Rock fans gathered at the Elks Theater Saturday night for a tribute to the music of Lynyrd Skynyrd, the legendary Southern rock band of the 60’s and 70’s. “LET’S GET CRAZY”, shouted Randy Archer, the lead vocalist of the tribute band, MR. SKYNYRD, as fans swarmed toward the stage to dance and cheer rock classics such as “Sweet Home, Alabama”, “Give Me Three Steps”, “Freebird”, and the iconic ode to the madness of drug addiction “That Smell”. The nine member tribute band, based in Tucson, was brought to the Elks by Lonely Street Productions. They delivered a 17 song playlist of high decibel music and a rockin’ good time for all.
From 1973 to 1977, beginning with the album “Lynyrd Skynyrd”, the band that pioneered the sound of Southern rock, produced five top selling albums, two double Platinums, two Platinums, and one Gold, along with a large number of hit singles that have become rock and roll standards. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006.
Early in their career Lynyrd Skynyrd developed a reputation as a raunchy, outlaw band for their celebration of whiskey, drugs, and fast living. Since none of the original band members was named Skynyrd, the name of the band has remained a mystery to fans and an enduring topic of rock trivia speculation. The most widely accepted version is that one of the founders of the band, guitarist Gary Rossington, named the band in mockery of one of his high school teachers, Leonard Skinner, who drove him to drop out of school over his long hair.
Following a tragic plane crash in 1977, in which several band members died, they disbanded. In 1987, after a hiatus of ten years, they reformed with several new members and have remained a top draw on the concert circuit ever since. As a band rooted in Southern Heritage, they adopted the Confederate flag as a trademark and have continued to display the stars and bars in their performances around the world as an expression of rebel spirit. In deference to political correctness, at last night’s Elks Theater performance, MR. SKYNYRD displayed the Stars and Stripes.
In a career spanning four decades, the legend and mystique of Lynyrd Skynyrd has remained undiminished. As recently as 2012, their last album, “A Dyin’ Breed” notched 14th place on Billboard’s top selling albums of the year. In 2018, current members of the band announced their retirement from live performances and are now completing their farewell tour.
In addition to lead vocalist, Randy Archer, last night’s performance of talented rockers included Robert Moldovan, Tom Coury, and Scott Barnett on guitars, Kevin Heiderman on bass, Mark “Doc” Holladay on keyboards, Rick Pierce on drums, and Debbie Moldovan and Julie Buck on backup vocals.
For 2019, Lonely Street Productions has brought a full calendar of concerts and tributes to legendary performers to the Elks Theater. Their next show, “Dream Lover: A Salute to the Music of Bobby Darin", is September 28th at 7 pm. Tickets can be purchased at Prescott Elks Theatre or by calling the Elks Theater box office at 928.777.1370.