Recorded on June 30, 1985 at the Florida Theater in Jacksonville, during the tour promoting his Geffen album Van Zant, this concert is a superb showcase for Johnny Van Zant's singing and the high-powered playing of his band, which generates a higher wattage than Lynyrd Skynyrd. The interplay between Robbie Gay's and Eric Lundgren's guitars is stunning, and the only player shortchanged amid these surroundings is Danny Clausman on bass, who is rather eclipsed. Opening with the urgent, surging rocker "Two Plus Two," the show gets better with the melodic "Midnight Sensation." The material covered includes songs from across Van Zant's history, going back to the poignant "Standing In the Darkness" and the radiant, doom-laden "No More Dirty Deals" -- all of it is superior here to the previously available studio renditions. The singer reveals himself as a charismatic presence, the band is as solid as they come, and the sound is close and crunchy, ideal for this pair of guitarists. A killer recording, no two ways about it, and proof for anyone who needed it that Johnny Van Zant has more to him than just being the keeper of his brother's legacy.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Bruce Eder