Freebird Live – one of the legacies of Lynyrd Skynyrd which resides across the road from the sand in Jacksonville Beach, Florida and the setting for this Thursday night rock show.

The line wrapped around the corner of the venue and down the street for Crash Midnight, Adelitas Way, and The Pretty Reckless. Fans sported their favorite band shirts and soaked in the ocean air as the line slowly filed into Freebird Live.

Crash Midnight, a five piece out of Boston, opened the show to a full crowd, even though more were still coming in the door as they progressed through their set. Their blend of classic rock n roll meets punk rock kept the crowd amped up and on their feet. These guys, who formed the band as the result of a late night car accident, had a great stage presence and energy that carried throughout the venue and warmed up the crowd for the rest of the show, the sign of a good opener.

Las Vegas act Adelitas Way were up next and proved these veterans know their way around a stage. This seasoned quartet made the most of the small space they had onstage, even though frontman Rick DeJesus made multiple comments about wanting to break some things to make room for the highly energetic group. The eight-song set list consisted of fan favorites such as “The Collapse” and “Criticize,” as well as three songs off their new album, Stuck, including their newest single “Dog on a Leash.” Adelitas Way closed out their set with their first ever single, “Invincible” and left the crowd wanting more.

Unfortunately for the crowd, headliner The Pretty Reckless didn’t deliver. The female fronted rock act from New York was just that – an act. It was painfully clear that singer Taylor Momsen was singing to a backup track throughout their set. The band took the stage without Momsen to begin the show and started tuning and messing with their instruments before the singer finally came out, clad in a silver, shining garment to the screams of the crowd. She then proceeded to stand front and center while the guitarists continued to tune their instruments and the stage was silent.

After a long few seconds, the band finally decided that they were ready to play and began the set with “Follow Me Down” and it was all downhill from there. Neither of the members moved much from their original positions when they first took the stage at Freebird Live. While some of the songs like “Sweet Things,” “Heaven Knows,” and “Going to Hell” got the crowd pumped and the fans singing along, Momsen’s use of her microphone stand, bassist, and guitarist as props in her burlesque show were surely to distract from the fact that she wasn’t actually performing.  Momsen’s hair covered her face and she stood in front of the microphone stand for the majority of the show like a “Zombie,” an aptly named song The Pretty Reckless played that night. The few times her face was in clear view, her lips didn’t quite match up to the track in the background. Though she may have sung along to the track with her actual voice a few times, the acting was a disappointment, especially from such a staple as Cindy Lou Who.  Maybe she shouldn’t have quit her day job.

The Pretty Reckless
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Adelitas Way
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Crash Midnight
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Freebird Live
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About The Author

Julie Goldstein is a 25 year old rock fanatic residing in Jacksonville, Florida. The first concert she ever attended was Evanescence back in 2007 where she became mesmerized by Amy Lee's stage presence. While attending college at the University of Florida for a bachelors degree in English, she saw Halestorm live in 2009 where Lzzy Hale awoke something in her that brought on a calling for music journalism. Julie has since gone from that small club show with her little point-and-shoot Sony to sold out, two day rock festivals behind the barricade with her Nikon DSLR and interviewing top acts such as Lacuna Coil, Sick Puppies, and Butcher Babies. She runs her own website at www.backstagevips.com where fans can take a step backstage for artist interviews, cd reviews, and concert photography.

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