80’s Metal/Hair Bands
Remember Y & T? I asked a few of my friends who like or appreciated 80’s rock and metal and I was floored how many had never heard of them, especially when you consider many of the biggest acts to come out of the 80’s became popular by opening for Y & T, including Metallica and Mötley Crüe.
Well, it’s their loss. I remember it all and so do the many bands and performers you have heard of that say Y & T was a major influence on them, such as Lars Ulrich of Metallica, who stated in the 2009 film “Anvil!: The Story of Anvil” that he chose to become a musician after watching Yesterday & Today (Y & T) perform at a club in L.A. in 1980, saying: “That was the turning point for me wanting to play music…You could tell that they loved what they were doing.” And judging by their performance at the intimate Aladdin Theatre (capacity -620) in Portland, Oregon on Friday, March 16, 2018, they still do.
The band has gone through many lineup changes since the early 70’s, with the lone mainstay from their classic lineup being lead guitarist and singer Dave Meniketti. Sadly former Y & T rhythm guitarist Joey Alves died last year, original drummer Leonard Haze passed away in 2016 and bassist Phil Kennemore died in 2011. I thought about this as Y & T performed “Lonely Side of Town” from the Mean Streak album… “It’s a cold, cold city when you’re out there on your own.”
Backing up Meniketti in Y & T today is rhythm guitarist and backing vocalist John Nymann, bassist Aaron Leigh and drummer Mike Vanderhule. These guys made me think of the Netflex documentary ‘Hired Gun’… they are consummate side players who kill it show after show.
When you are the sole remaining member of a classic band, most of the attention will come your way and Meniketti didn’t disappoint. At age 64, experience matters and his underrated guitar solos rival the greats who have received most of the accolades from that period of music.
The setlist for Portland included opening with “Black Tiger” and METAL SHOP staples “Mean Streak,” “Lipstick & Leather,” and “Contagious.” Checking Setlist.fm, Y & T has mixed it up on this tour, taking requests from the audience that has left some favorite songs out, including “Don’t Stop Runnin'” which they had played only once this year before this show. The bummer was “Midnight In Tokyo” was left out for us.
My cohorts and me left the Y & T show impressed and a bit perplexed this band didn’t receive more widespread acclaim back in the day. It was a great performance by seasoned musicians and left us wanting more.
Y & T returns to their hometown San Francisco, California to play the historic Fillmore on March 24th, then a short break before returning to the road for dates in California and Nevada through the end of April.
Photos courtesy of Mike Koreski.
Ozzfest meets Knotfest came to Southern California on September 24th and 25th, 2016 in San Bernardino.
Bands featured on this year’s festival were Suicidal Tendencies, Disturbed, Anthrax, Slayer, Megadeth, Slipknot, Black Sabbath and many others. METAL SHOP ROCKS was able to attend Saturday’s Ozzfest that included Sabbath and Megadeth.
Walking into the San Manuel Amphitheater, the heat was relentless and with the wind picking up, dust storms were everywhere. Once inside, I was able to catch a few of the opening bands like Zakk Wylde and Opeth, eagerly awaiting Megadeth.
Megadeth opened up with ‘Hangar 18’ and then blasted through a set that included ‘Holy Wars’, ‘Tornado of Souls’, ‘In My Darkest Hour’ and ‘Dystopia’. The fans were going crazy and the pits were insane as Dave Mustaine and company kicked ass on a one hour show.
When headliners Black Sabbath took the stage, I didn’t know what to expect. I have seen them in the past and their shows have been a little slow, or dare I say, boring? But this time around, it was completely different. I don’t know if it’s the fact it is their final tour or that they know it is their final tour, but it appears they wanted to give their best performance for the fans and go out on a high note.
Sabbath performed ‘War Pigs’, ‘Iron Man’, ‘Snowblind’ and ‘N.I.B’. Even though Ozzy Osbourne announced he had a cold and would sneeze on stage, he still sounded very good, along with the rest of the band… it was a kick-ass performance!
Thank you Black Sabbath (Ozzy, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Bill Ward). Thank you all for the great music you have provided over the years. If it wasn’t for you guys, heavy metal music may not be where it is today… we will miss you. -Ralph
Black Sabbath photos courtesy of photogrpher Ross Halfin