Free Bird Lives

Take a deep breath. That is the smell of Southern Rock. Around these parts, it wafts through the air like the odor of two-day-old chicken-fried steak. Few would debate that the flagship store of the Southern Rock chain is Jacksonville, Florida's Lynyrd Skynyrd. They did it first, did it bigger and probably did it best. Those long-haired honky-tonk hooligans had a big sound featuring three guitars and two drummers. And their songs about bar room brawls and fighting to defend your Southern heritage would make any Confederate soldier's mama proud. A few years into their career, the sweaty juggernaut unleashed a legendary song that represents the alpha and omega of classic rock in one catchy nine-minute ditty. That song is "Free Bird" (a name that has surpassed its origin as a song title to become an indie-rock catcall and symbol of 1970s musical excess). The band broke up initially after a tragic plane crash in 1977 took the life of singer Ronnie Van Zant and other key band members. They reformed in 1987 as a traveling greatest hits revue, a la The Beach Boys, and still draw crowds and break hearts at trailer parks and arenas nationwide. Come smell that smell as Lynyrd Skynyrd rocks Nokia Theatre at Grand Prairie 8 p.m. Friday. Visit for details.
Fri., Oct. 12, 8 p.m., 2007


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