Niagara Gazette — Lynyrd Skynyrd returns to Artpark on Tuesday for a sold-out performance. The band’s historic performance at Artpark on July 26, 2011, was arguably the largest attended concert in the venue’s history. Many fans didn’t even make it into the venue because of traffic jams that went on for miles, and the ZZ Top and Lynyrd Skynyrd shows that year are largely responsible for Artpark moving to a low-price ticketed event over a free one.
If you remember July 26, 2011, you will appreciate the difference between being packed in the venue like sardines and having a reasonable limit of fans at the show. Since it is sold out, you will still need to plan to get to the venue early.
Even though there were traffic jams and crowds, on that night two years ago Lynyrd Skynyrd put on a spectacular show. Lead singer Johnny Van Zant remarked, “Wow, what a great crowd! It seems to go on forever!” And he and the rest of the band drew from the energy of the crowd for their 13-song set.
Lynyrd Skynyrd is a band with a storied history and an important legacy as trailblazers for modern country music and pioneers of the southern rock sound that influenced many bands including last week’s headliner 38 Special.
The band’s history is defined by one of rock music’s greatest tragedies, the Oct. 20, 1977, plane crash that took the lives of lead vocalist Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines, his sister Cassie Gaines one of the band’s backup singers, and the band’s assistant road manager, Dean Kilpatrick. There were six band members that survived including current Skynyrd guitarist Gary Rossington.
The band remained dormant for 10 years, with the Rossington-Collins Band as the outlet for most of the survivors. They had a hit with “Don’t Misundertand Me,” sung by Dale Krantz-Rossington, who now tours as a Skynyrd backup singer.