Y&T – Yesterday and Today Live (Expanded Edition)
Metal Blade Records
Release Date: 09/06/23
Running Time: 84:00
Review by Paul Hutchings
The strangest thing about listening to this expanded edition of “Yesterday and Today Live” is hearing Dave Meniketti talking about Y&T surviving for 17 years in the music industry. Strange, because the band are still a functioning unit today, over 30 years after this album was recorded, albeit only Meniketti remains from the line-up here. But at the time this was recorded, the band were completing their final shows before splitting up. They returned with the same line-up in 1995, but officially reunited in 2001.
Over the 84 minutes or so that is on offer here, Y&T demonstrate why they are such a loved band across many parts of the world. Yes, the set list here is drawn from the band’s classic line-up of Meniketti, Kennemore, Joey Alves and Leonard Haze (the latter three sadly no longer with us), songs that still provide the bulk of live shows today, but their quality is timeless.
If you’ve never experienced Y&T live, then this album is as good a substitute as you’ll find. With 15 songs in the set, the band are on top form, and one questions why these were farewell shows, given the energy and enthusiasm they display.
They flex their muscles early with the anthemic ‘Mean Streak’, while the set closes with the inevitable ‘Rescue Me’. Both songs that are essential in the Y&T catalogue, they bookend another 13 classic songs that demonstrate the breadth of styles and musical ability that the band possessed. Meniketti must be one of the rock world’s most underrated guitarists. Listen to his work on ‘Winds of Change’, or the acoustic work on ‘Hard Times’ for evidence.
It’s when Y&T hit the gas that things get feisty. ‘Mean Streak’ is the ideal opener, the brooding stomp of ‘Black Tiger’ will remain an everlasting classic, while ‘Earthshaker’, released way back in 1976 defies its 47 years.
It may be Meniketti that duly takes the plaudits, due to his searing lead work and instantly recognisable vocals, but it’s the combination of Burns, Kennemore and DeGrasso who lock everything down so tight that allows him to unleash.
I’ve seen Y&T several times over the years. They are always incredible live, and this performance is the perfect illustration. As Meniketti says in the press release, “Even though the changing music industry had us in turmoil, the band was at the top of our game and these tracks give a good window into that time of our lives. I believe this is truly one of our finest Y&T live recordings”. He’s not wrong.
01. Mean Streak
03. Don’t Stop Runnin’
04. Struck Down
05. Winds of Charge
06. Black Tiger
07. Midnight in Tokyo
08. Beautiful Dreamer
09. Hard Times
10. I’ll Cry
11. I Believe in You
14. Earth Shaker
15. Rescue Me
Dave Meniketti – Vocals, Guitar
Jimmy DeGrasso – Drums
Phil Kennemore – Bass
Stef Burns – Guitar
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