One of our Hot Springs correspondence files this report on Lynyrd Skynyrd's concert at Summit Arena last night:
Lynyrd Skynyrd put the hot in Hot Springs last night in the Hot Springs Springfest's headline concert at Summit Arena. With such veteran guitar magicians as Rickey Medlocke and Gary Rossington, Skynyrd remains one of the great rock guitar bands going, but frankly, the show sounded like we were listening the Skynyrd's "greatest hits" CD while the floor of the Summit was like loking into a time capsule of boisterous rabble-rousers waving "stars and bars" and shouting approval at everything the band did.
Lead singer Johnny Van Zant opened the show with classic Skynrd songs like "Saturday Night Special," "What’s Your Name Little Girl," "I Know a Little ‘Bout Love," "T Is for Texas" and "Simple Man."
Watching Tyler Priddy, my 14-year-old nephew, cheer his new favorite band reminded me of myself in the 1970s cheering for a fresh, classic Southern rock and roll band. Lynyrd Skynyrd may be older and the names have changed over the years, yet this is still one of the best guitar bands you can see, and the crowd from Hot Springs offered new and younger fans for this 2006 edition.
"Red, White, and Blue" was the patriot feel-good song of the night, celebrating the heritage
of the United States. That was followed by "Call Me the Breeze" and "Sweet Home, Alabama" with the large confederate flag unfurled behind the band. The band left the stage to a huge applause as a chant heard throughout the arena began to gain momentum………….. "Freebird, Freebird, Freebird? The curtain call was answered as Lynyrd Skynyrd finished the night with their signature song.
Pinkeye d’Gecko, the opening act, was a complete disappointment. Go to any local karaoke bar and you’ll find better quality musicians. Their sound was turned up way too loud and mixed poorly, and their lyrics were almost completely unintelligible. Once this band was finished the crowd was craving for good music and rushed to the front of the stage to the theme from "The Sopranos," anticipating the South’s best guitar rock band.
Lynyrd Skynyrd was a good concert for Hot Springs and easily worth the $35 admission on a beautiful spring night. We feel certain they'll put Arkansas on their tour against next time, so don’t pass up the chance to watch one of the best ever classic guitar bands, which last month was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.-- Lanny Beavers