Live Review: Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bad Company Combine for Unstoppable Rock

Published on July 15th, 2013

_MG_0110Bad Company performs live alongside co-headliners Lynyrd Skynyrd on July 14, 2013 in Bristow, Virginia at Jiffy Lube Live. The bands are both celebrating 40th anniversaries.

BRISTOW, V.A. – You may not have pegged the British hard rock institution Bad Company as the likely tour partner for southern rock rebels Lynyrd Skynyrd, but then again, stranger things have happened.

The Red, White, and Blue met the Union Jack on stage outside Washington, D.C. for what became a night of unbridled rock passion and enough guitar riffs to melt one’s face. And that was before Lynyrd Skynyrd even stepped on stage.

Trading off opening and closing sets each night of the tour, it was Bad Co.’s turn to start.

The band has made a habit of being somewhat of a rarity on the concert circuit, picking out small tours as they please every few years. They haven’t toured the United States since 2010. Like Skynyrd, the band celebrates 40 years since their fiery start with the seminal, self-titled ‘Bad Company’ record.

Frontman Paul Rodgers emerged with an air of confidence that must come with knowing you possess a voice as strong as a military weapon.

Aging just doesn’t seem to happen for the singer, who has retained every bit of his prowess behind the microphone. Through more than 40 years of Bad Company, Free, The Firm, and even Queen incarnations, Rodgers in 2013 sounds more like he hopped in a time capsule right after recording Desolation Angels in 1979.

Hearing him deliver each lyric with sharp, unmistakable authority is simply a stunning experience.

The rest of the ‘company’ complete a circuit of rock and roll perfection. Nearing 70, Mick Ralphs is still blistering on guitar. His partner in crime is former Heart axeman Howard Leese, who fits into the mold with ease.

On drums is a third original player, Simon Kirke. Todd Roning rounds out the lineup on bass.

The no-nonsense setlist flowed like a work of art from a rapid opening pace, to a cooler tempo in the middle of the set with “Electicland”. By the time the crowd heated up again for “Can’t Get Enough”, there was no turning back.

“Bad Company”, the title track for the ages, closed out a set which left many fans stammering in awe.

“That was worth the price of admission right there,” said one of them.

With the floor now wiped by Rodgers, Lynyrd Skynyrd were greeted by a thunder of applause from the crowd of more than 10,000.

Their catalog speaks for itself. “Freebird”, “Sweet Home Alabama”, and “What’s Your Name” are more institutions than songs at this point in time.

Johnny Van Zant carried the show nicely, setting his gruff but accurate voice loose on the catalog while sandwiched between the guitar assault of Rickey Medlocke and Gary Rossington.

For a band with such a tumultuous past, there was a surprising sense of stability in watching its nine performers interact on stage.

Their new album last year, which peaked at #14 on the Billboard 200, cemented a new Skynyrd.

Half the band are rock legends, and the other half are skilled supporting players worthy of all the bright lights and cheers that come with being in Lynyrd Skynyrd.

After the tour wraps, they’ll take the show on the water again for the annual ‘Simple Man’ cruise this October. For those who can’t get enough, this just might be the ticket.

And so the odd couple comprised of two rock institutions across the pond from each other left the stage having blended together much more harmoniously than expected. The sheer weight of their combined legendary status in the world of music is enough to carry this tour through, and perhaps merit a second.

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_MG_1600Rock ‘N’ Roll Fantasy: Frontman Paul Rodgers looked ageless as he sauntered around on stage

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Comments

  1. Posted by Kim Feather on July 20th, 2013, 09:31 [Reply]

    I went and loved the show.My daughter Hannah 16 went with us and made a sign.The sign was a big hit. It made to The Lynyrd’s twitter page and they sent her a message and told her the poster was awesome.She was so excited.You can go to there page and see her pic.Many people ask her to take her pic on the way out of the show.Great article

  2. Posted by janice on July 20th, 2013, 11:47 [Reply]

    Two great bands, legends in their time, I wish I could have heard them.

  3. Posted by deb on January 6th, 2014, 15:11 [Reply]

    i know ronnie zant isnt here and i know you play well. when the band was under ronnie and the others, its like you played their songs and you cant find them on youtube, the original. its like yall did away with them and started playing theyre songs. i wanted to hear them play theyre own songs. i seen them in concert. yall booted the originals out on youtube .cant people respect the dead and leave theyre songs alone

  4. Posted by Ronald Petro on February 9th, 2014, 23:09 [Reply]

    I would have loved to be at that concert for those two bands are among my favorite groups. I haven’t seen either of these groups yet , but they are definitely on my bucket list.

  5. Posted by Eric Klein on March 14th, 2014, 11:08 [Reply]

    Saw Skynyrd in 2001, grew up with them in their heyday of the 70′s. There show was amazing at the Molson Ampitheatre in Toronto. I think Johnnie has done Ronnie Proud, keeping the name alive for so many year’s. And we can’t forget Gary Rossington. “Amazing” guitarist, still the original sound.
    Love Bad Company to !

  6. Posted by TONY EVANS on April 10th, 2014, 09:44 [Reply]

    WOW……WHAT A GIG THAT MUSTA BEEN!!!OLE PAUL RODGERS THE BEST ROCK SINGER OV THEM ALL…PLUS THE MAGNIFICENT MR MEDLOCKE +LEGEND GARY ROSSINGTON!!.we in ENGLAND would LOVE LOVE LOVE that.one gig..

  7. Posted by Jason Bauer on April 11th, 2014, 15:55 [Reply]

    what a concert…. me and roughly 20 family members had the pleasure of attending what i call the greatest concert ever… i never thought in a million years that i would ever see such a great show…. i even had a rebel flag painted on my back and lynyrd skynyrd’s name as well…. met alot of geat people and just had a great time…. who woulda ever thought that again this year i would be goin bk to see this great show again…. thats right u heard me say it… lynyrd skynyrd and bad company at bristow va july 17 2014….. if you missed the big concert before dont miss your chance now…. ill see ya at the show

  8. Posted by Sally on May 14th, 2014, 09:48 [Reply]

    I saw this show last summer and LOVED LOVED LOVED it. My two favorites from my teen years and they KICKED ASS!

  9. Posted by tom powers on July 18th, 2014, 23:10 [Reply]

    went and saw the show tonight in Camden nj.bad company came on first and sounded great.mr Rodgers still has the pipes! lots of great songs! go see it if you can.

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