It’s hard to believe but 38 Special will begin working in their fifth decade come 2010. In 2009, their profile was elevated by their inclusion in the Can’t Stop Rockin tour with Styx and REO Speedwagon. When the lights went down on their show on June 24, 2009 at the PNC Arts Center in Holmdel, New Jersey their 45-minute opening slot was loaded with many of the radio hits that made the boys from Jacksonville, Florida number one with a bullet.
Donnie Van Zant – keeping the family business alive!
38 Special formed in 1975 when Donnie Van Zant (younger brother of the late Lynyrd Skynyrd founder and singer Ronnie Van Zant, and the older brother of present Lynyrd Skynyrd singer Johnny Van Zant) and Don Barnes teamed up to create their own take on the Southern rock sound. Eventually, the band added polish and pop to the usual grit associated with the genre and they hit upon a successful formula resulting in several hit singles between 1981 and 1991.
Donnie Van Zant and Don Barnes co-founded 38 Special in their hometown of Jacksonville, Florida and have been touring relentlessly for the past 30 years. In its early days, the band built its reputation with its brand of Southern boogie and blues-rock before transforming into a more arena-rock-friendly style, selling millions of albums and garnering fans worldwide. Since 1975, the band has released more than 15 albums, most of which reached gold or platinum status.
Don Barnes and Donnie Van Zant on stage in New Jersey.
Among 38 Special’s best-known songs are “Hold on Loosely,” “Caught Up in You”, “Second Chance”, and “Rockin’ into the Night”. After more than three decades together, 38 Special is still playing more than 100 shows per year. And at every one of them, thousands of audience members are completely blindsided by the explosive power and muscle of the band’s performance. “When we come out, people are like, ‘Whoa! It’s like a freight train rolling over them…'” says Barnes.
The veteran rockers opened with a solid version of “Rockin’ Into the Night” and finished up strong with a double shot of “Caught Up In You” into “Hold On Loosely”. In between they rocked the night with energy, enthusiasm and efficiency and proved to be a strong opener for the CSR Tour. We hope their train keeps rolling along so we can catch them at another destination down the road sometime soon.
.38 Special Setlist:
Rockin’ Into the Night
20th Century Fox
Back Where You Belong
Wild-Eyed Southern Boys
Medley: Teacher, Teacher / Stone Cold Believer / Like No Other Night / Second Chance
Caught Up In You
Hold On Loosely
Danny Chauncey and Larry Junstrom add firepower to the potent 38 Special line-up.