GUITAR & VOCALS: Don
After more than two 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 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 vocalist/guitarist DON BARNES. While most associate the group with its arena-rock '80s pop smashes, these days the band's harder edge is what is immediately noticeable. Barnes says it's all about maintaining the intensity that they deliver in their live shows.
Since 1975, the band has released more than 15 albums and from the start, they've toured relentlessly. And the magic's still there, says Van Zant. "It's a high I can't describe to you. It's almost like flying. When I walk up those steps to that stage and hear that audience roar, sometimes I feel like Don and I don't even have to sing, because the crowds are so vocal."
Says Barnes, "We've always carried an attitude that we're going out there to win and God help whoever has to follow us, you know? We've never taken a backseat to anyone. We take the crowd for a ride and try to end up triumphant every night. And since we've had the good fortune to have a lot of hit songs over the years, we just line 'em up and shoot 'em down. By the end of the show, they're completely exhausted along with us."