by Lisa Schreiner
“There ain’t nothin’ like a Skynyrd crowd, man,” Lynyrd Skynyrd front man Johnny Van Zant proclaimed more than a handful of times as the band tore through a setlist of hits at the intimate NYCB Theatre at Westbury on Long Island. Though the southern rock pioneers have been around for over 40 years, they played as if they were all still in their 20’s. These guys (and gals) love to play and it shows through their interaction with not only the crowd, but with each other.
Opening with “Call Me the Breeze,” the band took the in-the-round, spinning stage with gusto, the crowd immediately joining in to sing along. Johnny Van Zant, with his trademark scarved microphone, delivered hit after hit with his distinctive southern twang. Band members Gary Rossington (guitar), Rickey Medlocke (guitar), Michael Cartellone (drums), Mark Matejka (guitar), Peter Keys (keyboards), Johnny Colt (bass), Dale Krantz-Rossington (back up vocals) and Carol Chase (back up vocals) together with Van Zant created a seamless performance to the multi-generational audience. Fan favorites “Sweet Home Alabama”, “That Smell”, “Simple Man” and “Gimme Three Steps” kept the 90 minute show rolling right up until the staple of every Lynyrd Skynyrd performance: “Free Bird”. There’s a certain je ne sais quoi about witnessing a performance of “Free Bird” live that one should experience, no matter your preference of music.
Lynyrd Skynyrd has certainly gone through trials and tribulations, but they continue to solider on to bring their music to the masses. As Johnny Van Zant noted during the show, there were at least three generations of Skynyrd fans in the crowd and that alone shows what their music has done and continues to do. What the late Ronnie Van Zant started, his little brother honorably carries on.
You can check out Lynyrd Skynyrd summer tour dates here.
Sonic Sound Magazine would like to thank the staff at the NYCB Theatre at Westbury for their hospitality. If you are interested in seeing upcoming shows at the theatre, you can view their full event schedule on their official site.
Call Me the Breeze
What’s Your Name
Don’t Ask Me No Questions
Gimme Back My Bullets
The Needle and the Spoon
I Need You
Saturday Night Special
Gimme Three Steps
Sweet Home Alabama