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Review: Lynyrd Skynyrd At SSE Arena Wembley Arena London – 29th June 2019

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  • 02 Jul 2019

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Review: Lynyrd Skynyrd At SSE Arena Wembley Arena  London – 29th  June 2019

As part of their ‘Last of the Street Survivors Farewell Tour’ Lynyrd Skynyrd played at four UK arenas with their London date being at the SSE Arena Wembley on the 29th June.

The supports for the night were Massive Wagons and Status Quo.

Click here to view photos from the event

Massive Wagons: This Lancastrian band were formed some ten years ago, but it was only two years ago that I came across them playing on the outside stage at the Stonefree festival and now the band are playing Wembley Arena ..Wow!!! How cool is this for them??.. and to be the opening act for the likes of Status Quo and Lynyrd  Skynyrd.

The band, not surprisingly were so hyped up for this tonight and gave a super full on opening set performance lasting 30 minutes, that comprised of five of their own songs (no cover songs required). This included the brilliantly named song ‘Billy Balloon Head’ and had them finishing with their tribute to Rick Parfitt from Status Quo ‘Back To The Stack’. Their latest album is ‘Full Nelson’ and this was released in 2018.

I do have to give full credit to this band and it just shows that if you do put the effort into your music then you can reap the rewards. Well done guys.


https://www.massivewagons.com

 

Status Quo:  This band have been one of the biggest UK bands in my life for the last forty plus years and whilst I was happy to go and see them live for the umpteenth time I was a bit upset that that they were only ‘very special guests’ to an American band!!. But I guess who cares Quo is Quo and you just gotta go and see and support them..

Francis Rossi (vocals and guitar) is now 70 years old and no, his voice is not going to be what it was when he was twenty but backed up by the rest of the band they did put on a good one hour set comprising of some thirteen or so songs  ( which is a bit hard to count as they do a medley of about five songs)  that included the old classics ‘Caroline’, ‘Rain’ , ‘In the Army Now’, ‘Down Down’ and they finished with  ‘Rockin All Over The World’.

They played ‘Cut Me Some Slack’ and ‘Liberty Lane’, two new songs from their forthcoming album ‘Backbone’, due for release in September (which will be their first album without Rick) and it was good to see Andrew Bown (keyboards, vocals, guitar and harmonica) come to the front of the stage a few times and play guitar and harmonica with the rest of the band.

Whilst I will always go and see Quo play live and they are always a crowd pleaser, I did think that tonight they were lacking a bit of passion in their performance and on a few occasions just seemed to be ‘going through the motions’..Good show...but just missing a little bit tonight for me…and perhaps also missing the Rick Parfitt input??

http://www.statusquo.co.uk

 

Lynyrd Skynyrd: With their most famous hits dating back to the 1970’s and with the horrendous plane crash that abruptly ended the band, and at the time it was thought that this would be the end of Lynyrd Skynyrd. But thankfully the band did survive and they reformed with Johnny Van Zant on lead vocals ( Ronnie Van Zant’s brother- who died in the plane crash) . With only one original member left in the band now (Gary Rossington –guitars) the band have, after 33 years since they reformed, decided to have one last farewell tour. 

Well tonight was all about Skynyrd for me, a band that has endured and outlasted many others. They opened their sixteen song set with ‘Workin’ for MCA’ from their 1974 ‘Second Helping’ album and followed this with ‘Skynyrd Nation’ from the ‘God and Guns’ album.

As you might have guessed their whole set was just full of classic songs that got all of the audience singing along to and the time just flew by and before I knew it they were playing their last song ‘Sweet Home Alabama’.

The band I thought were on top form with all of the members seemingly putting their heart and soul into their performance and they came across as enjoying the night as if it was just band practice for them. What a fantastic show and I really couldn’t have asked anymore of them.

They finished the night with them playing ‘Freebird’ as the encore and put a mic stand with Ronnie’s hat and flag on it at the front of the stage with the band members facing towards the back screen which showed the list of past members of the band that were no longer with us before the screen then changed and showed a video of Ronnie singing ‘Freebird’ and I have to say this did bring a tear to my eye..

Absolutely loved it and so glad I got to see Skynyrd for one last time..

 

http://www.lynyrdskynyrd.com

 

 

Setlist:-

1: Workin’ for MCA

2: Skynyrd Nation

3: What’s Your Name

4: That Smell

5: I Know a Little

6: Gimme Back My Bullets

7: The Needle and the Spoon

8: Saturday Night Special

9: The Ballard of Curtis Loew

10: Tuesday’s Gone

11: Don’t Ask Me No Questions

12: Simple Man

13: Gimme Three Steps

14: Call Me the Breeze ( JJ Cale cover)

15:  Sweet Home Alabama

Encore:

16: Freebird

 

 

Words by: Robert Sutton

Images by: Robert Sutton Photography

www.facebook.com/robertsuttonphotography

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