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Mandalay Bay Casino; Las Vegas, NV; 12/07/99

Reviewed by Richard Fenkel

Writing and performing classic rock music is nothing new for Lynyrd Skynyrd. Since the tragic plane crash in October of 1977 (which led to the untimely death of Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines, and Casey Gaines) to the paralysis and ultimate death of Allen Collins to their return to the stage ten years later, Lynyrd Skynyrd has kept their music alive with the induction of Johnny Van Zant, the younger brother of the late, great Ronnie Van Zant.

But enough of the history lesson. My friend Jen and I awaited anxiously for the start of the show. Then came the moment of truth when the band hit the stage with blazing guitars, timeless songs, and more than a little Southern pride. No props or gimmicks here; the boys just played all of the fans' favorites.

Lynyrd Skynyrd performed such traditional hits such as, "Gimme Three Steps," "Sweet Home Alabama" and their National Anthem. No, not the Star Spangled Banner, but, of course, "Freebird." From Billy Powell's piano intro to the frenzied guitar playing at the end of this fourteen minute song, "Freebird" is and always will be classified as a timeless song. Hence the term classic rock! 

Lynyrd Skynyrd also performed a few songs from their new release, "Edge Of Forever." The first single, "'Workin'" was performed to an impressive response. The fans singing and dancing to the new sounds of Skynyrd shows that the spirit is preserved not just in the band's performance but also in the new music.

Guitarist Rickey Medlock was full of energy on stage. Exhibiting good stage presence and constantly moving around the stage helped induce the audience into a dancing free for all. Van Zant's vocals were on fire. His voice and interaction with the crowd proves time and again that Skynyrd is not just a band of the past but still a band with a bright future.

It is obvious that Ronnies' spirit lives on today in the music of the current Lynyrd Skynyrd. So I conclude that there is no longer a need to ponder the question, "If I leave here tomorrow will you still remember me?"

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Copyright 1999 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 23 Aug 2016 22:57:16 -0400.