No one screamed ‘Freebird.’
Not one person at the jam-packed Stone Pony Summer Stage screamed out one of the most cliche lines in concert history. And that’s because Lynyrd Skynyrd, the men behind the most famous rock ‘n’ roll epic of all-time, had the entire audience eating out of the palm of their hand. (If you’ve never been to the Stone Pony Summer Stage before, I highly recommend it. It’s spacious, it’s got plenty of places to grab a beer or something quick to eat, there’s bathrooms at the ready and the new “press box” stadium seating at the back of the house add a whole new dimension to the venue. Also, if things get too crowded for you, you can always retreat inside the Pony itself for a drink or bathroom break.)
From the moment they swaggered on stage, Skynyrd owned Asbury Park. That’s right, not just The Stone Pony Summer Stage, but Asbury Park. As I left the venue to return my photo gear to my jeep, I was eye witness to hundreds of people on the Asbury Park Boardwalk and on the various rooftops bars dancing, swinging and swaying as if they were in the concert grounds. Never before have I witnessed this during a concert in Asbury.
And frankly, after hearing Skynyrd perform, it comes as no surprise. These guys are tight as all hell. They melt faces, shake souls and rock worlds. They kill it with every single tune they perform. This isn’t some hit machine that goes through the motions of ‘playing the hits.’ No, this version arguably one of the greatest Southern rock bands ever to walk God’s green earth, lay it all on the line with every song. They shred, they saunter, they dominate the stage. These are true rock stars, that despite their age, can still tear down a house and kill it like musicians half their age.
I had the absolute honor to be within centimeters of these legends as they performed and document the night through my lens.
Workin’ for MCA
I Ain’t the One
Call Me the Breeze (J.J. Cale cover)
What’s Your Name
Gimme Back My Bullets
Down South Jukin’
I Know a Little
Saturday Night Special
Gimme Three Steps
Sweet Home Alabama
Bill Bodkin is the Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder of Pop-Break. He can be read weekly on Trailer Tuesday and Singles Party, weekly reviews on Mad Men, Boardwalk Empire, Hannibal, Law & Order: SVU and regular contributions throughout the week with reviews and interviews. His goal is to write 500 stories this year. He is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism & English and currently works in the world of political polling. He’s the reason there’s so much wrestling on the site and is beyond excited to be a Dad this coming December. Follow him on Twitter: @PopBreakDotCom