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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Mic Check: Lynyrd Skynyrd at CSU’s Wolstein Center on Friday

Posted By on Wed, Apr 9, 2008 at 10:58 AM

Of course Lynyrd Skynyrd hasn’t been the same since the 1977 plane crash that wiped out a chunk of the band, including singer Ronnie Van Zant. That’s not really the point of the Rowdy Frynds Tour, which pairs a reconfigured Skynyrd – with Ronnie’s brother Johnny taking over mic duties – with fellow redneck Hank Williams Jr. The point is pure nostalgia. ... And that it delivers. Sort of. Johnny’s no Ronnie (check out the video above for the real thing in its prime). But he’s got the Southern swagger, the whiskey-soaked tone, and that fightin’ spirit down. And really, who needs more than that when you’re waxing nostalgic? We could care less for Bocephus, though we’ve had some great drunken sing-alongs of “Family Tradition” in Nashville bars over the years. But he’s never been able to back up his arrogance and tough-guy bullshit with good songs. So go get your beers and take your bathroom breaks during Willaims’ set. Just be back in time for Skynyrd. They’re not the Southern-rock kings they used to be. But they’re close. They waste little time on stuff people don’t want to hear. Their sets are typically packed with all the songs you know and love and have been toking up to for more than 30 years. And, yes, they still haul out “Free Bird” for 15 glorious minutes. -- Michael Gallucci Lynyrd Skynyrd performs as part of the Rowdy Frynds Tour at 7 p.m. Friday, April 11, at the Wolstein Center at Cleveland State University, 2000 Prospect Avenue. Tickets range from $40.50 to $70.50, available by calling 216-241-5555.

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