On this date in history, 6/12/1998, Deer Creek in Noblesville, IN, celebrated 10 years of concerts with a bash featuring Lynyrd Skynyrd, Peter Frampton, The Freddy Jones Band, and Mike Tramp. Due to circumstances beyond my control, I was late and made my arrival just before Peter Frampton began his set. It was my first (and so far only) time seeing him and I was impressed. I was never a fan when he was on the radio every 3 minutes during my high school years, but over time I realized he was popular for a reason. The songs have held up well over time, he has a great personality on stage, still sings well, and still plays the hell out of his guitars. Lynyrd Skynyrd died on the day of that tragic plane crash that claimed Ronnie Van Zant, but the band name lives on and the music will likely inspire rockers for generations to come. Ronnie’s brother Johnny does a great job singing the songs, but fairly or unfairly, he will always live in the shadow of the martyred original front man, who will forever stand alongside Gregg Allman as the twin towers of Southern Rock vocalists. The triple threat of Gary Rossington, Ricky Medlocke (ex-Blackfoot), and Hughie Thomasson (ex-Outlaws) executed all the scorching leads and riffs we all know and love. In 1998 there were still a handful of living members from the glory years of the band, but now Gary Rossington stands alone. I have often said that the Lynyrd Skynyrd that exists now is the best Skynyrd tribute band on the planet, and that isn’t a bad thing at all. You know what you’re getting when you go see Skynyrd. Tons of great songs, sweet nostalgia, and a damn good time!
Written By Braddon S. Williams aka The Concert Critic