Eagle Rock Entertainment
All Access Rating: B+
|Lynyrd Skynyrd - Pronounced|
Leh-nerd Skin-nerd & Second Helping:
Live from Jacksonville at the Florida
Over two shows earlier this year at the Florida Theatre in the band's hometown of Jacksonville, Fla., the congregation in attendance saw a glorious revival of the band's self-titled debut, subtitled "Pronounced Leh-nerd Sky-nerd," on one evening and its sophomore effort Second Helping the next night – the joyous, engaging performances filmed brilliantly for a new live release available on DVD, Blu-ray and digital formats, as well as a DVD/2 CD set available at Wal-Mart.
Both seminal LPs from the early '70s are played with red-blooded passion and carefree panache by the current version of Lynyrd Skynyrd, led by lone original member Gary Rossington, singer Johnny Van Zant – younger brother of Ronnie Van Zant, who died in a tragic 1977 plane crash that decimated the band – and Rickey Medlocke, the blazing guitarist who co-founded Blackfoot.
From the wistful drawl and affecting melancholy of "Tuesday's Gone" and a nostalgic, affecting "The Ballad of Curtis Loew" to rambunctious hell-raisers "Gimme Three Steps" and "Call Me The Breeze," Skynyrd treats these songs as if they were treasured family heirlooms, dusting them off and making them shine and sparkle in an environment that's warm and vibrant. Smooth flowing camera work draws out the strong, defiant personalties and smirking charm always inherent in Skynyrd, no matter the era. Professionally done, albeit with an adoring admiration for Skynyrd's instrumental fire, shots frame and articulate the searing fret work of Rossington and Medlocke, catch Michael Cartellone in the act as he bashes away on the drums and follow the rollicking piano runs of Peter Keys until the party comes to a crashing end. There is cantankerous defiance and sincerity in "Don't Ask Me No Questions," "Simple Man" and "Sweet Home Alabama," and "Free Bird" sounds as transcendent as ever, while rarely performed tracks like "I Need You," "Mississippi Kid" and "Poison Whiskey" are welcomed like prodigal sons reappearing again after long absences.
If at times it seems as if Skynyrd is not as tight as they should be or they're low on fuel, their energy level noticeably waning, none of that detracts from rock 'n' roll that has a pure heart and that is as intoxicating as moonshine and just as potent.
– Peter Lindblad