Review and Photography by Danielle Boise
“We love you guys. God Bless you! Thank you for supporting Lynyrd Skynyrd. Let’s keep it going for another 40 years.” – Johnny Van Zant
The musical influence of Skynyrd ricocheted across genres, from Southern Rock to Country and Rock ‘n’ Roll all came out to honor the godfathers of Southern Rock on Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014. A day that the city of Atlanta proclaimed as “Lynyrd Skynyrd Day.” A collection of musical greats, heavy hitters in their own right, took the stage at The Fox Theatre to honor and celebrate the magic and wonder of Lynyrd Skynyrd. Acts such as Trace Adkins, Alabama, Gregg Allman, Charlie Daniels, Peter Frampton, Warren Haynes, John Hiatt, Randy Houser, Jason Isbell, Jamey Johnson, Al Kooper, Aaron Lewis, moe., Gov’t Mule, O.A.R., Robert Randolph, Blackberry Smoke, Cheap Trick, Donnie Van Zant and of course, Lynyrd Skynyrd themselves.
The roots of Southern Rock shined at the Fox Theatre as “One More Time For The Fans” paid tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd. County star Randy Houser started the night off with “Whiskey Rock A Roller.” The ever soulful, Robert Randolph was up next as he performed “You Got That Right,” followed by the hard rocking Aaron Lewis putting his own twist on “Saturday Night Special.” Georgia’s own Blackberry Smoke illuminated with “Workin’ for MCA.” O.A.R. infused their own rock roots into “Don’t Ask Me No Questions.” It was perfection to see Cheap Trick perform “Gimme Back My Bullets.” The ever so wonderful American singer, songwriter John Hiatt’s rendition of “Ballad of Curtis Lowe” was a moving moment. “It’s an honor and a privilege to be part of this tonight,” declared moe.’s Chuck Garvey as they went into “Comin’ Home.”
By far one of my personal favorite moments of the night was when Gov’t Mule performed “Simple Man.” The nature of the song and the raw power in which Gov’t Mule pour their souls into the song left me speechless. “It’s was an honor to be here tonight and play one of my favorite songs” declared Warren Haynes right before he exited the stage before intermission.
The first half of the show, while each song out did the previous one, ran a bit long, as they had to break down and set up between each act. When the intermission was over, the second half flew by in record time; the house band was on stage for most of the remainder of the night.
Warren Haynes returned to the stage after intermission with “That Smell.” Country act Jamey Johnson followed him up with “Tabulaturi.” Jason Isbell joined the stage next for his rendition of “I Know A Little.” Musical icon Peter Frampton never stopped smiling as he performed “Call Me The Breeze.” The ever so humble country star Trace Adkins graced the stage with “What’s Your Name.” Donnie Van Zant and Charlie Daniels sang “Down South Jukin” as a duo. With mellow grace, Gregg Allman serenaded the venue with “Tuesday’s Gone,” and was proceeded by Alabama, as they came out in all their glory and did “Gimme Me Three Steps.”
“These guys are making history here tonight. 40 years ago, Lynyrd Skynyrd recorded One More From The Road on this very stage” said the President of The Fox Theatre, Allan C. Vella, to the crowd of enthusiastic fans as he presented Lynyrd Skynyrd with the Marquee Award, an award that is given to artists that come to the Fox and make history. The live recording of One More From The Road would ultimately go platinum and helped save the beloved Fox Theatre from being demolished.
“What a great, great night in Atlanta, Georgia tonight. We love each and every one of you. We call you our Lynyrd Nation.” – Johnny Van Zant
When Lynyrd Skynyrd finally came out at the end of the night, the theatre lit up an array of elation from the crowd of fans who had been singing along all night the numerous acts that preceded them. It was Skynyrd that people were there to see and were ever so happy to see them take the stage. Skynyrd had all the bands and artists come out to join in and turn “Sweet Home Alabama” into the ultimate jam session. Skynyrd followed up the infectious song with an ode to “Travelin’ Man.” With a projection screen running in the background as Ronnie Van Zant sang along with Johnny – it was a heartwarming moment to see. Of course you cannot end the night without “Free Bird,” and that’s exactly what Lynyrd Skynyrd did. They played as they paid tribute to their fallen members in pictures and words displayed on the screen in the background. It was a beautiful, somber moment; the perfect way to end the night.