BY HEATHER HACKNEY
Ladies and Gentlemen, this past weekend, what I can only describe as the pivotal moment for rock and roll concerts in my life took place at Bethel Woods Center for the Performing Arts. Here, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Bad Company took the stage and brought…the roof…down.
What normally is a younger crowd was replaced with bikers, southern fanatics, and tattooed rockers. Taking the stage first was show opener Erik Dylan. He was country with a twist of rock and was a good slow introduction into what was in store for the evening.
The first headliner was the one and only Lynyrd Skynyrd. These Rock and Roll Hall of Famers sang all the songs and then some that made the crowd rock along. Of course their signature song of “Sweet Home Alabama” was one of the top crowd pleasers. But it was when they finished their set that what seemed like the entire town of White Lake, started chanting “Free Bird!” till a lone light shone down on stage upon a golden eagle.
That was when Peter Pisarczyk came out for an intricate piano intro. But when the whole band took the stage, led of course by lead singer Johnny Van Zant, well that’s when the action came rushing to a head. For as old as they are now, guitarists Rickey Medlocke & Garry Rossington nailed every single note in what is normally a four and a quarter minute solo and turned it into over six whole minutes of nothing but pure, monumental rock and roll.
Bad Company took the stage last to close the night out. Once again classic rock filled the air as the band played their hits and favorites that had the crowd singing along. In particular, “Feels Like Makin’ Love” had people on their feet. Unfortunately the crowd seemed to dwindle down after Skynyrd left the stage but none the less Bad Co. managed to keep those remaining rockers going a whole while longer.
I have to say I was grateful to be able to watch this historic matchup up close and personal. It was an honor to be in the presence of greatness and truly a pleasure to be able to scream “Free Bird!” at the top of my lungs.