Photos and review of .38 Special at Hudson Gardens in Denver - Reverb

Live review: .38 Special @ Hudson Gardens

.38 Special remains, in a word, special — almost 38 years since they started rockin’ together. They’re still able to crank out their string of hits from the cassette tape era. At Hudson Gardens Sunday night, the “Wild-Eyed Southern Boys” performed a string of nostalgia-inducing songs from their 15 albums, many of them gold or platinum.

The crowd came to hear “Caught Up in You,” “Fantasy Girl,” “Back Where You Belong,” “Second Chance” and other smash hits popularized in the days when our musical options did not extend far beyond AM or FM radio.

Don Barnes maintains his vocal intensity. Gary Moffat pounded out a dramatic, old-school drum solo, his cymbals set high. Donnie Van Zant dedicated “Rebel to Rebel” to the memory of his late brother Ronnie Van Zant, the iconic singer and founder of Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Their short set — about 90 minutes — also included their classic “Rockin’ Into the Night,” yet there was no rocking into the night at Hudson Gardens. Though a pleasant, pastoral outdoor concert venue with barefoot grass, BBQ smoke, and $5 16-ounce bottles of beer, Hudson Gardens lacks lights, so audiences must split the scene prior to dark.

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Friday Jones Publishing will release Colleen Smith’s new book “Laid-Back Skier” in September 2011. Her novel “Glass Halo” was a finalist for the 2010 Santa Fe Literary Prize.

Christine Cool is a Denver photographer and a new contributor to Reverb.

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