"Live: One Hot Night"


For the track listing, go to this location.

RATING: 8/10

The aptly titled "Live: One Hot Night" captures hard rock journeymen Y&T at a 2006 performance in The Netherlands, and the band is as vibrant now as they were when classic albums like "Earthshaker" (1981), "Black Tiger" (1982), and "Mean Streak" (1983) were released. Pop-based hit "Summertime Girls" from 1985's "Down for the Count" is the song that casual fans will remember, but the diehards understood all too well that it was songs like "Open Fire" and "Hurricane" that defined the blues-based hard rock fire that Y&T was always about. Monster (and underrated) guitarist and unique vocalist Dave Meniketti, and original bassist Phil Kennemore (guitarist Joey Alves and drummer Leonard Haze are no longer with the band) have kept the act alive, continuing to release albums and play live. As this two-disc DVD demonstrates, Y&T's European fan base is still substantial and the long-time fans dedicated to the end.

Disc 1 is a 20-song live set filmed in Zoetermeer with a lineup that includes Meniketti, Kennemore, guitarist John Nymann and drummer Mike Vanderhule. Y&T have always excelled on stage and "One Hot Night" certainly proves it. Strong camera work and an excellent sound with near perfect instrument separation makes the fiery performance even better. Meniketti has managed to keep his voice in shape for all these years and his delivery is spot on, especially on classics like "Mean Streak", "Lonely Side of Town", and crowd favorite "Barroom Boogie", just three of many songs taken from "Earthshaker", "Black Tiger", and "Mean Streak". "Lipstick and Leather", "Rock & Roll's Gonna Save the World", and "Don't Stop Runnin'" are taken from 1984's "In Rock We Trust". The aforementioned hit single "Summertime Girls" is the sole track from "Down for the Count". Both "I'll Cry for You" and "Eyes of a Stranger" were included on 1987's, "Contagious", while "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark" and "Surrender" appeared on 1990's "Ten". In other words, the set provides a representative sampling of the act's pre-1991 material, even if "Midnight in Tokyo" is conspicuously absent (though included as a sound check song on the bonus disc). Musically, there is nothing to bitch about, save for the backup vocals on a few tunes that don't quite do the originals justice (the harmony vocals were always a huge selling point for the band). Meniketti is absolutely on fire, his guitar playing traditional and full of feeling, just as one would expect. Most importantly, you get to hear some of the best hard rock songs of the 1980s.

The bonus disc is decent, if not surprising, considering the material included. A few songs from the sound check and performances from the Bang Your Head!!! festival are the highlights, the rest of the disc containing the obligatory backstage footage and fan worship. An audio CD is included as well, but unfortunately not with my promotional copy. "Live: One Hot Night" is an essential purchase for Y&T fans.


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