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A Non-Skynyrd Fan Reflects on Going to a Skynyrd Concert

What? I Can't Hear You.

I never really got that whole “southern rock” thing. Lynyrd Skynyrd in particular. “Free Bird” seems like it has to violate several international treaties dealing with wanton cruelty.

Maybe it's my northern extraction. It's been a long time since anyone related to me traveled south of the Mason Dixon line. It was 1864 and they were just “marching” through on their way to the beach.

But I digress. It was Thursday and I was offered a free ticket to see Skynyrd and ZZ Top at Tingley Colosseum. It was either that or, I don't know, suicide or something, so I jumped at the opportunity.

Soon I was attached to an elite unit of Alibi Hipsters going to see Lynyrd Skynyrd, ironically.

Surprisingly enough, they kind of rocked. I soon gave up on trying to figure out who was an original member and enjoyed the show. Oddly enough, I even enjoyed the more jingoist flag waving moments, though I could have done without the Confederate Flag. I know it's cool looking, but give it a rest.

They played about ten songs. I wasn't sure what most of them were. "Simple Man" was big with my group, as was the "What's that smell" song. They also played “Sweet Home Alabama.” I sang along, off key.

They left the stage. Suddenly, I felt the overwhelming urge to hear “Free Bird,” perhaps for the first time. It was partly because I wanted to actually be able to yell “Free Bird! Free Bird!” and have it mean something, rather than the default thing a dumb person yells at every other concert.

Also, it was a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert.

"Free Bird!"
Of course, they came out and played “Free Bird.” You know they would. And it was, forgive me lord, awesome. I take back everything I ever said about it.

Tingley quit serving beer so most of the elite squadron of Alibi Hipsters left the building like they were on fire, leaving only the hard core members waiting for ZZ Top.

What is there to say about ZZ Top that hasn't been said about God? Lots of people imagine the All Mighty as a bearded man. ZZ Top has two. And they wear sequined jackets. It was the closest to a religious experience that I will ever get to. If I ever have sex again, I hope ZZ Top is playing. That's love making music.

Overall, this show was totally worth the permanent hearing loss I most likely will suffer.


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