Gary Rossington Rejoins Lynyrd Skynyrd Following Heart Surgery.
Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist and founding member Gary Rossington returned to the stage last night for the first time since undergoing surgery to repair a leaky heart valve. You can see pictures of their show from the FivePoint Amphitheatre in Irvine, Calif., as well as from the opening sets be ZZ Top and Cheap Trick, below.
Skynyrd's 14-song set kicked off with "Working for MCA," with the main set closing with "Sweet Home Alabama" and a one-song encore of "Free Bird." They dedicated "Simple Man" to the troops and people went through the audience selling a two-CD compilation to raise money for both the Skynyrd Foundation and Shriners Hospital. There was no mention of Rossington's surgery.
The 68 year-old Rossington has a long history of health woes, including suffering heart attacks on stage. The musician underwent his most recent procedure on July 31 and had been recovering in the weeks since, leading Lynyrd Skynyrd to postpone several shows while their guitarist healed. A message posted to the band’s website insisted that Rossington was anxious “to come back and perform at 100 percent for the fans.”
Lynyrd Skynyrd are in the midst of their Last of the Street Survivors farewell tour, a trek that will see the legendary group “play every venue, one last time” before calling it quits. The group currently has dates scheduled through October, with plans to add international dates in 2020.
Joining them for the Irvine performance was ZZ Top. The classic trio of Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill and Frank Beard are celebrating their 50th anniversary with a nationwide tour. Their set opened with "Got Me Under Pressure" and included covers of Merle Travis' "Sixteen Tons" and Elvis Presley's "Jailhouse Rock."
Cheap Trick started off the night's three-headed-monster lineup, and brought on former Guns N' Roses guitarist Gilby Clarke for renditions of "Dream Police" and "Surrender." The band most recently covered the song "Ambush" for This Is the Town: A Tribute to Harry Nilsson (Volume 2).