& Today: Lynyrd Skynyrd
By Zane Ewton
Lynyrd Skynyrd is celebrating 30 years
of rock and roll. Arguably, the definitive southern rock band, Skynyrd
has marked this occasion with the release of a new live album.
Lyve: The Vicious Cycle Tour was
recorded in Antioch Tennessee on July 11, 2003, the band performed songs
covering all 30 years and each Skynyrd incarnation.
The band began in Jacksonville, Florida
when high school friends Ronnie Van Zant, Allen Collins, Gary Rossington,
Leon Wilkerson and Billy Powell started playing clubs throughout the south.
Leonard Skinner, the high school gym teacher, lent the inspiration for
what would become the band’s name.
The 1973 debut album, Pronounced Leh-Nerd
Skin-Nerd, yielded several Skynyrd classics. Pronounced
has the most representation in this live set and receives the best crowd
response with songs like “Simple Man”, “Tuesday’s Gone”, “Mississippi Kid”,
“Gimme Three Steps” and “Freebird”.
Skynyrd continued to pick up steam with
a constant touring schedule and consistently good albums. In 1977,
the with the release of the band’s sixth album, Street Survivors,
the band was involved in an accident when their chartered plane crashed
, due to either a fuel shortage or mechanical problems. Ronnie Van
Zant, Steve Gaines and his sister Cassie died in the crash. Following
the accident, Street Survivors became one of the band’s most successful
albums and the remaining members of the band decided to call it a day.
Ten years later in 1987, the remaining
members reformed Lynyrd Skynyrd with Johnny Van Zant, Ronnie’s younger
brother, as the new vocalist. Somewhat of a revolving door lineup
has plagued the band since, but they have still managed to consistently
tour through the nineties.
Lynyrd Skynyrd has seen all the highs and
lows that a rock and roll band could ever imagine. After 30 years,
the current lineup and the new live album feel relaxed. The life
of a hard-driving, hard-living rock and roll band seems to be behind them.
The band is comfortable with the songs
in their repertoire. There is no sense of urgency of hunger that
can drive a rocking live band. The musicianship on Lyve is definitely
top notch, something that Skynyrd could always be proud of and the songs
are of the “greatest hits” variety.
“Sweet Home Alabama” swings with southern
comfort and the 12 minute “Freebird”, with extended piano intro and chirping
birds, is as overindulgent as ever. Newer songs “That’s How I like
It” and “Red White and Blue” find themselves right in the mix and hold
up as moments that aren’t just for a pre-“What’s Your Name” run to the
Lyve is an album more for the Skynyrd collector,
a thank you note to the fans who have stuck around. People newer
to the group will find their money better spent on Pronounced Leh-Nerd
Skin-Nerd or Street Survivors.
Skynyrd – Lyve: The Vicious Cycle Tour
That's How I Like It
What's Your Name
I Know A Little
Pick 'Em Up
Red White & Blue
Down South Jukin'
Gimme Back My Bullets
Ballad Of Curtis Loew, The
Gimme Three Steps
Call Me The Breeze
Sweet Home Alabama
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