Lyve - The Vicious Cycle Tour
Lynyrd Skynyrd is riding the wave of a true career resurgence. Not since the days of Ronnie Van Zant has the band been so heavily in the public eye. Last year’s Vicious Cycle was hailed by critics as the bands best work in years, and a world tour and hit single (“Red, White, and Blue”) pushed record sales and ticket sales higher and higher. Lyve - The Vicious Cycle Tour was released earlier this year as a concert DVD. Now, the tour has been immortalized once again on audio CD, with an awesome, high energy 2-CD set.
I’ve played this one several times, at various volume levels, and I recommend playing it loud. From the opening “That’s How I Like It,” to Skynyrd classics such as “Simple Man,” “That Smell” and “Double Trouble,” the band manages to combine the best of the old with the best of the new.
Skynyrd brings in both a horn section and a string section, which turns “Tuesday’s Gone” into high art. (Although even stripped down to gutstring guitar and voice it is still an awesome tune).
It is a true pleasure to hear lesser performed LS tunes live, like “Mississippi Kid” and “The Ballad of Curtis Loew,” and the band is in top form. Gary Rossington, Billy Powell and Johnny Van Zant are all at the top of their respective games, and Rickey Medlocke and Hughie Thomasson continue to bring Outlaws/Blackfoot energy to the party. Drummer Michael Cartelone and new bassist Ean Evans (who replaced the recently deceased Leon Wilkeson) are excellent. As always, Dale Krantz Rossington and Carol Chase sing their hearts out. Lyve is a red-hot concert recording, and as if you have to ask, “Free Bird” rocks to high heaven.
-Michael Buffalo Smith