Let’s start off by saying that whether you like Y&T or not, and shame on you if you don’t, then you have to respect the fact that Dave Meiketti has been fronting the band for 43 years. How many people do you know who had the same job for 43 years and love what they’re doing? For us, Y&T is one of our Most Underappreciated bands of the 80s (and beyond) who deserved bigger and better things. Yes, the band did enjoy a modest amount of success in the 80s and had a few modest selling albums and tracks like “Summertime Girls” and “Don’t Stop Runnin’” seemed to dominate the airwaves and MTV. Yet, they never reached the next plateau of success that some of their cohorts (some being less deserving) achieved. Then again, Y&T is still packing venues in 2017 and where are those other bands now that achieved that success in the 80s that this band didn’t?
Y&T don’t make it to Raleigh, North Carolina too often and it’s something that lead singer Dave Meniketti acknowledged from the stage on their recent visit to The Lincoln Theatre on April 22. Their last two visits have packed the venue with enthusiastic fans that were ready for a long night of awesome tunes spanning several decades, hairstyles and fashion trends. The band hit the stage to “Lipstick and Leather” from 1984’s In Rock We Trust. This really set the bar for what type of evening we were about to be witness to and it only got better from there. “Don’t Stop Runnin’” and “Hurricane” followed and that three punch combination was far more powerful that any combination from any MMA fighter. It even made us scratch our heads, which have much less hair on them than in the 80s, in amazement because these songs don’t sound dated at all!
As those of us in the audience stopped for a moment to catch our breath, Meniketti shared stories with us from the road and their worldwide travels. The guy has a ton of stories from throughout the years which would make for a great book if he ever decided to put pen to paper. The songs kept right on coming for over two hours and included “I Believe in You,” “Contagious,” “Midnight in Tokyo” and more. The chemistry between these guys is something that isn’t manufactured by “the suits” and it’s something that you just can’t teach to some of these up and coming bands and flavors of the week that we keep getting bombarded with every time we turn around. What these guys share is very genuine and the fun that they are having up on the stage is incredibly infectious to all of us out in the crowd. The night wouldn’t be complete without the guys playing their hit “Summertime Girls” and the delivered it to the delight of everyone there. A two song encore of “Rescue Me” and “Forever” closed out a very amazing evening of live music from these guys.
Major props to John Nymann, Mike Vanderhule and Aaron Leigh for being the right pieces of a puzzle and a perfect fit to help Meniketti keep this amazing music machine rolling. These guys are top notch musicians who love what they’re doing and if you don’t walk away from a Y&T show thinking the same thing, then you better get your ass to the doctor to get your ears checked as well as your pulse! As for Dave Meniketti, the guy is simply one of the best as what he does. His voice sounds stronger than ever and he lives, breathes and bleeds rock and roll. With the passing of Joey Alves in March of this year, Meniketti is the last surviving member of the band’s classic lineup. For my own selfish needs, I am hoping that the guys make it back to Raleigh, North Carolina soon because a long night of music with these guys has a way of helping you forget your troubles, your worries, your pain in the ass boss and any other negative energy in your life. Music is a powerful thing and these guys certainly delivered a large dose of it to all of us in the venue on this night. Don’t miss these guys if they come through your town because, whether you’re a huge fan or a casual one, you will be kicking yourself when you hear all of your buddies talking about it and their bangovers the next morning.
Setlist: Lipstick and Leather, Don’t Stop Runnin’, Hurricane, Dirty Girl, Shine On, Mean Streak, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, Winds of Change, Blind Patriot, I’ll Keep On Believin’ (Do You Know), Black Tiger, Midnight in Tokyo, Let Me Go, Hang ’em High, I Believe In You, Contagious, Summertime Girls, I’m Coming Home. Encore: Rescue Me, Forever.
Check out a few pix from the Y&T show at the Lincoln Theatre in Raleigh, North Carolina on April 22, 2017. Click on each image for a larger view!