The 20th of February 2010
Tampere Arena, TAMPERE
LIVE REVIEW AND PICTURES BY MARKO SYRJALA
The American Southern rock institution Lynyrd Skynyrd returned to Finland after one year break. Originally band rose to prominence in 1973 with their classic debut album PRONOUNCED LEH-NERD SKIN-NERD. In the 70’s Band created many successful albums like GIMME BACK MY BULLETS, SECOND HELPING and STREET SURVIVORS. Bands signature songs “Sweet Home Alabama” and "Freebird," are easily some of the most requested live song in existence. Band broke up in 1977, after band members Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines and Cassie Gaines died in a plane crash. The remaining members decided to put the band back together in 1987 with Johnny Van Zant, a little brother of Ronnie, on vocals. The re-union album LYNYRD SKYNYRD 1991 was released four years later and since then band has been touring and releasing albums every then and now. Today, the only original member left is guitarist Gary Rossington. The current line-up also includes Johnny, guitarist Rickey Medlocke, drummer Michael Cartellone, guitarist Marky Matejka, keyboardist Peter Keys and bassist Robert Kearns. Band released its latest album GODS AND GUNS in September of 2009 and now Lynyrd Skynyrd began their World Tour European leg from Tampere.
Gary Rossington, Jonny van Zant, Rickey Medlocke and the rest of the always rotating musicians that make up the all mighty and immortal Lynyrd Skynyrd, walked out onto the stage with lots of cheers and headed into “Skynyrd Nation”. At the beginning it seemed that the crowd were little confused when band opened with new album track but things went back into normal when band next headed into classics “What’s My Name” and “Gimme Back My Bullets”.
Bands playing and performance was full of enthusiasm and joy right from the beginning. Johnny truly is a great front man with a good sense of humor. Rossington’s and Medlock’s (ex-Blackfoot) guitar playing is a unique and it’s full of content. These three men are today’s genuine characters of Southern rock. Special mention goes for drummer Michael Cartellone (ex- Damn Yankees, Accept etc.) who’s playing was really impressive during the whole show. The set list consisted mainly of fame hit songs like “Gimme Back My Bullets” and ”Simple Man” which was the dedicated to the American troops. Van Zant then talked about how they are happy to get back in Finland to see all their diehard fans here a d there are no such of fans anywhere but in Finland. Pleasing Finnish audience was a good thing to do just before band headed into intro for bands biggest hit “Sweet Home Alabama” which got almost furious applause.
As said before Skynyrd played all of the fan favorites “Gimme Three Steps”, “Saturday Night Special” and then the encore of their set, of course the immortal “Free Bird” but there was also a set of new songs from new GODS AND GUNS included there. The new tracks “Skynyrd Nation”, acoustic “Gods and Guns” and especially “Still Unbroken” got a good response and those fit perfectly together with older material. Actually “Still Broken” has been played heavily in local radio stations since the album was released in last September and it’s hard to even remember when this band had a “hit song” here before this one… Probably in the 70’s, I think?
All in all, this concert was a strong proof that there’s still lot of life left on this, classic, almost relic act. The whole band was in extremely tight form, both musically and on stage presence. Some would say that this band is just repeating and living on their past, which is partly true, but those critics should also admit that bands newer albums don’t lose an inch for their glory day’s material. They’re still definitely unbroken…
FOR MORE INFO GO TO: WWW.LYNYRDSKYNYRD.COM
MORE PICTURES FROM TAMPERE SHOW !