Lynyrd Skynyrd

The lights go down. You smell a pungent but familiar scent swirling in the air. No, not hippie sweat, though there's plenty of that too. It's not weed — the free-love crowd prefers to call it "pot, man." Then, from somewhere nearby, you hear the inevitable cry. Play some Skynyrd, man! The next thing you know, the house lights go back up, one of America's most quintessential rock bands is walking off stage, and you look around in disbelief. And similar looks of disorientation grace the faces of the sore, the wired, and the muddled masses, with everyone wondering, "Where the hell did we just go?"

If you've experienced the scenario described above, you've had your ass rocked by them in real life, and there's no need to tell you that attending a Lynyrd Skynyrd show is a singular experience. If you haven't, then you need to see what the hubbub's all about. The band's guitar work is quite simply sublime, with slides that sweep and sway like the tides, blazing licks and searing solos. One need only listen to the venerable "Free Bird" for proof. Of course, there are other hits. "Sweet Home Alabama," "Don't Ask Me No Questions," "Call Me the Breeze," "Saturday Night Special," "What's Your Name," and "That Smell" are just a few more examples. What further convincing do you need?

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Christopher Lopez