by Robert Bell
8 p.m. Magic Springs' Timberwood Amphitheater. $50-$60.
You know, I ain't much for their politics (rebel flags and Fox News BS all the way) and "Free Bird" could never be played again and it'd be just fine with me, but I will cop to digging some Lynyrd Skynyrd. The original pre-crash albums are all solid, even if some of the tunes have been played to death. But Skynyrd nowadays? Meh. The band undoubtedly didn't make a great impression at last year's Riverfest.
Times contributor Jim Harris panned the show, which was supposed to be a two-hour set, but was apparently a phoned-in snoozer. The band played for an hour, left the stage, then came back for "a rote version of 'Free Bird' before heading back to their bus (the one with the stars and bars flag and 'God and Guns' emblazoned on the side), having done their obligatory 75 minutes," Harris wrote. "I've seen Lynyrd Skynyrd on one side or the other of the river, indoors and out, at least a dozen times, and this show would rate OK, if not underwhelming — a going-through-the-motions effort with lead singer Johnny Van Zant, youngest brother of group co-founder, the late Ronnie Van Zant, lacking his usual raucous pep."
Maybe it was just an off night, and now the band is primed and ready to tear through some inspired performances. I wouldn't be surprised if Skynyrd circa 2013 is more about cashing in on a long-ago legacy while they still can, but I bet most diehards won't be so critical.