Lynyrd Skynyrd - 30/05/2009

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Lynyrd Skynyrd - 30/05/2009

Postby Rockingbear » Tue Feb 22, 2011 7:47 am

Lynyrd Skynyrd


Manchester Apollo Saturday 30th May 2009

I will begin this review by confessing that I, unlike the majority of the capacity crowd, am not a die-hard Lynyrd Skynyrd fan. My main reason for attending the show was to accompany my step-son, James, by way of memory to our late departed friend Nigel, a lifelong fan, for whom we played “Freebird” at his funeral.

Support on the evening came from the very impressive Aynsley Lister; not too dissimilar from the excellent Joe Bonamassa. The set was short & sweet but went down well with an appreciative crowd. As previously mentioned there was a sell-out crowd comprising of all generations & not just the stereotype hill-billies that I was first expecting. Indeed, Gregg asked me, “Where’s the wedding?” referring to a group of fans standing close to us during the support act!

The PA announced that Lynyrd Skynyrd would be on stage in five minutes which turned out to be slightly longer as were treated to a full length version of Deep Purple’s “Highway Star”. The band, obviously aware that Gregg was in the house, hit the stage to the backing of AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” and into set-opener “Working For MCA” quickly followed by “Ain’t The One”.

The seven members, including original guitarist Gary Rossington, of the main band were then joined by Dale Krantz-Rossington & Carol Chase on backing vocals for “Saturday Night Special”. They remained on stage for the rest of the set. Next up was “Gimme Back My Bullets” & “What’s Your Name” before the very apt “That Smell”.

I don’t think the set-list has changed very much in the last twenty years but is just jammed full of classic Southern Rock tunes.

“Simple Man” was dedicated to all the sadly departed members of the Skynyrd family including recently deceased bass player Ean Evans (an original member) and keyboard player Billy Powell. The volume of the crowd singing on this track was incredible and a true highlight of the evening.

Johnny Van Zant then introduced a medley comprising of the following Skynyrd classics: “Whiskey Rock-A-Roller” / “Down South Jukin’” / “The Needle & The Spoon” & “Double Trouble”.

Three of my personal favourite Skynyrd songs followed: the sentimental “Tuesday’s Gone”, the fun “Gimme Three Steps” & the cool “Call Me The Breeze”. The set was then brought to a close with the classic “Sweet Home Alabama” where we all became honorary southerners!

The crowd was in a complete frenzy by this stage when Johnny Van Zant returned to the stage and asked us, “What to you want to hear?”

“Freebird” was the unanimous cry shouted by all inside the Apollo. Again I must confess that I always found this song to be a little over-rated (sacrilege I hear you say), however, tonight I finally got it, from the emotional beginning to the incredible finale with just a simply breath-taking solo from ex-Blackfoot axeman Ricky Medlocke.

In memory of our good friend Nigel Lodge.
Ol' 78
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