Lynyrd Skynyrd announces farewell tour, then ‘Free Bird’ will fly no more
Continuing this week’s surge of farewell tour announcements, Lynyrd Skynyrd will launch its own farewell tour.
Thursday’s announcement of the veteran Southern rock band’s “Last of the Street Survivors Farewell Tour” follows Tuesday’s farewell tour announcement by thrash-metal band Slayer and Wednesday’s farewell tour announcement by Elton John.
Skynyrd’s tour will kick off May 4 in the band’s home state of Florida and conclude Sept. 1 in Atlanta. It includes a May 19 show at San Diego’s Mattress Firm Amphitheatre and a May 26 date at San Bernardino’s Glen Helen Amphitheatre.
All tour dates and cities appear below, along with ticket information.
An array of opening acts will be featured on the tour, although it has not yet been announced which acts will open in which cities. The array includes Kid Rock, Hank Williams Jr., the Charlie Daniels Band, the Marshall Tucker Band, 38 Special, Blackberry Smoke, Blackfoot and England’s blues-rocking Bad Company, the token non-American band in the lineup.
Skynyrd rose to the fore with its 1973 debut album,”(Pronounced ‘Lĕh-'nérd ‘Skin-'nérd),” which included one of the band’s two best-known songs, “Free Bird.” Two of its core members, lead singer Ronnie Van Zant and guitarist Steve Gaines, died in a 1977 plane crash and the band did not perform again until a revamped lineup debuted in 1987.
In a statement released Thursday morning, guitarist Gary Rossington — the only original member still in the group’s lineup — said: “It’s hard to imagine, after all these years, the band that Ronnie Van Zant, Allen Collins and myself started back in Jacksonville, would resonate for this long and to so many generations of fans. I’m certain they are looking down from above, amazed that the music has touched so many.
Lead vocalist Johnny Van Zant added: “We’ve been blessed by these great songs and the messages they carry to the fans. It’s been a true honor to try and fill in my brother’s footsteps for the past 31 years, keeping the music and his spirit, alive.”
It remains unclear what the stage backdrop will be for Skynyrd’s farewell tour.
In 2012, the band announced that would no longer fly a large Confederate flag on stage at it concerts.
“We just had it in the beginning because we’re Southern and that was our image back in the ‘70s and late ‘60s,” Rossington told CNN at the time.
“Through the years, people like the KKK and skinheads kinda kidnapped the Dixie or Southern flag from its tradition and the heritage of the soldiers... We didn’t want that to go to our fans or show the image like we agreed with any of the race stuff or any of the bad things.”
Three days later, following online blowback from some fans, Skynyrd reversed course and did a complete 360, announcing the divisive flag would still fly on stage at its concerts.
In an online “clarification,” Rossington said: “Myself, the past and present members (that are from the South), are all extremely proud of our heritage and being from the South. We know what the Dixie flag represents and its heritage; the Civil War was fought over States rights. We still utilize the Confederate (Rebel) flag on stage every night in our shows, we are and always will be a Southern American Rock band, first and foremost...
“I only stated my opinion that the Confederate flag, at times, was unfairly being used as a symbol by various hate groups, which is something that we don’t support the flag being used for. The Confederate flag means something more to us: Heritage not Hate.”
As I wrote in a subsequent Union-Tribune commentary about Skynyrd and the flag:
Let’s hear it for the tortured logic that suggests legal slavery was ever an acceptable state’s right. And let’s give a loud raspberry to a once-mighty band that has brought hypocrisy to a new low. “Sweet Home Alabama,” indeed.
My commentary concluded there.
Six years later, the Confederate flag has become even more contentious. Will the flag be prominently featured on Skynyrd’s farewell tour? We’ll see.
Tickets for the “Last of the Street Survivors Farewell Tour” tour go on sale Feb. 2 at 10 a.m. local time, in all but two cities, at livenation.com and by phone at (800) 754-3000.
Tickets for the July 20 concert in Mansfield, MA, go on sale at 11 a.m. local time. Tickets for the Aug. 10th concert in Detroit go on sale Feb. 3 at 10 a.m. local time.
A pre-sale will be available for Citi cardholders starting Tuesday at 10 a.m. local time.
Ticket prices for the San Diego show range from $25 to $199.50, plus service charges.
Lynyrd Skynyrd: Last of the Street Survivors Farewell Tour
Friday, May 4 – Coral Sky Amphitheatre, West Palm Beach, Florida
Saturday, May 5 – MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre, Tampa, Florida
Friday, May 11 – Starplex Pavilion, Dallas, Texas
Saturday, May 12 – Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion Presented by Huntsman, Houston, Texas
Friday, May 18 – Ak-Chin Pavilion, Phoenix, Arizona
Saturday, May 19 – Mattress Firm Amphitheatre, Chula Vista, California
Friday, May 25 – Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View, California
Saturday, May 26 – Glen Helen Amphitheater, San Bernardino, California
Friday, June 22 – PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, New Jersey
Saturday, June 23 – Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theatre, Wantagh, New York
Friday, June 29 – Coastal Credit Union Music Park, Raleigh, North Carolina
Saturday, June 30 – PNC Music Pavilion, Charlotte, North Carolina
Friday, July 6 – Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater, Virginia Beach, Virginia
Saturday, July 7 – Jiffy Lube Live, Bristow, Virginia
Friday, July 13 – Darien Lake Amphitheater, Darien, New York
Saturday, July 14 – Xfinity Theatre, Hartford, Connecticut
Friday, July 20 – Xfinity Center, Mansfield, Massachusetts*
Saturday, July 21 – Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, Bethel, New York
Friday, July 27 – Blossom Music Center, Cleveland, Ohio
Saturday, July 28 – Hersheypark Stadium, Hershey, Pennsylvania
Friday, August 3 – Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre, Tinley Park, Illinois
Saturday, August 4 – Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center, Noblesville, Indiana
Friday, August 10 – DTE Energy Music Theatre, Detroit, Michigan+
Saturday, August 11 – Budweiser Stage, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Friday, August 17 – Riverbend Music Center, Cincinnati, Ohio
Saturday, August 18 – Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre, St. Louis, Missouri
Friday, August 24 – Lakeview Amphitheatre, Syracuse, New York
Saturday, August 25 – KeyBank Pavilion, Burgettstown, Pennsylvania
Friday, August 31 – Oak Mountain Amphitheatre, Pelham, AL
Saturday, September 1 – Cellairis Amphitheatre at Lakewood, Atlanta, Georgia
*on sale at 11:00am local time
+on sale Saturday, February 3 at 10am local time
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