Lynyrd Skynyrd @ Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum

Lynyrd Skynyrd has endured a lot in their nearly 45 years of existence — withstanding allegations of racism over "Sweet Home Alabama," the 1977 plane crash that claimed the life of three band members (including lead singer Ronnie Van Zant), their song "Free Bird" becoming a ubiquitous gag during encores regardless of artist or genre, and having more Y's in their name than is typically acceptable. They even still have one original member in tow, guitarist Gary Rossington. In the tea party era, the current version of Lynyrd Skynyrd has taken on some newfound cultural relevance. Their 2009 album, God & Guns, is filled with conspicuously conservative anthems such as the anti-gun-control title track, which has seen criticism as being contradictory to classic Skynyrd tunes such as "Saturday Night Special." They've been embraced by no less an authority on misplaced patriotism than Sean Hannity, who uses the album track "That Ain't My America" as bumper music on his radio show. In the song, lead singer Johnny Van Zant (brother of Ronnie) laments no-smoking signs, gas prices, and the separation of church and state — surely dredging up all sorts of interesting sentiment during their upcoming gig at the Arizona State Fair.


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