Y&T return for their annual tour, with no new album in the shops but a 40th Anniversary to celebrate. This sort of milestone is usually commemorated with a tour featuring inflatables, lasers, dry ice and other such shiny baubles, but what the Cardiff crowd get instead is two hours of world class classic rock in its purest form - four musicians on a stage genuinely enjoying themselves. Guitarist John Nymann and bassist Brad Lang never stop moving or smiling, and even Mike Vanderhule behind the drums seems to be having fun.
There has been talk of some deeper cuts being added to the setlist on this tour, and the band definitely delivered on that score. The list changes almost nightly, and tonight Don’t Wanna Lose is added, which hasn’t been played in quite a while but shows no signs of cobwebs. All American Boy and Cold Day In Hell are also given an outing, with every album having at least one track being played.
Every song improves on the studio version in some way. The riff to Forever sounds so heavy it could be Sabbath on stage. And Summertime Girls, with Dave Meniketti singing the first verse alone in a much slower, is delivered in a more bluesy style before the whole band kick in at the chorus and bring it up to its normal pace. This has the added bonus of the live sound roughing up the studio version’s smooth edges and making the whole song sound fresh again. The riff to Dirty Girl, a strong contender for song of the night, also sounds so slinky and sleazy that it’s no wonder the temperature in The Globe rises.
After calls for it all night, the time finally comes for I Believe In You. Meniketti shows just what an underrated guitarist he is by expanding on the already tremendous solos from the album. It’s gone in a flash despite its near eight minute length, leaving the encores almost a let-down in comparison.
Tonight Y&T provide a masterclass in rock that many younger bands would do well to learn from. Catch them on any of the remaining nine dates of this tour… and roll on the 41st anniversary next year.
All pics: Duncan Everson