JAM Magazine Concert Reviews

October 11, 2013
Billy Bob's Texas
Fort Worth, TX USA
Review by Andy Laudano
Photos by Jeff Jones

38 Special

Them Wild Eyed Southern Boys Return To Cowtown

The glory of Southern Rock was alive and well at the historic Billy Bob's Texas as Jacksonville, Florida's "Wild Eyed Southern Boys," 38 Special rocked the house. Back in the 70's the legendary Ronnie Van Zant and Lynyrd Skynyrd were the kings of Southern Rock, but the 80's were dominated by his little brother, Donnie Van Zant's band, 38 Special. You couldn't turn on a radio or turn on MTV without hearing one of their songs or seeing one of their videos. They even had hit songs in movie soundtracks, "Teacher, Teacher" from Teachers and "Back To Paradise" from Revenge Of The Nerds II: Nerds In Paradise.

38 Special continues to tour and put out new albums, including their latest, Live From Texas. It was only fitting that the current tour bring them back to the State where the album was recorded. Unfortunately, it would be without co-founder/vocalist Van Zant, who is currently unable to tour due to nerve damage to his inner ear. Luckily, co-founder, guitarist and co-lead singer, Don Barnes was more than able to step up to the plate. After all, he did sing lead on most of the band's biggest hits.

The show opened appropriately enough with "Rockin' Into The Night" and that's exactly what they proceeded to do. In fact, 38 Special have so many hits that they had to squeeze nearly a dozen together in a huge medley including, "Somebody Like You," "You Keep Running Away," "Like No Other Night," and "Second Chance" which was sung by keyboardist Bobby Capps. Other highlights included, "Back Where You Belong," "Fantasy Girl" and a cover of Z.Z. Top's "Just Got Paid."By the time the big guns came out, "If I'd Been The One" and "Caught Up In You," many in the crowd were on their feet and dancing in the aisles.

For the first encore the stage filled with smoke, the strobes flashed and the sound system mimicked a thunderstorm as band took the stage to play "Chain Lightning." Next came the band's biggest hit, "Hold On Loosely" and a great cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Travelin' Band" to end a great night of rock and roll.