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Added by Central Electronic Brain     November 04, 2016    
 
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Y&T - Academy 2, Liverpool (UK) - 30 October 2016

My gig calendar for October and November was very full but I was still determined not to miss San Francisco's Y&T during their annual Autumn pilgrimage to the UK. My only reservation, upon seeing the tour schedule, related to the inconsistent nature of the setting for the show I had chosen to attend; the Academy 2 venue in Liverpool.

Y&T originally formed in 1974 and have been on the road for long periods of time during those forty-two years. Only Dave Meniketti (lead vocals/lead guitar) remains from the original line-up and he seems to carry much of the responsibility for the band on his own shoulders. Original bass player Phil Kennemore tragically passed away in January 2011 and Leonard Haze, the original Y&T drummer, sadly passed just a couple of months before this tour began, though he had not been involved with the band for a considerable time. With the very recent news that long-time sound engineer Tom Size had also died, the evenings proceedings could have taken a sombre turn, but the show continued and everyone took the professional approach, with the hope that somewhere a party was being thrown in their honour. Meniketti, drummer Mike Vanderhule, guitarist John Nymann and bass player Aaron Leigh are tighter than a nun's chastity belt after so many shows together and it shows. It is not just the Meniketti show and the others are now an essential part of Y&T.

Y&T's recorded output has been limited during the last twenty or so years, with only 'Facemelter' (2010) of any real note. They chose to open tonight with a song from that album, the appropriately titled 'On With The Show'. The remaining two hours were filled with live favourites and some songs that rarely get a live airing. 'Lipstick And Leather' and 'Don't Stop Runnin'' are a nice 'In Rock We Trust' one/two and without pausing for breath we're into an extended 'Dirty Girl', a riotous 'Meanstreak' and the melodic elegance of 'Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark'. It was warm when first entering the room but after half an hour even my sweat was sweating. The Academy 2 in Liverpool is not the best venue for viewing a band and even though I'm 6ft 5in, I could just about see the top of Meniketti's fringe over the even taller people in front of me. I'm more than familiar with the Y&T material so, at times, I was relying on imagination for what was happening on stage.

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'Winds Of Change' was dedicated to missing comrades and seemed to take on an extra emotional punch. Menikett's vocals dropped out occasionally during the night but his soloing was simply sublime. The high energy levels returned for 'Blind Patriot' and I would have retreated to the bar for a drink had the beer prices not been so extortionate. I can't think of too many songs from their back catalogue that I don't like, so 'Midnight In Tokyo', 'Black Tiger' and 'Down 'N' Dirty' were always going to be winners in my eyes (and ears). I hadn't heard 'I'll Keep On Believin'' for a long time, so that was a nice surprise. 'I Believe In You', however, will always be a permanent fixture in the set and is a Meniketti tour-de-force. I could listen to the solos all night but we had to find time for 'Contagious', 'Summertime Girls', the obligatory 'Rescue Me' and 'Comin' Home'. There was just time for a classic run through 'Forever' before it is time to head back out into the fresh air.

I've attended half a dozen Y&T shows in as many years and I have to admit that they have been better. They have set such a high bench mark that it is sometimes hard to maintain the consistency but it is always a pleasure to listen to such great songs in a live setting, especially with so much heartache to put to one side for a short period of time. 2016 celebrates the 35th anniversary of the classic 'Black Tiger' album and the t-shirts were a cool reproduction of the LP cover. I would have loved a couple more songs from that release but I can't really complain about all the great songs that were played. See you again next year... hopefully somewhere different.

Dave Bott

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Carl Buxton said:

...
No disrespect Dave, but Aaron Leigh replaced Brad Lang in the band back in April. Brad's not coming back - last I heard he had joined Bobby Blotzer's RATT having reportedly joined in August. I'll ask Mr Scott to amend it. Best, Carl.
 
November 05, 2016
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