Artpark in Lewiston, NY heard that familiar yell last Tuesday, “Skynyrd’s in the house!” Lead singer Johnny Van Zandt’s intro meant a packed house was in for some sweet southern rock sounds for the next two and a half hours. The band has played at this venue numerous times over the last handful of years and you can almost call it second home for them.

Lynyrd Skynyrd has been the voice of the southern rock genre since their inception in 1970. Surviving many trials and unfortunate events like the plane crash in 1977 that killed three band members and injured six others, Skynyrd has continued to tour virtually non-stop. Original guitarist Gary Rossington is the only founding member left in the band. Johnny Van Zandt
is the younger brother of original singer Ronny Van Zandt. The outdoor amphitheater at Artpark was overflowing with eager Skynyrd fans sporting band t-shirts and the popular Confederate flag sewn to a denim vest. The show kicked off with the low gear “Working for MCA” and “What’s Your Name?” The crowd was immediately into it and sang every word with the band
encouraging every voice. The first few notes of “Saturday Night Special” picked up the crowd a little more as their voices grew louder with each verse. “Down South Jukin” and “That Smell” then had audience members dancing in the aisles. The uptempo “I Know A Little” saw the crowd break into an outright hoedown. Guys were swinging their girls around the open
lawn and hands were in the air clapping along. The iconic tribute to mom “Simple Man” slowed the pace down to the point where couples were spotted slow dancing wherever there was space. Van Zandt encouraged crowd participation on every tune and the crowd responded heartily. Skynyrd concerts have become like family gatherings when old friends would get
together to hear some of their favorite music and remember the good times of the early 70’s.

The party was back on with the closing blend of “Gimme Three Steps,” “Call Me The Breeze” and “Sweet Home Alabama.” Rossington and fellow guitarists Rickey Medlocke and Mark Matejka lined up at the front of the stage and plowed through the songs with wild solos, jumping with every note. As the band left the stage, the crowd cheered and begged for more. Everybody knew what was coming. Peter Keys was back out onstage first at the piano with the first few notes of the encore of “Freebird” and the crowd nearly exploded. The live version is over ten minutes long and left the crowd a heaping, sweaty mess, a few even in tears. This night came to a close and as the crowd lingered, more Skynyrd tunes could be heard blasting out of the cars in the parking lot waiting in line to exit. The music of Lynyrd Skynyrd lives on and their return is surely going to bring another faithful crowd to hear them once again.

Setlist:

Working for MCA
What’s Your Name?
You Got That Right
Saturday Night Special
Down South Jukin’
That Smell
I Know a Little
Simple Man
Gimme Back My Bullets
Needle and Spoon
Tuesday’s Gone
Gimme Three Steps
Call Me The Breeze
Sweet Home Alabama

Encore:

Freebird

 

Photo Gallery

Lynyrd-Skynyrd-2238

We would like to thank Maria Hays for the credentials to review the show.

About The Author Gus

My first opportunity to write about music was with Kissunderground, featuring just one band (KISS). In 2006, I started working for another outlet that showcased more musicians. It was a great experience for me at the time. I personally nailed down some great interviews during my time at glam-metal.com (Paul Stanley, Jonathan Davis, Slash and Sully Erna to name a few). In early 2009, I decided to venture out on my own with the idea of creating a website that has all the offerings that a reader would want in a music review website. That's when Backstageaxxess.com began. I’m so proud of what was created here and of our staff that brings it to you. Each one offers a diverse opinion and a creative ability to share it in a unique way. We are so lucky to have them here. When discussing making a list of favorite shows with the staff, I also found it hard to narrow that list down to a select handful of shows. Everyone experiences a concert in their own terms, whether it’s the show itself, maybe it’s the people you met there and the new friendships created, or maybe it was meeting the artist at the show. For my criteria, I tried to stick to just the show itself, but again, it was sometimes hard to do. My first concert was Sammy Hagar’s first tour with Van Halen at the Niagara Falls Convention Center, Niagara Falls, NY, on August 30, 1986. My favorites are as follows: 1. Kiss – Tiger Stadium - Detroit, Michigan 6/28/96 2. SARS (Rolling Stones, AC/DC, Rush, and handful of other bands) - Downsview Park – Toronto, Ontario 7/30/03 3. Paul McCartney (every McCartney show I saw was awesome, but Iwent with my first show) Air Canada Centre -Toronto, Ontario 10/10/05 4. Motley Crue – Memorial Auditorium – Buffalo, NY 12/19/89 5. Kid Rock – Tweeter Center - Camden, New Jersey 3/25/06 The honorable mentions would be any McCartney show (The Joint at the Hard Rock, Las Vegas, Nevada, April 2009 or Air Canada Centre Toronto, Ontario 8/10/10), Prince (Club 2112) at the Rio Hotel, Las Vegas 12/30/07, Heart (Pulse Lounge * only 200 people) Hilton Hotel, Anaheim, California, January 21,2008, Monsters of Rock (Van Halen, Scorpions, Metallica, Dokken, and Kingdom Come) Rich Stadium, Orchard Park, NY 6/19/88 and the Rocklahoma Festival (Queensryche, Lita Ford, Triumph, etc.). Also, Cher (with my mom) at the Blue Cross Arena Rochester, NY, November 22, 2004.