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29 Apr 2019

Stagecoach 2019: An Overflowing Crowd Greets Lynyrd Skynyrd at What's Likely to Be One of the Band's Final Performances

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Gary Rossington (in blue) is the lone remaining original member of Lynyrd Skynyrd. Gary Rossington (in blue) is the lone remaining original member of Lynyrd Skynyrd. Guillermo Prieto/Irockphotos.net

The last time Lynyrd Skynyrd performed at Stagecoach in 2014, the band performed for an overflowing crowd in the Palomino Tent.

For Stagecoach 2019, Lynyrd Skynyrd was again scheduled to perform in the Palomino Tent … and the more things stay the same, the more things change.

First: The Saturday performance is likely to be one of the legendary band’s final performances. Guitarist Gary Rossington, the only remaining original member, is having health issues related to his heart, so the band’s current farewell tour is likely to actually be a farewell tour.

Second: The Palomino Tent is about half the size now as it was back in 2019. Goldenvoice apparently didn’t take this decrease in supply and increase in demand into account.

A huge crowd was already packed into the tent late in the afternoon. Sammy Kershaw performed the set prior to Lynyrd Skynyrd—and few people departed when he finished, while more and more people continued to arrive. By the set’s scheduled start time of 7:40 p.m., the crowd was overflowing—on the sides and far out the back.

When Skynyrd finally took the stage, the band started with “Workin’ for MCA”—a well-known Skynyrd tune, even if it isn’t one of the band’s big hits. It’s been included on many of the band’s compilations and live albums and is a fan favorite. The band followed up with “Skynyrd Nation,” “What’s Your Name?” and “That Smell.”

A live performance of “Tuesday’s Gone” is always a special treat—and just about everyone was singing along to it at Stagecoach. During “Simple Man,” archive footage of some of the deceased band members was shown on the video screens.

The final two songs have been the same at every Skynyrd show for years: “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Freebird,” which included a video intro by the late Ronnie Van Zant explaining the song’s meaning being about freedom.

Lynyrd Skynyrd has long been a rock institution, easily recognizable with pop-culture references galore. It was the Southern rock band that made The Who and the Rolling Stones envious back in the ‘70s.

Of course, the band also has one of the most tragic stories in all of music—a rise to fame that was suddenly derailed by a 1977 plane crash that took the lives of original frontman Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines, backing vocalist Cassie Gaines and three others, while seriously injuring the other band members. Original members Allen Collins, Leon Wilkeson and Billy Powell have since passed away, as have other contributing members over the years.

It was great to see Lynyrd Skynyrd at what is likely to be the band’s final Stagecoach—although it was a little sad, too. Regardless, the music and legacy of this band, the creator of the Southern rock genre, will always live on. (Scroll down to see some photos from the show.)

Setlist

Workin’ for MCA

Skynyrd Nation

What’s Your Name?

That Smell

I Know a Little

Saturday Night Special

The Ballad Of Curtis Loew

Tuesday’s Gone

Don’t Ask Me No Questions

Simple Man

Gimme Three Steps

Call Me the Breeze

Sweet Home Alabama

Freebird

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