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Y&T, Krokus and Queensryche at Hard Rock Hell

Live Review

Venue: Hard Rock Hell

The three big hitters from the first night of Hard Rock Hell

With no less than 40 years of flying the flag for rock around the world under their belts and with some twelve studio albums in the can, classic rock stalwarts Y&T [8] certainly have no shortage of either experience or material to draw on tonight as the Californians hit the main stage at this year's Hard Rock Hell festival as part of their current tour celebrating four decades as a band. And with only an hour set to remind the packed-out crowd just what a fantastic, and often underrated band they are. Drawing on both experience and catalogue as they do away with any onstage bells and whistles to instead put on a fun, no-nonsense calling card display of their greatest tracks.

Opening up by smashing out a metal infused, pedal-to-the-metal double whammy of Hurricane and Black Tiger certainly gets the party started in fine style and frontman Dave Meniketti and co. all look to be having just as much fun as everyone else in the room as the hair-metal strut of L.A. Rocks brings a touch of 80’s Sunset Strip to North Wales. Meniketti just seems to get better with age, his powerful voice sounding massive through a huge performance of Mean Streak that gets heads banging, horns held high and fists pumping all over, while the steamy groove of Dirty Girl slows the tempo and raises the temperature in the room and the promise of the odd deeper cut getting included in the set on this tour is met as Cold Day In Hell gets an airing.

It’s really quite impressive just how incredibly tight and assured Y&T are and, in a way that only great musicians can, there is something almost effortless about the way that they have gone about their business tonight, so it’s a bit of a shame that an issue with overrunning stage times means that events are cut a little short, but an eight plus minute rendition of I Believe In You including some superb fret-work from Meniketti, is no bad way to close proceedings on what has been a master class display of classic rock.

With a whole slew of riffs that could easily have come from the fretboard of Angus Young and with the addition of a frontman in the shape of Marc Storace who sounds like Bon Scott has returned from the grave to walk back on stage, Swiss veteran classic rockers Krokus [7], that have the recently reformed classic line-up of Storace, Fernando Von Arb and Chris Von Rohr in their ranks, are not exactly what you could call the most original sounding of bands most of the time. Still, often sounding uncannily like old school AC/DC when you do it so well is no bad thing at the end of the day. Indeed, at around nine at night on a Friday in front of a room full of beery rock fans, you could argue that it’s an absolute plus.

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