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Bad Company / Lynyrd Skynyrd Black Stone Cherry
Written By: Gary Crouthamel
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Bad Company / Lynyrd Skynyrd Black Stone Cherry
Bad Company
Bad Company / Lynyrd Skynyrd Black Stone Cherry
Bad Company / Lynyrd Skynyrd Black Stone Cherry
Bad Company / Lynyrd Skynyrd Black Stone Cherry
Bad Company / Lynyrd Skynyrd Black Stone Cherry
Lynyrd Skynyrd
Bad Company / Lynyrd Skynyrd Black Stone Cherry
Bad Company / Lynyrd Skynyrd Black Stone Cherry
Bad Company / Lynyrd Skynyrd Black Stone Cherry
Susquehanna Bank Center, Camden, NJ
Wednesday, July 17th
Five shows in five days in three states - had to break it down to just three but still missed Corduroy Irwin and Marky Mark's birthday parties; but I'm sure with those two there will be plenty of catch up time.
It was back to the SBC for the “Bad Company / Lynyrd Skynyrd  XL Tour” (40 years, not extra-large). Opening up the show was Black Stone Cherry who played a 30-minute, 8-song set drawing from their three studio albums.
After a short break Lynyrd Skynyrd took the stage which was pretty much stripped down except for the band equipment and a huge video screen behind showing mostly old pictures of the band, album covers and lots of colors. They opened with "What's Your Name. Johnny Van Zant, who has filled the shoes of the late Ronnie Van Zant since 1987 (I saw those shows), was onstage with original guitarist Gary Rossington, ex Blackfoot guitarist Rickey Medlocke, former Damn Yankees drummer Michael Cartellone, ex Charlie Daniels Band guitarist Mark Matejka, keyboardist Peter Keys and newest member ex Black Crowe's bassist Johnny Colt. They brought the crowd of about 15,000 to their feet with this all-hits setlist including "Call Me The Breeze", and "I Ain't the One." At this point the photogs were ushered out of the pit as Van Zant was asking, “how many die-hard Skynyrd fans do we have in the house?” This, of course, had the audience applauding and screaming. "Down South Jukin'" was next followed by "That Smell", with Van Zant saying "been there, done that, and we're not going back!” Then "You Got That Right", "Saturday Night Special" and "I Know a Little." Before playing "Simple Man", Van Zant talked to the crowd again saying, “Lynyrd Skynyrd is huge supporters of the U. S.Military and we dedicate this song to all the troops who fight for the best country in the world, the USA!” Then "Mississippi Kid", off their very first album, brought Cartellone from behind his kit with a single drum hung over his shoulder with Medlocke on banjo and Matejka on acoustic. To end their set they finished with "Gimme Three Steps" and "Sweet Home Alabama", with pictures of a huge Rebel flag flying on the screen.
After a short break and time for the roadies to drape a Rebel flag on the piano and place a golden statue of an eagle on it, they returned to the stage and Peter hit the intro keys to "Freebird." Everyone in the house and on the lawn was waving their lighters and cell-phones to join the band in a sing-a-long to the song while the names of all the late Lynyrd Skynyrd members and then all the newer ones were flashed on the video screen. They ended to the approval of all in attendance.
After this great performance, it was time for the headliners, Bad Company.  I hadn’t seen this group since the "Straight Shooter" and "Run With the Pack Tours" in 19??. After much anticipation the original three members, Paul Rodgers on vocals and piano, Mick Ralphs on guitar and Simon Kirke on drums, were joined by ex Heart guitarist Howard Leese and bassist Todd Roning, filling in for the late Boz Burell, who died in 2006. For their show they placed a huge curtain backdrop with the simple Bad Co. logo on it, just like the album cover. They opened with "Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy" as smoke cannons went off at the front of the stage and smoke covered the entire floor coming from the back of the stage. They continued with "Burnin' Sky", with Rodgers playing two tamborines in his right hand. Next Rodgers went behind a big black piano to lead the band into "Run With the Pack." For this 40th anniversary tour, they played with the power and energy of a much younger band with Rodgers moving all around the stage and never missing a beat. After playing "Feel Like Makin' Love" they played "Gone, Gone, Gone" as a tribute to the song’s writer Boz Burell. The volume cranked up and Rodgers wasted no time talking as they closed out their set with "Electricland", "Ready for Love", "Honey Child", "Movin' On" and "Shooting Star" complete with the crowd’s sing-a-long. They ended with "Can't Get Enough."
After a short break they returned and played "Bad Company" and "Rock Steady."  You usually only get one encore these days but the energy from the crowd caused them to come back and play "Seagull" with just the three original members, Simon Kirke on tambourine, Paul Rodgers and Mick Ralphs on acoustic guitars coming to the front of the stage to end another hell of a concert.
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