Despite our reputation of shooting the Wu-Tang’s of the music scene, every now and then an act comes along that we just can’t pass up covering for our readers. Even as hip hop heads, we can all appreciate one of the greatest rock bands of all-time, right?
“Skynyrd’s in the house”, Johnny Van Zant shouted to an audience full of rained-out fans who were more than willing to brave the weather for these rock and roll legends. The show started off hard and heavy with ‘Saturday Night Special’, a song lyrically driven by gun control issues in America, and continued on with ‘What’s Your Name?’. In a heartwarming gesture, Johnny asked permission from his fans to place the Canadian flag on his mic stand alongside his tattered American flag (which looks like it’s been through a Skynyrd tour or two); “Ya’ll have been allies with us for a long time”, he said in a long, Southern drawl, “So tonight I’d like to dedicate this to our troops and their families and YOUR troops here in Canada”. A lengthy– albeit, great– intro into their third best-selling track ‘Simple Man’, slowing the show down just a little. As the set closed out with “Sweet Home Alabama”, chants came from a blacked-out crowd to hear an encore of Free Bird. Without disappointment, the band entered the stage for one more hurrah, fulfilling the audiences demands. Ottawa got a solid helping of one of the greatest guitar solos of all time, lasting at around 8 minutes long of shredding and hair tossing. Fans who have waited decades just to see Skynyrd perform surely left Bluesfest crossing off their bucket lists.
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