The hot, steamy weather must have made Lynyrd Skynyrd right at home Friday night at Ravinia. The conditions were more befitting of a August night in the bands home town of Jacksonville, Florida, than the tony suburbs of Chicago.
It was hard to tell if it was the weather, or stuffed tummies of the audience in the pavilion, but it wasn't until the fourth song, "What's Your Name" that brought the crowd to it's feet. Lead singer Johnny Van Zant, brother of founder Ronnie who kept encouraging patrons to stand, sing, and dance.
The band tore through most of their big hits in the hour and a half long fourteen song set. The last three tunes in the set also had the house a rockin' with "Gimme Three Steps," the JJ Cale penned "Call Me The Breeze," and "Sweet Home Alabama." Skynyrd was tight, jammed on every song, except for "Simple Man," a ballad which Van Zant dedicated to those soldiers fighting around the world.
The encore was the only time at just about any concert you can yell, "Play 'Freebird'" and the band obliges.
Great show, rocked hard, despite the stifling heat.
Setlist: Lynyrd Skynyrd at Ravinia Festival - 9/1/2011
Workin' For MCA
I Ain't The One
What's Your Name
Down South Jukin'
Sam Old Blues
I Know A Little
T For Texas
Gimme Three Steps
Call Me The Breeze
Sweet Home Alabama