Lynyrd Skynyrd and ZZ Top just announced that they will be touring together throughout 2024, including a one night stop at Greenville, SC’s Bon Secours Wellness Arena.
Lynyrd Skynyrd, the iconic Southern rock band, is renowned for their hard-driving sound that blends blues-rock power, honky-tonk storytelling, stadium rock swagger, and catchy pop hooks. In the mid-70s, they produced timeless classics such as “Sweet Home Alabama,” “Simple Man,” “What’s Your Name,” “That Smell,” and “Gimme Three Steps.” Tragedy struck in 1977 when a plane crash claimed several members, but the band reunited in 1987, delighting their devoted fanbase with live performances of their classic hits.
The band’s origins trace back to high school in Jacksonville, Florida, where Ronnie Van Zant, Allen Collins, and Gary Rossington formed a group called My Backyard. Adding members like Leon Wilkeson and Billy Powell, they became Lynyrd Skynyrd, a playful dig at their strict gym teacher, Leonard Skinner. After a few years of local performances, producer Al Kooper signed them, leading to their debut album “Pronounced Leh-Nerd Skin-Nerd” in 1973, featuring their signature triple-guitar sound and the iconic “Free Bird.”
“Free Bird” and an opening slot for The Who’s 1973 tour catapulted their fame. Their second album, “Second Helping,” with the hit “Sweet Home Alabama,” solidified their success. Despite lineup changes and challenges, Lynyrd Skynyrd maintained their popularity through constant touring and released notable albums.
In 1977, the tragic plane crash altered the band’s course, leading to a breakup and the release of early demos. Reunions and new lineups followed, with the band’s sound largely intact. They continued to record and tour, earning honors and enduring more losses. After the passing of Gary Rossington in 2023, the last original member is no longer with us, but the band’s legacy and music endure.
ZZ Top, known as “That Lil’ Ol’ Band from Texas,” enjoyed a unique and enduring career. They began as a blues and boogie rock trio and evolved into arena rock stars in the 1970s. In the 1980s, they reimagined their sound by incorporating sequencers and synthesizers, becoming MTV sensations with memorable videos featuring their bearded frontmen, Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill. This transformation not only sustained their success but expanded their fan base.
At its core, ZZ Top’s music featured bluesy guitar riffs, funky rhythms, and witty lyrics touching on subjects like sex, booze, the blues, and the quirks of Texas life. The band’s breakthrough came with their 1973 album “Tres Hombres,” with its hit “La Grange.” They continued to produce hits in the 70s and embarked on the “Worldwide Texas Tour,” known for its extravagant stage setup.
In the 1980s, ZZ Top embraced a more electronic sound with albums like “Eliminator” and “Afterburner.” Their clever blend of technology and blues spawned chart-topping hits and iconic music videos. They remained active in the 90s and 2000s, earning their place in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.
After a period of touring, they signed with American Recordings and released “La Futura” in 2012, which harkened back to their bluesy roots. The band endured a difficult period when Dusty Hill faced health issues. Tragically, he passed away in 2021, and ZZ Top decided to continue their legacy with Elwood Francis stepping in as bassist.
The dual concert of these two powerhouse bands will take place on Thursday, March 14, 2024. All the information, including how to buy tickets, can be found here.