In 2010, Y&T returned with their first studio album in 13 years, featuring original members Dave Meniketti and Phil Kennemore, along with longtime members John Nymann on guitar and Mike Vanderhule on drums, who were each hand-picked by Kennemore and Meniketti years earlier. “Facemelter” a hard rockin’, song-oriented album, met with major acclaim from critics and fans, capturing the band’s raw energy and tightness for which they’ve become known. The title came from a show in the mid-’70s, when a rabid fan told the band, “You melted my face.” And as any Y&T fan will testify still today, Y&T’s strong suit lies in their high-energy, power-packed rock ‘n’ roll set.
With Phil Kennemore’s untimely passing from lung cancer in early 2011, the band carries on the legacy that is Y&T. With Brad Lang on bass and vocals, Y&T are now back with “Live at the Mystic”, a new double live CD recorded at the legendary Mystic Theatre in Petaluma, California,one of the most popular venues that Y&T play every year.
This 2-CD set includes 22 songs recorded over 2 nights in November of 2011, and includes many songs never before released on any other live Y&T CD. Having always been a fan of live recordings this collection really does everything that I love about live albums – quality musicianship (like they would release it if the recordings were rubbish?) and providing the listener with the feel of having been there on the night(s) in question. Sure, some have notoriously been found out to have been “fixed” prior to release – but why not? On the night and in the heat of battle mistakes get made, missed and forgotten about but fans don’t want to hear mistakes on a recording they will listen to again and again (and this is one you would want to!). The power of the band and the love from the crowd is plain to see.
Dave Meniketti’s vocals have a power and passion that only comes from years of performing (are you listening “Strictly X-Idol Pop Talent” contenders?) and with the band serving up a blistering support, this is a perfect introduction to Y&T’s live show. Celebrating the success of “Facemelter” and the 30th anniversary of “Earth Shaker”, Y&T are a band that combines heritage with now – and long may they continue.
The amazing heat to the tracks showcases the power of the band as it currently sounds, playing songs from “Facemelter” as well as all the hits and fan favourites – my only small niggle is that there is no room for “Summertime Girls” which is still my personal favourite from Y&T.
This album screams out to be a classic Y&T CD to have in your collection. Prepare to have your face melted!
“Live at the Mystic” will be released on 23rd November 2012 on Frontiers.
Review by David Wilson