In the early ’80s, the first date I went on with my new fake ID was to see Yesterday & Today at the Old Waldorf. The club has since been closed, but back in those days, it was one of San Francisco’s premiere venues. The bands that headlined Friday and Saturday nights played two sets – a dinner show, and a late show. For somewhere around $20 extra for the dinner show, you were treated to a plateful of Ragu-soaked pasta, green salad, and french bread. Woo-hoo, food unfit for the King of the Jungle! Even so, when Yesterday & Today played, those dinner shows were the first to sell out every time.
Shortly after, upon signing their record deal with A&M Records, they shortened their name to Y&T. At that point, they hadn’t yet become the world-famous rock stars they are today, but in the hearts of their hometown Bay Area fans, they were high above that designation. The S.F. Bay Area loves their Y&T. We can’t get enough of them, and for good reason: they are killer live! Y&T loves to play live – a fact they prove every time they take the stage. Having just returned from a seven-week tour in Europe, the band set foot on U.S. soil only a week before their shows resumed here in the States.
Friday Nov. 21 at the Mystic Theatre in Petaluma was awesome! For more than a decade, Y&T’s Mystic Theatre shows have become a special annual event that fans from all over the globe fly in to see, but the shows of this weekend were extra special, marking the band’s 40th anniversary. Y&T played for slightly over two hours, managing to get at least one song from every album into the set list, plus the fan favorites. Dave Meniketti is at the top of my list of under-appreciated players who boggle the mind. Not only does he have fingers that effortlessly fly like the wind, capable of taking on the best of shredders, but he plays with so much emotion and passion, you can see it on his face in every lead and with every note he sings. And the rest of the band members, Jon Nymann (guitar), Brad Lang (bass), and Mike Vanderhule (drums) are right there with him in the Y&T zen zone. Watching them play, one can’t help but be envious. Confucius said that if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. Y&T is living proof of the truth in those words – even after 40 years of mileage, they still exemplify that statement.
Prior to the Mystic gig, I had a chance to talk with Dave Meniketti, one of my favorite people to interview. He spoke about their European tour, the band’s 40th anniversary, and other goings on in the Y& T camp. Thanks to the cellphone gods shooting heavenly “spit-wads” at my cellphone tower and dropping my cell signal right in the middle of the interview, much of the audio dialogue with Dave was lost. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to hear Dave say, in his own words, that Y&T will indeed be putting out a new record. But that’s right, fans, Y&T will be going into the studio to lay down some new tunes. Dave told me that they wanted to release it this year, but due to their insane touring schedule, they haven’t had the time . So stay tuned, fans – a new Y&T album will be released in 2015!
Luckily, the second half of the interview was saved. In the following clip, Dave talks candidly about who he is listening to these days and who he’d most like to play with, if given the opportunity.
Opening the show was Gabbie Rae. I had never seen her before, but this young lady can SING! For the most part, her set consisted of acoustic covers, but covers or not, she took on some songs many would never attempt – especially female vocalists. She is a star right now by merit and talent, but with your support, she could be headlining stages worldwide. Her last song was the title track from her recently released CD, Scream. Check out the official video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EDsCuUWdTk.
Y&T set list: Hurricane | Black Tiger | LA Rocks | Lucy | Meanstreak | Dirty Girls | Midnight in Tokyo | Cold Day in Hell | Winds of Change | I’m Coming Home | I’ll Cry | Surrender |Eyes of a Stranger | Rescue Me | I Want Your Money | Summertime Girls | I Believe in You |Open Fire | Don’t Want to Lose You | Hell or Highwater | Forever
Gabbi Rae’s set list: Separate Ways |Wasted Years | Watchtower |Red Hot Blues | Ace of Spades |I Remember You | Sweet Child |Rainbow in the Dark | Scream
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