As a society, we will always have an inherent bias. It’s buried way down and changing the mindset toward those thoughts takes a smart person to know they are there. Such a vice could have easily been present at the Lynyrd Skynyrd / Peter Townsend show at Champions Square, but much to my surprise and happiness, there really wasn’t much of those notions there to think about. I was a half-expectation the show to be a Trump pep rally, but not a Trump t-shirt to be found. Any racist preconceived notions that might have been out there were quickly squashed on the back of one fellow Skynyrd fan, “Rebellion not Racism.”
This tour is basically two headlining acts. Frampton went on first then Skynrd. Both acts being rooted in the 70s rock scene didn’t give anyone much reason to leave after Frampton’s set [http://www.setlist.fm/setlist/peter-frampton/2016/bold-sphere-music-at-champions-square-new-orleans-la-33fca835.html]. Frampton’s time spent with David Bowie was present in the set almost immediately, as he covered “Rebel, Rebel.” Ever the showman, he delighted the crowd with material off three of his fifteen albums, of which most were present on his 8x Platinum hit live album, Frampton Comes Alive! Midway through his set, after the crowd was done basking in the musicianship of “Show Me the Way,” the crowd was treated to an amazing instrumental cover of Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun.” It took me by surprise but in the context of Frampton’s technical playing. “Baby I Love the Way” was an obvious crowd favorite and the Beatles encore cover of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” couldn’t have been more perfect. Subtract the vocal gimmick, and you would still have an amazing set.
From the back of the house to the pit we went to shoot Skynrd. I was happy to not hear screaming through the night, play “Freebird.” Maybe it was just where I was or the audience, like the band, didn’t find that joke as funny in this context. With only one original member and one almost original member, Lynyrd Skynyrd still manages to pull off an amazing southern rock show. They play to the crowd and in return, the crowd erupts in fits of energy. As expected the set [http://www.setlist.fm/setlist/lynyrd-skynyrd/2016/bold-sphere-music-at-champions-square-new-orleans-la-23fca837.html] ended with “Sweet Home Alabama” and the encore was “Freebird.” A bit predictable, but the set has always been a build up to those two songs. I don’t know what the audience would have thought had either been played earlier in the set or not even played at all. If ever there was a show that celebrated itself and the culture it surrounded, this would be it.