After a very hectic period when I needed a break from all this blogging, I am trying to continue my project with this article. I hope you missed me! 😉
Concert review by John Ingham
The correct term is schnapps; guitarist Gary Rossington calls it `snaps`. It was the catalyst for a group fight that left singer Ronnie Van Zandt with a broken hand and bruised windpipe and Rossington with two slashed wrists. The next night they played the first concert of their European tour.
This review is hopelessly entwined in comments and arguments heard after the gig. Early on Peter Rudge had commented that Skynyrd are either brilliant or abominable, never in between. Afterwards he commented that it wasn`t worth coming 3,000 miles to see, and Van Zandt continued the theme until the early hours of the morning. Perhaps it was disgust because their sorry condition was self inflicted…
Because from this unbiased viewpoint, never having seen them before, they were pretty good, especially considering the condition of Rossington. (He said afterwards that it felt as though his hands were being knifed the entire time). Not inspiring, certainly, and not without sound problems, but hardly of the magnitude and ear-splitting volume that Van Zandt insisted had been the case.
Their repertoire consisted of oldies – `Saturday Night Special`, `Give Me Three Steps` and the obligatory `Free Bird` – as well as numbers that will be on the new Tom Dowd-produced album. Like most boogie bands their forte isn`t virtuosity, but unlike most others, they fill the space with riffs and rhythms that lift and exhilerate and are never boring. Pianist Billy Powell, especially, was knocking out fiery runs whenever he could be heard, and the interaction between Rossington and other guitarist Allen Collins, on a good night, would have been awesome.
So if what they think is bad is in reality quite good, think what they`ll be like on a good night. Barring any more rounds of schnapps, of course.