is the third appearance by Y&T at this small, charming venue. Housed in old barn revamped into a concert site, it offers a cosy and intimate feeling which is certainly present tonight. This also serves the fact that there is a genuine sense of connection between band and audience: the reception that greets Y&T is enthusiastic and heartfelt, the crowd assisting with affectionate singing. The band reply - apart from serving us with brilliant music for two and a half hours (!) - with continuous jokes and a relaxed, happy attitude overall.
Y&T are one of the more respected bands in the history of hard rock,
and enjoyed some substantial commercial success of their own, but they
never became platinum-selling superstars like some of their peers from
back in the days. However, something they have truly gained along the
way is an army of faithful fans who always support the band and feel like
they are part of the Y&T family - maybe that is, after all, the best
accomplishment a band can make. Surely, Remo Meneketti, a dedicated follower
of his son's band who often could be seen right at the front of the stage,
would have loved to witness the sense of affection and community so apparent
8,5 chalices of 10