"Skynyrd Takes Flight Too Soon"?
November 09, 2009 5:02:21 AM UTC Post #1

(Funny how two people can look at the same thing, and see it differently).

By PHIL LUCIANO (pluciano@pjstar.com)
Journal Star
Posted Nov 08, 2009 @ 09:28 PM

Like most country-rock bands, Lynyrd Skynyrd extols down-home traditions such as patriotism, faith and simplicity.

But what about the time-honored belief of giving the customer his dollar's worth?

To be sure, Skynyrd delivered a solid, if predictable, show Saturday at the U.S. Cellular Coliseum. But just 85 minutes? Including encore? And just one encore?

Mind you, the itinerary had Skynyrd slated to perform from 8:45 to 10:30 p.m. But they were off the stage and headed to an awaiting stretch limo by 10:10. Moreover, frontman Johnny Van Zant had repeatedly yammered to the crowd about the thrill of all-out partying on a Saturday night. But the show was over not long after the evening news had begun. Did Skynyrd need to pick up the kids at the baby sitter early or something?

Some 4,000 fans had shelled out upwards of $70 a seat each. That's not far from a buck a minute. At that rate, a performer like Bruce Springsteen would be a billionaire.

Further, for some reason, the band did a medley of "Whiskey Rock A Roller," "Down South Jukin'" and "The Needle and the Spoon" - why not play the entire tunes? It's not as if time was a factor. And there certainly were songs left off the set list - "Tuesday's Gone," "The Ballad of Curtis Lowe" - that could've rounded out the show nicely.

The band certainly seemed energized. The seven-man outfit was tight, with nice guitar work by Rickey Medlocke. Medlocke, the former frontman for Blackfoot, briefly played drums for Skynyrd in 1970 and now handles its lead-guitar duties. The craggy scarecrow of a man stood front and center most of the night, attacking his six-string with gusto and precision. During "Call Me the Breeze," he played a few notes with his teeth, but slipped once and recoiled, smiling and mouthing "Ouch!"

Curiously, the band is now down to just one female backup singer. The group, once renowned for The Honkettes trio, boasted a backup threesome as recently as two years ago. I guess downsizing is everywhere, even with Skynyrd.

Van Zant sang laudably. He never has had the range of his late brother, but his growl fits the band's tunes and mood well. The chubby, scruffy fellow chatted with the crowd often - though nothing too creative, mostly cajolings like, "Y'all show Skynyrd some love!" And, weirdly as always, he still does the entire show while chomping on gum.

The set sounded like a classic-rock-radio playlist: "Gimme Back My Bullets." "That Smell," "I Know A Little," "Simple Man" - along with some sort of song about Alabama. The opener - "Skynyrd Nation," off the new "God and Guns" CD - was well received. In fact, three more of 10 songs came off that album: the title track, "Simple Life," and "Still Unbroken." I don't know if we'll hear any of those when Skynyrd is doing county fairs in 10 years, but the tunes sounded punchy Saturday.

As usual for Skynyrd, the stage set-up was minimal: just standard lighting and a huge video screen. Sometimes, the screen showed the show in progress, for those way in the back. Other times, it touted images to highlight the tune at hand, such as pictures of women during "What's Your Name?" - just in case anyone didn't know that, indeed, this is a song about picking up chicks.

Still, the screen served well in places, especially during the lone encore, "Freebird." Old, grainy photos flashed of Ronnie Van Zant, Billy Powell, Leon Wilkeson, Steve Gaines and other fallen members. Rather than mawkish, it came off as tender.

And as soon as the tune ended, so did the show. Just like those departed bandmates, Skynyrd left all too soon.

November 09, 2009 8:19:52 AM UTC Post #1

Sounds pretty accurate, even though nobody on this board would admit it

November 09, 2009 1:51:41 PM UTC Post #2

Ok, don't shoot me for agreeing with the shortness of their set. Wouldn't we all like at least another half-hour added to the concerts? I know I would, and I know I have wanted more for a long time.

I see the reviewer's point. It's actually been a bone of contention for me, too. And, honestly, it has been for many years now.

With the huge catalog of legendary songs, the talented musicians, and all the extras that you have to pay to see any band these days (ticket surcharges by ticket outlets, parking, and so on), you'd expect at least a two-hour show. At the very least.

I realize that ticket prices have gone up and up to see most bands over the years. Heck, everything costs more these days. So how about giving us fans more to enjoy?

I've been a Skynyrd fan for decades, and have seen the band many, many times.
But for the last several years, it has become more expensive, and to see pretty much the same show.

I wish that JVZ's banter would at least change from tour to tour, and that they would play a more varied set from year to year. How great would it be to get to see them perform more of their much loved songs, to go and have some golden nuggets unexpectedly played? Maybe less of the same old shout-outs and more of what's important for this fan...the MUSIC!

Just one old fan's opinion, anyway.

November 09, 2009 5:47:52 PM UTC Post #3

I am sure that everyone, me included, would love to hear Skynyrd play for 4 hours or even longer. But you know.....I will take any amount of time from the band. There will come a day when all we will have will be CD's, DVD's and memories. Enjoy the ride before the announcement comes......the "Farewell Tour".

Ain't nothing sweeter than a Southern girl!

November 09, 2009 6:24:53 PM UTC Post #4

Well first of all, the reviewer writes with a mean streak.
I mean come on, where does he get off calling Rickey Medlocke,
"craggy scarecrow of a man"?

And Johnny Van Zant, "the chubby, scruffy fellow"?

Johnny Van Zant makes everyone feel like they are old friends,
whether he is on or off the stage.
Easily one of the nicest people one could hope to meet.
I've never heard him say one bad thing about anybody.
People like you Luciano, could learn a thing or two from,
"the chubby scruffy fellow"!!

Get off your high horse Luciano, and go to your Dave Mathews concert,
where if you don't fall asleep, maybe you'll hear Mr. Mathews
say something creative that's more to your liking.

What Lynyrd Skynyrd concert did you go to "Two years ago",
and seen three back-up singers, and could it be possible that
one of the two back-up singers were ill, or maybe both were there,
but you were too focused on your watch, Johnny chewing gum,
or their baby-sitter to notice.

According to one guitar player who played in the band with Ronnie Van Zant,
Lynyrd Skynyrd never played more than an hour show in the '70's.

As far as ticket prices go, you can thank the Eagles for the outrages
prices some bands charge, makes the price of a Lynyrd Skynyrd ticket
seem not so high after all.

Do you know what it costs to see a baseball game these days?

You obviously have no clue how much it takes to put on a show in 2009.
To put on one show costs more than many make in a year!

They add four brand new songs to the set list and still play the songs
everyone came to hear, and you would rather bitch and moan that they
didn't play the song you wanted to hear.

You have no clue what songs they will play in ten years Luciano, or
where they will play them, but I'm certain you will still be in Bloomington,
writing mean spirited reviews, eating lunch all by yourself, and wishing
somebody would call, and tell you how "Creative" your writing is.

You know, I just had a thought....nah, you're probably already a member there.

November 09, 2009 7:12:24 PM UTC Post #5

I'm gonna chime in on this one... I love watching ALL the Official Skynyrd concert DVDs (watch them regularly now since being laid off last May), I love watching and hearing their Lyve Concerts when they come to my area, and I can't wait to see Skynyrd and hear Skynyrd play on their 40th Anniversay Tour ( God Willing!!!!) ( and I don't care if they all play in wheel chairs either, I'll still pay to go see them and hear them!)

" Here to respect a part of the whole .... the bassmen, Leon & Ean "

November 09, 2009 8:56:44 PM UTC Post #6

Are reviewers allowed to be nice? Isn't there a rule that says they need to be really snotty and come up with as many cleverly-worded insults as possible so everyone will think they are clever and keep reading/watching/listening to them? I remember reading one guys review of God and Guns when it came out. He didn't even mention the music, just ranted and raved because Gary Rossington has the nerve to use the name Lynyrd Skynyrd.(You know, the usual complaint.) I wanted to ask the guy to pretend the group had a different name - would the music sound better to him?
As for the "chubby, scruffy" comment, I know I'm preaching to the choir on this one, but whenever I hear someone make a snide remark about hair length, I feel like reminding them that both Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer were clean-cut, clean-shaven,and dressed conservatively.
By the way,whoever came up with the spelling of the name Lynyrd Skynyrd was very prophetic, weren't they? There is just one "why?" after another with them, isn't there?

November 09, 2009 10:23:12 PM UTC Post #7

I thought the Bloomington show was great!
Even Rev Theory!
Hell Yeah!

November 10, 2009 3:54:03 PM UTC Post #8

ROFLMAO ! ! ! Nobodys ever satisfied ! !


November 10, 2009 7:56:22 PM UTC Post #9

To keep my word to Tom, I would like to add something too, and I know ole Prez is going, "What's comin' outta McSkynyrds mouth this time?", but to keep it simple, and to keep my word to Tom, thank you sara, prez, and jb, and you too vancers! Great posts......... Keep the Faith, and keep up that "Suthyn Rockin"! Long Live Skynyrd Nation!!


November 10, 2009 10:59:04 PM UTC Post #10

I would think the longest Skynyrd setist ever was the Atlanta Fox Last Rebel pay per view. Least the longest I remember and that show was longer than any of the pre crash lineup ever played. Still think its not entirely unreasonable for a reviewer to call them out for not playing longer. They have a much larger catalog than they did in 1975 and another 20-30 minutes would put the show over the top. Not complaining just saying it would be nice.

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