Y&T, The Hard Way, Evolution Eden, The Cellspringers at The Whisky, September 10, 2015
On a Thursday night within the wilds of Tinseltown, the legendary Y&T would play a headlining set at the world famous Whisky – a two-plus hour extravaganza featuring songs from various stages of their illustrious 41-year career. Prior to Y&T rocking the collective worlds of the packed out crowd, three opening acts would take to the stage and deliver their own impressive sets for the early arrivals. While each band was decidedly different in genre, it was clear to see the influence Y&T has on many styles of music –with each outfit genuinely excited to be opening for the Oakland-based icons. It was time to rock and roll, and the wildly eclectic night would be very well received by those awaiting the arrival of the one and only Y&T.
There was a ton of absolute enthusiasm when The Cellspringers took to the stage. The young trio mixes punk rock with a slamming tinge of metal, and the resulting certainly had the older folks in the crowd standing up and taking notice. Songs such as Basketcase, Maneater and Choke raged from the stage with an all-out vengeance, and the urge to mosh was certainly in the air. The trio was remarkably tight, featuring the vibrant performances of Vinny Zappulla in guitar, Tyler Thompson on drums, and Cedric Johnson on bass and vocals. To make the evening all the more memorable, guitarist Vinny was celebrating his 14th birthday – and what better way to party than to rage it out, playing a gig at the Whisky on the Sunset Strip. Speaking of Rage (Against The Machine), The Cellspringers cover of Killing In The Name nearly blew the roof off the venerable Sunset Strip establishment. And the Y&T connection here – Vinnie’s dad is a huge Y&T fan, as are the three talented musicians who make up The Cellspringers. Rocking across the generations! What a glorious way to kick off the night!
The Cellspringers on Facebook
Next up on the Whisky stage was Evolution Eden, a classic rocking band from the Bay Area making their way into the wilds of Hollywood to open for the mighty Y&T. One noticed right away the extremely catchy tunes and magnificent harmonies Evolution Eden unveiled, starting with the wondrously inviting refrains of Walls Of Wonderland from their self-released Story Road album. The terrific tunage kept on arriving from the Evolution Eden collective, with songs such as Maddest Hatter and Falling In Love By Radio Light being definitive standouts. Another highlight occurred when Evolution Eden burst into the rebellious Rules Were Made For Breaking from The Perfect Crime EP, with a bit of country cowbell thrown in for good measure. A tremendously solid performance from a likeable band of musicians you’ll want to revisit time and again. And now you can check them out really soon, as Evolution Eden will be opening for Trixter at The Whisky on October 1st. And the Y&T connection here – both Y&T and Evolution Eden are from the same area in Northern California.
Evolution Eden on Facebook
The Hard Way
Based out of our thriving Los Angeles music scene, The Hard Way obliterated the stage, presenting a lively show that surely garnered the band a good deal of new fans. The Hard Way has opened for just about every rock and roll band in existence, and their frequent shows at The Whisky are not to be missed! Whether it’s the raging refrains of That Ain’t Love or the wildly wicked inflections of Diabolical Bitch, The Hard Way present killer songs that will remain embedded in your head for a very long ass time! Lead vocalist Eric Jeffreys is a superbly charismatic front man, delivering the lyrics with fiendish glee while making sure each and every audience member is partying along. The musicianship found within The Hard Way is both skillful and entertaining. And then there’s the sexy Hard Way Dancers, ready to rock your world as they keep the beat to the hot and heavy tunes! If you are into down and dirty rock and roll, do not miss what The Hard Way has to offer the world at large. And the Y&T connection – welp, The Hard Way has been wanting to open for Y&T for a very long time – it has now happened, and what a triumphant opening act they were!
The Hard Way on Facebook
Needless to say, the Y&T show was absolutely phenomenal from the start to finish. Opening with the blasting refrains of Hang Em High, Y&T proceeded to play a lengthy set of crowd favorites that sent the room into a glorious state of rock and roll bliss. One fan made his way right up to the front and showed front man Dave Meniketti a fresh Hang Em High tattoo, which thoroughly impressed the iconic singer. And what a perfect and place it was to hear the celebratory LA Rocks, bringing the truly great tune right into the heart of the matter! Y&T classics such as Meansteak, All American Boy, and Summertime Girls were performed to the great admiration of the crowd, who were singing along and waving their fists in the air. It was terrific to hear some of the later songs too, with the mighty Contagious and the raging Cold Day In Hell making a definitive impact. Y&T 2015 is an extremely impressive lineup. Bringing back to the memorable tunes with so much passion and energy. Dave Meniketti was absolutely astounding on vocals while shredding into the stratosphere on guitar. John Nymann on guitar and vocals colors in the songs with his wonderful performance. Bassist Brad Lang and drummer Mike Vanderhule bring it all home with a fiery magnetism, making up a rhythm section of pure perfection. A magical night filled with timeless songs – one where band and audience came together, swept away by the auditory adventure at hand. Here’s hoping we see Y&T rocking us in the City of Angels again soon!
Y&T on Facebook
(Review by Ken Morton – Live Photos by Jack Lue)