LYNYRD SKYNYRD ANNOUNCES LAST OF THE STREET SURVIVORS FAREWELL TOUR
FRIDAY, JUNE 22 – PNC BANK ARTS CENTER
SATURDAY, JUNE 23 – NORTHWELL HEALTH AT JONES BEACH THEATER
After a career that has spanned more than 40 years and includes a catalog of more than 60 albums, Southern Rock icons, Lynyrd Skynyrd, will embark on its final Last of the Street Survivors Farewell Tour. The first leg of the career-concluding tour, produced by Live Nation, will kick off Friday, May 4 in West Palm Beach, FL at the Coral Sky Amphitheatre and will wrap Saturday, September 1 in Atlanta, GA at the Cellairis Amphitheatre at Lakewood. The tour will cross the country throughout the summer over Fridays and Saturdays to give fans one last memorable night of classic American Rock-and-Roll.
Tickets for the tour go on sale to the general public starting Friday, February 2 at 10:00am local time at LiveNation.com. Citi® is the official presale credit card for the "Last of the Street Survivors Farewell Tour”. As such, Citi® cardmembers have access to purchase U.S. presale tickets, which are available beginning Tuesday, January 30 at 10:00am local time until Thursday, February 1 at 10:00pm local time through Citi's Private Pass® program. For complete presale details visit www.citiprivatepass.com.
“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,” said Gary Rossington, original and founding member of Lynyrd Skynyrd. 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.”
In addition to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band, they will be joined on stage by numerous friends throughout the tour, including but not limited to: Kid Rock, Hank Williams Jr., Charlie Daniels Band, Bad Company, Marshall Tucker Band, 38 Special, Blackberry Smoke and Blackfoot. The tour derives its name from their new song, ‘The Last of the Street Survivors’ and the band’s fifth studio album Street Survivors that is certified multi-platinum by the RIAA and includes the platinum-certified single, “What’s Your Name.”
The Last of the Street Survivors Farewell Tour marks a big moment for the three generation of fans, as the band has been consistently touring since it took a decade off in 1977. The iconic group is widely known for their live performances that usually include their beloved, elongated version of “Free Bird,” most often played at the end of their set, and their live albums including their multi-platinum certified One More from the Road.
The Southern Rockers are best known for their RIAA platinum-certified anthems “Sweet Home Alabama” and self-proclaimed signature song, “Free Bird,” that Rolling Stone said was “easily the most requested live song in existence.” With more than 30 million units sold over their career, the band, that USA Today called the “whiskey-soaked genre's most popular and influential crew,” has become a cultural icon that has spanned five decades. With everlasting hits such as “Simple Man,” “Gimme Three Steps,” “What’s Your Name,” “Call Me The Breeze,” “You Got that Right,” and more, Rolling Stone named Lynyrd Skynyrd one of its 100 Greatest Bands of All Time.
Stay tuned for future announcements and specific tour line-ups in your markets.
Last of the Street Survivors Farewell Tour
Announced Dates Below
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
VIP Packages will be available for all dates. Details available at lynyrdskynyrd.com.
About Lynyrd Skynyrd
Original members Ronnie Van Zant, Bob Burns, Allen Collins, Gary Rossington, and Larry Junstrom formed the band in 1964, originally known as My Backyard, the band changed to its famous name in the early 1970s, and became popular in the Jacksonville, FL area, where the original members were from. They signed with Sounds of the South Records in 1972, and released their self-titled disc the following year. The album that featured “Free Bird,” arguably the most-recognized single in the Southern Rock genre, has sold more than 2 million units since its release. Later down the road the band recorded iconic tracks “Sweet Home Alabama” and “What’s Your Name.”
The band’s story took a tragic turn in October 1977 when a plane crash took the lives of Van Zant, Steve Gaines, backup singer Cassie Gaines, and several of their road crew. The band took a decade-long hiatus before reuniting for a tour and live album, Southern by the Grace of God. Since then, the band has toured and recorded extensively, with their most recent release being Last Of A Dyin’ Breed. The band’s current line-up includes original member Rossington, Johnny Van Zant, Rickey Medlocke, Mark “Sparky” Matejka, Michael Cartellone, Keith Christopher, Peter Keys, Dale Krantz Rossington and Carol Chase. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006.
Lynyrd Skynyrd has endured, despite all odds, through death and disaster, as the signature rock group of America's working people. It is no accident that any popular contemporary band that uses electric guitars owes a huge debt to Skynyrd, a debt almost always freely acknowledged. Musicians as diverse as Kid Rock, Metallica and Travis Tritt pledge allegiance to the Skynyrd sound, and a new wave of hard rocking youngsters values Lynyrd Skynyrd above all else.
Skynyrd's ability to constantly rekindle its creative fires following tragedy is a testament to the indomitable spirit that has surrounded the band since its inception, and has largely defined Lynyrd Skynyrd over the years. The legendary singer/songwriter Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines and vocalist Cassie Gaines died in the infamous 1977 plane crash that ended the band's initial run. Guitarist Allen Collins survived the plane crash only to suffer paralysis and, eventually, death in a tragic car accident. And most recently the band lost bassist Leon Wilkeson, who died during the making of Vicious Cycle. Yet once again Lynyrd Skynyrd found the determination to continue working as well as a way to perpetuate its greatness, and Vicious Cycle may well be the greatest Skynyrd album since the band's classic lineup."It's been a long time comin'," philosophized Ronnie's younger brother, Johnny Van Zant of Lynyrd Skynyrd's latest offering.
Having taken over the duty of lead vocalist in 1987, Johnny has grown into the role of fronting the band so well that Lynyrd Skynyrd has truly become the central part of his identity. "We've hit on a combination of old style Skynyrd, with new style Skynyrd, with commercial Skynyrd," Johnny said with a laugh. "We've got that hard rockin' country thing going full blast on this one."Lynyrd Skynyrd has always been an arsenal of determination, articulation, personality and, above all else, guitar prowess. With Gary Rossington, one of the greatest guitarists in rock history, Lynyrd Skynyrd's stellar guitar lineup also features Blackfoot's Rickey Medlocke. Keyboardist Billy Powell contributes melodic touches that add a stark beauty to the band's sound. Drummer Michael Cartellone gives the rhythm section a thunderous kick.
Though Leon Wilkeson’s passing in July 2001 of natural causes was tragic and untimely, it is one element that furthers the meaning of the album’s title. Wilkeson was known for his huge sound and the outlandish collection of hats he wore on stage. “Mad Hatter" is the band's tribute to its fallen member."That's about brother Leon," singer Johnny Van Zant explained. "God broke the mold when he built him. He survived the plane crash and we always used to kid him, called him the Mad Hatter and the Cat in the Hat because he had nine lives." 4Wilkeson had recorded a couple of tracks, “Lucky Man” and The Way,” for the album before he passed, and Skynyrd fans had heard him play the latter and “Funked Up” in live performance."We've done “Funked Up” and “The Way” live and they both got a great response," Johnny noted. "The people really loved “The Way.” They were coming up to us and saying they can't wait to hear it on record. The eerie thing is that the song talks about passing on to the other side and how things are so screwed up in general and it was the last song Leon played on.”
The band completed Vicious Cycle with Ean Evans, on bass."Ean's a trouper," said Johnny. "He and Leon were good friends. Leon had a few problems toward the end and Ean would fill in for him when he couldn't make the gigs. Ean's one of us. He's from Mississippi. He's a talented guy and a great person. God bless Leon, he's gone now but he would have wanted us to keep going and we will." Having come full circle through all the hardships -- death, illness, departure, disagreements, exhaustion -- that Lynyrd Skynyrd knows so well, they channeled their life experiences into powerful and emotive songs for this aptly named album. "Life's Lessons" offers pointed advice about self-assuredness and hindsight. "...You think you know it all/but you're heading for a fall/to make it back again/you'll have to crawl....when we look back and see what we've done will we be proud or ashamed....is this another life's lesson too late?" sings Johnny on the song.
On the flip side, not only does the band express the uncertainty of the cards life may deal a person, but also Lynyrd Skynyrd addresses free will in "Hell or Heaven.” Johnny noted, “You can choose your own hell, or heaven on earth. That hell could be drugs or it could be being married to the wrong woman or whatever. If you lay with dogs you're gonna get fleas." From "Sweet Home Alabama" to "Saturday Night Special," Skynyrd always has been known for tackling controversial subjects head on, and the fierce "Dead Man Walking" is squarely in that tradition."We just love that groove," said Johnny. "It's old Skynyrd with new heavy guitars. Gary is just ripping on that one. It's about somebody doing a kid wrong, the parents finding out and avenging it with vigilante justice. It's hard to say you wouldn't do the same thing if you were in their place."Similarly, "Jake" tells a story of a father's white-hot anger after catching his daughter and her beau in the throes of passion. The couple runs, but the angered, gun-waiving father catches up to the couple and fires the gun. Indeed someone dies, but it is the father, not Jake.
Another hot point addressed on Vicious Cycle is the brewing hostility between the U.S. and the Middle East: "Got our heads stuck in something overseas/Standin' ass deep in hypocrisy," read the lyrics on "The Way." Not only focusing on tragedy and controversy, Lynyrd Skynyrd also draws on their blue collar roots for musical inspiration. They've always been known as one of the hardest working bands in history, having exploded onto the scene in the 1970’s and playing approximately 300 dates each year. Lynyrd Skynyrd doesn't know how to take it easy -- through any and all lumps life has offered Lynyrd Skynyrd, they have not given up or even slowed down.
3Few bands have made as spectacular an entrance as did Skynyrd in 1973, and aside from their music, another distinguishing factor was Skynyrd's audience. While virtually all of the band's contemporaries were writing to a suburban people, Lynyrd Skynyrd fiercely promoted the values of its heritage, the values of America's workers. The band's hometown of Jacksonville truly was a blue collar town, and Ronnie, Donnie and Johnny Van Zant learned the value of hard work from family patriarch Lacy Van Zant. Ronnie was a master at articulating these values in Skynyrd's songs and Johnny has grown into the role so well that he's actually brought the group to another level.
The new album is packed with working class anthems like "That's How I like It," "Pick'em Up," and "Sweet Mama.""Our fans are country folks, they like the basics," Johnny explained. "They're not afraid of dirt, they know how to work with their hands. If you've got a good car and a good woman you can be happy. Life has gotten so complicated that a lot of people have lost sight of the fact that the simple things are the best things. We came from a basic family. Our father was a working man. Our mother was a housewife. We didn't live the high life. Sure, these days we buy our own cars, but we still live a basic life."
Johnny and Donnie collaborated on a powerful tribute to the family's roots with "Red, White & Blue," an unapologetic celebration of the American working class. "My hair's turning white, my neck's always been red, my collar's still blue," goes the chorus. In a wonderful nod to Merle Haggard that Ronnie would have loved, the boys pay tribute to their parents. "I've driven by the White House, but spent some time in jail/My momma cried, but still wouldn't pay my bail."Skynyrd has always managed to balance its kickass party anthems with messages that offer solace against life's troubles and hope for a better future. "The Way" touches on an inspirational theme that ranks with one of the band's most enduring songs, "Free Bird."Music has always carried Lynyrd Skynyrd through life's cycles, and the band aims for their album Vicious Cycle to reflect that and to do so for others as well.
"I hope we can help some people through their bad times with our music," said Johnny. "That's what music's all about anyway. Music has brought me through some really dark times in my life and I hope this record can bring some other people through their bad times."