Lynyrd Skynyrd: 5/29/1988

So as you can see from the ticket, this concert was supposed to have been held at the Miami Baseball Stadium, but was instead moved to the infamous Hollywood Sportatorium. I was on the fence about going, for a few reasons. First off, they were not the original Skynyrd, although they had most of the originals, along with Ronnie’s brother on vocals:

Lineup

  • Johnny Van Zant – vocals
  • Gary Rossington – guitar
  • Ed King – guitar
  • Randall Hall – guitar
  • Billy Powell – keyboards
  • Leon Wilkeson – bass
  • Artimus Pyle – drums
  • Lacy Van Zant (Ronnie and Johnny’s father) – tuba for one song
  • Toy Caldwell of the Marshall Tucker Band – fourth guitar to some songs

The second cause for hesitancy was that fact that, living in South Florida, I was subjected to the raving fanaticism of redneck adoration to Skynyrd on an almost daily basis. Finally, I was not crazy about the Baseball Stadium. In spite of all that, I bought a ticket, and felt somewhat relieved when it was announced they were moving the show to the Sporto.

The Gary Rossington Band opened the show, and got the crowd pretty riled. Rebel flags were waved with pride, something that made me feel less than comfortable.

When Skynyrd came out, I have to confess, they sounded good. Seeing Ed King up there was a treat, and Billy Powell’s keyboard playing was as great as ever. While I never considered myself a fan of the band, I did know every song that they played, which always makes for a good concert experience.

When the band played “Free Bird” as the last song of the evening, Johnny opted not to sing, and just hung his hat on the microphone stand, and the band played an instrumental version to which the crowd sang along. It was actually a nice, sentimental gesture.

Anyway, here’s the setlist. Rock on!

Setlist:

  • Workin’ for MCA
  • I Ain’t the One
  • Saturday Night Special
  • Gimme Back My Bullets
  • The Needle and the Spoon
  • That Smell
  • The Ballad of Curtis Loew
  • Things Goin’ On
  • Swamp Music
  • I Know a Little
  • Gimme Three Steps
  • Call Me the Breeze
  • What’s Your Name
  • Comin’ Home
  • Simple Man
  • Sweet Home Alabama
  • Free Bird

Aimee Mann: 2/4/2003

aimeemann_2-4-03

I went to this show with my wife, who is a big Aimee Mann fan. I had seen Aimee years back with Til Tuesday and I also really liked her music, so I was pretty psyched to go too. In fact, around this time, the soundtrack to “Magnolia,” which is comprised of mostly Aimee Mann tunes, was getting a lot of play on the CD player in the car.

We went to the Orange Peel and ran into people we knew there. It’s always cool to see friends at a concert. It just makes it more fun.

Aimee is the epitome of cool on stage. In fact, she seemed way cooler than I remember her back with Til Tuesday. She just had the total hip vibe, and she sounded amazing. The high points for me were definitely “Driving Sideways” and “Save Me.”

One big surprise was when they performed a cover version of Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama” with the guitarist handling the lead vocals. Having spent many years in South Florida, my tolerance for Lynyrd Skynyrd is pretty low, but I have to confess, they did a rousing version and it was fun singing along with everyone in the crowd. Definitely one of the rare instances when I actually enjoyed a Skynyrd cover tune.

Anyway, that’s about all I have to share. If you get a chance to see Aimee in concert, I recommend doing so. She’s very, very good live.

Rock on!