Southern Comfort

Attending a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert in the 21st century isn't so much about going to hear the band as it is about experiencing the Lynyrd Skynyrd institution, a cultural celebration of what used to be considered the antithesis of culture. It wasn't too long ago that shouting "Free Bird!" at any modern rock concert was an invitation for chuckles. Now the triple-fronted guitar assault, long hair flying in all directions and stubborn Southern pride spewing from the mouth of Johnny Van Zant elicit respect across musical genres. Guitarist Gary Rossington is the only founding member of Skynyrd still touring; try to catch them so you can at least say you saw one of the originals. But if not, don't worry, because the institution of Lynyrd Skynyrd will undoubtedly carry on for a few more generations. Lynyrd Skynyrd performs 7 p.m. Sunday at Smirnoff Music Centre, 1818 First Ave. The openers for this leg of Skynyrd's seemingly endless tour are modern rockers (with a heapin' helping of Mississippi grit) 3 Doors Down and rising country ruffian (carrying on his daddy Waylon's outlaw ways) Shooter Jennings. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $27.75 to $65. Call 214-373-8000 or visit
Sun., July 9, 5:30 p.m.
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Jay Webb