Johnny Van Zant - vocals; Dan Clausman - bass; Robbie Gay - guitar; Eric Lundgren - guitar; Ronnie Clausman - drums; Brian Heatherington - keyboards
Hailing from Jacksonville, Florida, Johnny Van Zant and his band tried picking up some of the legacy that his older brother's band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, left behind when they suffered a plane crash in 1977. More hair metal than Southern Rock, the younger Van Zant had such distinct vocal chops that it was only natural that his project was long viewed as the successor to the "Free Bird" heritage. That would come full circle when he was recruited to rebuild Lynyrd Skynyrd a decade after this show.
The band never had any landmark tracks ("Standing In The Darkness," which is featured here, was written about his late brother and is his most memorable song); but there are some strong entries featured in this show, among them: "Rhythm And Blues," "Put My Trust In You," and a decent but certainly secondary cover of the Allman Brothers' "Statesboro Blues."
Johnny Van Zant had a budding rock solo career that was just beginning when the Skynyrd plane crashed in 1977. The notoriety he received from being Ronnie's youngest brother kept the momentum going on his own solo career for a few years after that. Van Zant continued to record solo records and tour with this band through 1987. By then, this style of music had fallen out of favor with outlets like MTV and work began to slow down. Van Zant ultimately quit music and began driving a truck.
When the surviving members of Skynyrd decided to reform and tap Johnny Van Zant for the lead vocalist spot, there was apprehension from fans and critics alike. The pairing was an obvious choice because Skynyrd has carried on as one of the most successful classic bands of all time.
Though he continues to release the occasional solo album, he has seen the biggest success outside of Lynyrd Skynyrd by way of a country music project done with his other brother, Donnie, in which he's revived the Van Zant band name.