Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Stars, bars & blunt-force trauma

Lynyrd Skynyrd is one banana peel shy of being a tribute act.

The band that performed outdoors at The LC in Columbus last night featured only one original member -- that would be guitarist Gary Rossington. Johnny Van Zant stands in for late brother Ronnie these days so that the group can claim some credible measure of lineage.

But really, other than the music itself, this wasn't Skynyrd.
It was a helluva show anyway. For better (pride) and worse (prejudice) the battle flag of the Confederacy was everywhere, on stage and off, and the players wielded the Skynyrd songbook like the musical bludgeon it is. This morning my ears have stopped bleeding but they're still ringing.

I don't need to name the encore, do I? Everyone ought to hear that classic performed live and authentically, even by a latter-day Skynyrd.

The opening act, McGuffey Lane, was stellar, especially the guitar work. The jam at the end of "Green Country Mountains" -- Kevin Reed on harp, Mike Nugen and John Schwab on guitars -- was the stuff of goosebumps.

All in all, it was a great gig. The way I see it, sometimes a near-tribute is a clear winner.