takes a lot to humble the Baileyís these days because 25 years in the
business hardens you up. We had the privilege to be at the Y&T
sound check as we were interviewing Dave Meniketti straight after. I had
already reminded him that last year he said he would consider putting
Contagious in the live set. (Its one of the Baileyís old time favourite
Y&T songs). Dave said "Hey we may do it just for you guys at sound
check". To our amazement they did run through it for us. There were one
or two problems with the mic and monitor mix but it was a cool gesture,
appreciated and got our time with Y&T off to a corking start. Even
during the vocal check Dave/Phil and John sang harmonies together with
no instruments and it was pretty amazing to hear. Mick grabbed some pics
that we can share with you but the real stars of the show are already
gathering out side the venue. There were some familiar faces and
dedicated rock soldiers that stay in the trenches with the bands through
the good and bad times. Thatís why Y&T are back in the UK to play
to their loyal legion of fans that have grown together over the years
and become a formidable double act. We hope Dave still has his voice in
tack tonight after our long interview? All will be revealed as the intro
fades... the expectation grows...
crowd roars at the first sighting of the Bay Area heroes, Dave and John
wearing black waist coats take their positions stage left facing the
audience, like two gun slingers ready to "Open Fire" but hey, that was
last years opener tonight it's "Hang Em High".
centre stage appears to be playing his trade mark Gibson Les Paul but
itís actually a new guitar a friend made for him about a year ago. His
treasured Les Paul is having serious surgery back at Gibson but itís
Dave in the operating theatre tonight. With ease and confidence he pulls
out the trade mark licks thatís kept him in the guitar hero saddle
through many a bumpy ride. It was apparent during sound check that
Y&T is very much a team effort. Thereís one new member we want to
mention - Mike Vanderhule, who has replaced Leonard Haze on drums.
drummers were put forward for the gig after panic phone calls from Dave
to his friends in bands such as Whitesnake and Queensryche. Mike had
one week to learn the huge Y&T catalogue before being thrown in to
the lions den. Heís played with the legend that is Neil Schon (Journey)
also Steve Lukather (Toto) so this cat ainít going to shy away in the
corner - heís already driving this well oiled machine from the rear of
cool band has a solid rhythm section and guitarist John Nymann is a
very important part of Y&T. John also dons a Sunburst Les Paul and
both he and Meniketti have Messa Boogie Dual Rectifier amps that are
growling like Rotweilers ready to tear the postmanís arm off! Between
them they deliver the perfect package and compliment each others styles.
Itís all gonna be treble city without the meat and veg on the
plate that is Phil Kennemoreís bass. For 34 years heís trodden the
boards with Dave in Y&T coming up with many of the lyrics and
vocally live he and Nymann throw in the 3rds and 5ths that all add up to
a great vocal harmony group. Thatís the line up that are now drawing
the crowd in like a fishermanís net but before we all get tangled up
thereís a brief pause whilst Meniketti changes guitars.
then says "What can we pull out of the hat?" Dirty Girl slides out from
beneath a bluesy fret board almost unnoticed in what I would describe
as a typical early 70ís style rhythm bed. The tempo picks up and the
sheets are pulled back to reveal the naked truth that Dirty Girl is just
a timeless Y&T classic. Just like last year it demands you sing the
chorus and the fans donít need much persuasion to raise the temperature
in the Rock City even higher. John Nymann for the first time tonight
also has a chance to show he can hold centre stage and pull out a few
tasty melodic licks of his own. The crowd response delights Dave
Maneketti who says "Can we make this an annual event? In fact why donít
we play an album every week and just stay here for a few months?"
says he wants to play one of his favourites, "Surrender", which they
ainít done for a while. The 1990 classic from the "Ten" album packs more
punch than an Ali V Foreman boxing epic. The crowd cry out for the song
"Forever" but Dave says "We will play it tonight but this is not the
appropriate time" Instead we are treated to the delightful "Donít be
afraid of the Dark". Thereís a real subtle but precise little rhythm
ditty from John Nymann that I just love, it sneaks in like an
opportunist thief but its gone before you can identify the culprit good
song writing. Daveís voice just ainít fading with age and he still sings
everything in the original keys. His rich warm soulful voice floats
through the hot sweaty atmosphere like a butterfly offering a range of
calming colours that wash over you as the sweat trickles down your face.
The white spot lights from the lighting rig above Mike Vanderhuleís
drum kit pick out an audience truly transfixed...
youíre not afraid of the dark then be afraid of a dead battery in your
effects chain. Dave fills in the gaps like a pro would with a party
piece of holding his guitar to his lips (Hendrix style) then talking
down the guitar pick ups which are amplified. He says "Itís funny what
you learn to do when you are bored in the studio". Throwing away his
compeer hat they immediately raise the bar a few notches with
"Meanstreak". The 1983 title track has far more venom than the snake on
the album cover for sure. Needless to say "Meanstreak" just kicked ass.
there was a big rock weekend festival going on down the road it could
have been lonely for Y&T here tonight but the crowd are out in force
to witness another breathtaking performance. "Lonely Side Of Town"
oozes out of the PA like an overflowing water feature that you donít
want to take your eyes off, the gentle trickle of Menikettiís rhythm
playing as he fades into the back ground to allow Phil and John to share
centre stage a little. Hey, you know what? Itís hard to describe in
words the experience of a Y&T show. Just the ending of this song is
pure class with an in your face dual harmony guitar segment followed by a
few big rhythm guitar stabs and a kick drum right in your balls.
Room Boogie" throws something different into the arena of anthems. I
like the way Dave just sings and doesnít play guitar for a while at the
beginning, John Neymann holds everything together just playing along to
drummer Vanderhuleís hi hat. Thereís no bass at this point, just a sort
of ZZ top style guitar lick that jumps in and out like a fish in a pond
but it was "Summertime Girls" that made a surprise big splash. Dave says
"I thought you would hate that one by now". The mid 80ís tongue in
cheek babe city gem helped wake up a pretty dormant USA market for
Y&T as it was a big MTV favourite. It was very popular on our MTVís
Metal Hammer show. We hear itís still played on VH One although we
ainít seen it in a while. Such an up and happy song and the video is
every mans dream! It received a huge cheer from a knowledgeable
it wasnít the ultimate climax though. For me "Forever" and "I
believe In You" were fighting for pole position with the instrumental
"I'll Cry For You". They all made it to the winnerís podium tonight but
who came out the overall champion is a tough call. When you have songs
like "Rescue Me" and "Rock N Rollís Gonna Save The World" still to come
and then can come back on stage to play an awesome "Midnight In Tokyo"
and finish off with "Black Tiger" its not about individual favourites.
The whole show was the ultimate prize.
the way, I forgot to mention that they even throw "Contagious" in to
the live set especially for the Baileys so did we have a good day? Well,
do bears shit in the woods?
Look out for Y&T in Europe who are shooting a live DVD in Holland so be there...
The Bailey Brothers,
Photos by Mick Bailey.