Y&T - Live at the Mystic

Live at the Mystic
Meanstreak Music Co
In today’s fickle times, the fact that a band like Y&T, a band with such a long and illustrious past, still exists and keeps on making music, nearly some 38 years after its formation, is nothing sort of a triumph. It’s true that there was some downtime, some short four years in the early 90s that the band ceased to exist, but it’s also a testament to the tenacity and the focus on the artistic vision of the band’s leader Dave Meniketti & his trusty musical partner, the late and great Phil Kennemore, who I had the rare pleasure to witness performing a few times and also met briefly a few years back during a Swedish show, who both pursued the band and kept it going for years on end. Having just released a face-melter of an album, with “Facemelter” (pun intended – excuse it) not so long ago, after years in the wilderness, it would have seemed like even a greatest tragedy, than it already is, if Y&T decided to cease to exist. Opting to continue making music and spreading the music that one of their comrades, spend half of his life making, is just a testament to love conquering death and to the triumph of the human spirit, in the face of any adversity. Phil, will never be, there anymore, but if he were, I’m pretty sure, he’d be damn proud, of his band-mates.
The band, currently consisting of Dave Meniketti (guitar/lead vocals) the only remaining original member since the bands formation, John Nymann (guitar/vocals) who the band had known since the mid-80s, Brad Lang (bass/vocals) the guy who stepped up – to help with live performances while Phil had fallen ill, on a temporary basis, now upgraded to a permanent member and Mike Vanderhule (drums/vocals) that has been with them since ‘06, played a couple of sold out dates during the 18th and 19th of November 2011, in this local venue of theirs called The Mystic Theater, something that they have been doing without fail, every year for the past decade or show, only last year’s shows were recorded for posterity (hopefully – a visual from these shows might exist too). The band, sounds tight as it ever did and Dave's voice is still holding on, quite nicely, considering the tear and wear, from so many years of performing, that has left lots of other of his contemporaries and even some guys that came into the scene, much later than he did, struggling. And what can one say about his guitar playing, need I really say anything? The guy’s a friggin’ legend! The collective band, ploughs through some 22 odd tracks from their extensive catalogue, that attempts and partly succeeds in trying to cover most bases and as may albums as possible, while it primarily focuses on the bands – rockier, edgier output, without losing its melodic license though. One could argue, that a personal favorite, is not getting aired and he wouldn’t be to blame, but there’s hardly a song, on the bands live set that sounds outta place and there are plenty more here, for one fan of the band to sink their teeth in and enjoy!
Yesterday, Today and hopefully Tomorrow (to quote both the excellent Italian film and the equally brilliant Glyder album that share the same name, and that Dave, contributes a beautiful solo on the latter) this great band will keep on, torturing our souls sweetly, with their raunchy but also bluesy and soulful music that embodies all that is good about rock! Amen to that and hallelujah, to whoever decided to bring them to our much maligned as of late, but also much beloved little country – after nearly four decades! If he had waited any longer, half of us might have died anyway... but better late than never... or was that “forever”?! Eh?!
PS: The only minor quibble that I have, is the CD packaging, an oversized, 3 panel paper only digifold, that doesn’t quite fit, next to the rest of my collection and feels a little “cheaper”, but this is just a minor particularity, and a personal little complaint, that isn’t really aimed against the band but meant as an attempt at constructive criticism for the enhancement of future releases, of a similar nature... at least, don’t go for the “oversized” option.
PS2: The video below is from one of the shows, but it was taken from the crowd and is unofficial, might be/is of lesser quality than the actual sanctioned recording.