With a shockingly deep catalog of dozens of albums, and sales topping more than 30 million, Lynyrd Skynyrd remains a major cultural icon, still known to a remarkably wide audience for more than just their beloved Southern rock anthem “Sweet Home Alabama,” which, incidentally, lights up more than two million phones as a downloaded ringtone. The band was recently inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and the group’s latest album, Gods & Guns, debuted on the Billboard Top 20 at #18, representing their highest chart bow since 1977.
It’s against this backdrop that Live From Freedom Hall, one of the last concerts Lynyrd Skynyrd recorded with longtime members Billy Powell and Ean Evans, each of whom passed away last year, streets as both a concert CD and DVD. With Johnny Van Zant on vocals, providing plenty of arm pumps and crowd-stoking greetings (sample: “How ’bout that, Kentucky?”), this well-photographed show solidly showcases the band’s own inimitable brand of stubborn, scruffy, stubbled, deep-fried rock ‘n’ roll, in which boozy, armchair patriotism meets catchy melodies and riffs.
Gary Rossington and Rickey Medlocke man lead guitars, Powell takes care of keyboards, Evans is on bass, Michael Cartellone on drums, Mark Matejka on guitar and Dale Krantz Rossington and Carol Chase provide back-up vocals. “Travelin’ Man,” and “Workin'” open the set, followed by “What’s
Your Name?,” “That Smell,” and a nice rendition of “Simple Man.” The track listing for the rest of the album is as follows: “Down South Jukin’,” “The
Needle and the Spoon,” “Ballad of Curtis Loew,” “Gimme Back My
Bullets,” “Tuesday’s Gone,” “Red White and Blue,” “Gimme Three
Steps,” and “Call Me the Breeze.” “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Free Bird” aren’t played… just kidding! They close the show, of course, and send everyone home happy.
Benefiting from a superb transfer and unfussy direction that neither eschews timely cutting nor indulges in multiple angles willy-nilly, just for cutting’s sake, the DVD is available separately, in a regular plastic Amaray case in a 1.33:1 full frame presentation, with robust Dolby digital 5.1 surround sound and 2.0 stereo audio tracks, or as part of a CD-DVD deluxe set, which lets you take the concert on the road with you. To purchase the CD-DVD combo from Amazon, meanwhile, click here. The group is also on tour throughout the summer. For a full
schedule, and other information about the band, click here. B (Concert) C (Disc)