This release captures American Southern Rock icons Lynyrd Skynyrd, as the title indicates, live at the Decades Rock Arena in Atlantic City, New Jersey. A little surprisingly, it is recorded in 'yankee' territory and not in their homeland of the deep South of the US. However, the crowd reaction is loud and raucous, nonetheless!
Skynyrd have had more than a few line up changes over the years, some through choice, but others forced in tragic circumstances, such as the plane crash in 1977 which killed three band members, and other recent fatalities. In fact, the list of former band members currently stands at 14! The lineup on this release includes founding member and guitarist Gary Rossington and vocalist Johnny van Zant, younger brother of Ronnie, who was killed in the aforementioned plane crash.
The album (which is available on CD, vinyl and digital download, as well as DVD and Blu-ray) kicks off with a superb version of the Skynyrd classic 'Workin' for MCA'. The band sound really tight and full of energy, and the mix is spot on with the piano coming through clearly, which adds to the overall groove of the track. The opener really sets the scene for the performance, which is high tempo and highly energetic; which is no mean feat given the ages of several of the performers. The band rattle off some of their best known compositions, including sublime versions of 'Gimme Three Steps', 'Saturday Night Special', 'Call Me The Breeze' and 'That Smell'.
Skynyrd include several guest artists for this performance and they magnanimously allow each of them to air their own material alongside themselves. Bo Bice, runner up to Carrie Underwood (a Country megastar in the States) in American idol (apparently!) performs 'The Real Thing'; 3 Doors Down play their biggest hit 'Kryptonite' and Hank Williams Jr gives an airing of an excellent version of 'Born To Boogie'.
Of course, no Lynyrd Skynyrd gig would be complete without the performance of their most well known songs, 'Sweet Home Alabama' (written in response to Neil Young's 'Southern Man' which was critical of some aspects of Southern life) and 'Freebird', which are reproduced here in stunning style, particularly the latter over 10 inspired minutes.
In all honesty, when I was given this release to review, I didn't know what to expect. Would I hear a tired, worn out band going through the motions? Actually, the truth couldn't be more different. This is a band that sounds like it's absolutely at the top of its game, powerful and able to captivate an audience. I saw Lynyrd Skynyrd live many years ago. On this evidence, I would absolutely pay to see them again!
LIVE IN ATLANTIC CITY
Review by Dave Uphill
21st Sept 2018
1) Workin? for MCA; 2) Red White and Blue (Love It or Leave); 3) Gimme Three Steps; 4) The Real Thing (feat. Bo Bice); 5) Gimme Back My Bullets; 6) Down South Jukin' (feat. Hank Williams Jr.); 7) Born to Boogie (feat. Hank Williams Jr.); 8) That Smell (feat. 3 Doors Down); 9) Kryptonite (feat. 3 Doors Down); 10) Saturday Night Special (feat. 3 Doors Down); 11) Call Me the Breeze (with All Special Guests); 12) Sweet Home Alabama (with All Special Guests); 13) Free Bird
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"...a band that sounds like it's absolutely at the top of its game, powerful and able to captivate an audience."