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  • Writer's pictureBill Hernandez

THE SHARP DRESSED SIMPLE MAN TOUR KICKS OFF IN WEST PALM BEACH FLORIDA.

Updated: Jul 23, 2023



UNCLE KRACKER, LYNYRD SKYNYRD, & ZZ TOP PLAY THE CROWDED iTHINK AMPHITHEATER ON THIS HOT SUMMER NIGHT. IF YOU'VE HEARD THEM PLAY IT ON THE RADIO, ODDS ARE, THEY WILL HEAR IT PLAYED TONIGHT.


JOHNNY VAN ZANDT / PHOTO BY SHEILA C's PHOTOGRAPHY

Tonight was a good one. A hot summer night in Florida with three great performances slated for tonight at the iThink Amphitheater in West Palm Beach. This place was packed for this Saturday night show. No rain, cold beer, and music fans in droves for a great night of music. Tonight we are fortunate to have Uncle Kracker, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and ZZ Top on the bill and believe me, they did not disappoint! With a carnival-like atmosphere, iThink Amphitheater had it all going on. From live music in the VIP lounge, to sponsor giveaways and loaded bars, Trejo's Tacos and a well-stocked merch stand. Everyone here is in great spirits with pre-gaming starting early in the parking lot. You could not ask for a better day.


Uncle Kracker is the first to take the stage and warm up the crowd. Kracker started his set with the appropriately titled "Nobody's Sad On A Saturday Night", followed by the Kid Rock cover "All Summer Long". This was a short set of songs, eight in total, but a great mix of great songs suited perfectly for this crowd and atmosphere. "Reason To Drink", "Follow Me", "Take It Easy" (Eagles cover), "When The Sun Goes Down" (Kenny Chesney cover), "Drift Away" (Dobie Gray cover) were played throughout this set and finished nicely with the song "Smile". Uncle Kracker was the perfect choice as an opener for this great concert line-up tonight. With Lynyrd Skynyrd and ZZ Top both in position to be headliners for this tour, there is only room for one of the bands to be considered. How do you choose which one will be the headliner? There is a simple solution. For each show, both bands will take turns closing the show at the end of the night. For tonight's performance, which is also the opening gig on this tour, ZZ TOP will close the show. Up next... Lynyrd Skynyrd.



the lights go out and Lynyrd Skynyrd takes to the stage and the crowd erupts with roars and applause. A giant LCD screen behind the stage begins to play a video celebrating the fifty year anniversary of the band to the tune of AC/DC's "Thunderstruck". At the culmination of the video intro., the band rolls right into the opening song "Workin" For MCA", followed by " Skynyrd Nation", "What's Your Name", and "That Smell". Lynyrd Skynyrd played a great set-list of their greatest hits, playing fifteen songs in total. With the passing of Gary Rossington, the last original member of the band, it only seemed fitting that the band would pay tribute to the amazing guitarist who passed at the age of 71 on March 5, 2023. As a perfect tribute, Lynyrd Skynyrd dedicated the song "Tuesday's Gone" to Rossington and displayed a video of his long career with early footage, behind-the-scenes, and more current images to celebrate the life of this amazing human being. The crowd waving their arms in unison, flicking their lighters and cell-phone flashlights to show respect to the man who helped create this band. Rossington will surely be missed. Skynyrd finished their set with "Simple Man" ( Dedicated to first-responders and the Military), "Gimme Three Steps", "Call Me The Breeze", and the anthemic "Sweet Home Alabama". The band then encered with "Free Bird". After a short intermission, it was time for ZZ TOP.



Billy Gibbons and ZZ TOP took the stage at 9:40 pm and were locked and loaded with an arsenal of 16 songs that could be compiled into a greatest-hits album. Well received by the crowd, ZZ TOP hit the stage running with "Got Me Under Pressure", "I Thank You", "Waitin' For The Bus", and "Jesus Just Left Chicago". This crowd was on their feet for most of the show. I mean, how could you even think about sitting down at a ZZ TOP concert? With the passing of original bassist Dusty Hill in July of 2021, there are some very big shoes to fill. Billy Gibbons and Frank Beard incorporated their gutiar-tech Elwood Francis into the band to fill those shoes... and what a great choice that was. Francis has no trouble keeping up with the boys, and his signature unkempt hair and beard are a perfect fit for the band. Songs like "Pearl Necklace", "Gimmie All Your Lovin'", "Sharp Dressed Man", and "Legs" were played loud and proud leaving the crowd cheering for the songs one after another. ZZ TOP ended their West Palm Beach run with three encore songs "Brown Sugar", "Tube Snake Boogie", and "La Grange". This tour is filled with a great combination of music and artists. Check your local venues and the bands' websites to see when the "Sharp Dressed Simple Man Tour will be coming to your area. You will not regret it.





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