Much to the chagrin of a few wearing “God, Guns & Trump” t-shirts, during intermissions, Showtime previewed their latest documentary Lynyrd Skynyrd: If I Leave Here Tomorrow to the hardcore southern rock faithful. Demonstrating many misconceptions that have followed the band for decades.
In Canada, regretfully, some of these misconceptions, lies and falsehoods have reared it’s poisonous tentacles. In reality, Lynyrd Skynyrd were cut from progressive roots, with a deep appreciation for all musical history and connective empathy. How else can one explain the decades of resonance the band has created worldwide?
With an audience mixed with cultures, races and age generations — one wonders if Skynyrd realizes the impact of the south in the north?
The opening of the show was the latest incarnation of Blackfoot, a southern rock band founded in 1970 by (now guitarist for Skynyrd coincidently) Rickey Medlocke.
Every Man Should Know (Queenie)
Wishing Well (Free Cover)
Hair of the Dog (Nazareth Cover)
Keeping it in the “family”, 38 Special were part of a stacked card. Founded by Donnie Van Zant, the younger brother of Lynyrd Skynyrd founder, the late, great Ronnie Van Zant. 38 Special brought a different Southern flavour to a packed Toronto audience.
Next came a medley with a couple of memorable 80s movies soundtrack — 1987’s Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise,“Back to Paradise” and 1984’s Teachers, Bryan Adams/Jim Vallance penned “TeacherTeacher“.
Top 10 Billboard hits “Second Chance and “Caught Up in You” continued the winning streak, finishing off their set with AOR classic hit, “Hold On Loosely“.
Let’s hope 38 Special do a proper Canadian tour with a nice long setlist for the faithful!
Legendary Texas trio ZZ Top brought the Southern Boogie to the city, starting with opener “Got Me Under Pressure”.
Classics such as “I Thank You”, “Gimme All Your Lovin” and “Pearl Necklace” were a reminder to the standing, raucous audience that ZZ Top are still going strong after 49 years.
Decades-long classics from albums such as 1979’s Degüello, “I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide”, 1973 Tres Hombres“Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers” to the latest ZZ Top 2012’s album La Futra’s“I Gotsta Get Paid” displayed why the Texas trio have satisfied generations.
Both chart & video hits “Sharp Dressed Man” and “Legs” rekindled the audience’s memories of the 80s.
Timeless 70s classics “La Grange” and “Tush” finished off ZZ Top’s impressive, train-chugging, boogie-driving set.
Looking forward to ZZ Top‘s 50th year to continue their Texas boogie tradition!
While Neil Young was famously called out in the song “Sweet Home Alabama” rumours of a feud between the “Southern Man” singer and the Southern rockers are an urban rock legend. In fact, Young revealed that he had planned to collaborate with Skynyrd before the fatal crash changed everything — confirmed by drummer ArtimusPyle.
As the tradition, the encore was Skynyrd‘s signature song, “Free Bird“, spellbinding, sad, and uplifting. No other song felt more apropos for the end of the night.
With a stellar lineup, the only drawback were the abbreviated setlists, but it sounds like Skynyrd will do a proper cross-country Canadian tour, which hopefully means longer setlists and proper arenas (and not casinos).