In this day and age, unsigned bands are subject to the pay-to-pay system; the original self-promotion aspect remains the same, however instead of handing out fliers advertising their album releases and upcoming dates that is all routed through social media.
Up-and-coming hard rockers The Hard Way have made the iconic Whisky a Go Go their home and built a strong audience through supporting gigs with Michael Schenker, Faster Pussycat, Warrant, Lynch Mob and Dokken naming a few. This method has allowed the members of The Hard Way to turn this system around to their benefit.
Lead vocalist and founder Eric Jeffreys, guitarist Joe Drock, Swedish guitarist Tim Huldt of Ampora, bassist Tim Luce from Alcatrazz and drummer extraordinaire Bobby Rock (Lita Ford, Slaughter) made their recent performance in support of Y&T no different in that respect. The core of catchy grooves, thundering drums, whisky-soaked vocals and shredding guitars remained intact over the course of their opening performance.
The Hard Way Girls, featuring go-go dancers Coco and Stephanie, took their positions on dancing blocks as the band opened their set with “Cum” followed by “I Can See You Lying.” While most musicians might avoid political and social issues in their material, Eric looked straight in the eye with such songs as “Police Brutality” and “Diabolical Bitch.” Concluding their seven song set with “Let It Rock,” Eric announced this would be The Hard Way’s final show of the year as the band would be entering the studio to work on the tentatively titled ‘The Hard Way 2.0.’
As the stage began to transition, the energy remained at it’s peak as Y&T prepared to hit the stage. Their longevity has only benefited these veteran rockers who returned to the Whisky a Go Go for the first time in two decades with a 2 1/2 hour set which packed in 18 songs for a full house. Frontman Dave Meniketti’s vocals were as strong as ever when Y&T burst onstage with “Hang ‘em High” off of the ‘Mean Streak’ album. The title track from that same record similarly received a scorching reception, as did “Midnight in Tokyo” and “I Want Your Money.”
The melodies were tight and infectious as Y&T tore through “Summertime Girls” and “L.A. Rocks.” Such names as Ira Black (Metal Church, Lizzy Borden) and Bjorn Englen (Yngwie Malmsteen, Dio Disciples) could be found among the crowd singing right along to “Shine On” and “I Believe in You” in this intimate setting.
Concluding with “Beautiful Dream” off of the 1976 ‘Yesterday and Today’ album and “Forever” from 1982’s ‘Black Tiger,’ Y&T certainly did not disappoint during their return to West Hollywood.
Y&T Setlist 9/10/15 West Hollywood, CA Whisky a Go Go
Hang ’em High
Midnight in Tokyo
Cold Day in Hell
I Believe in You
All American Boy
I Want Your Money
I’m Coming Home
The Hard Way