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When Lynyrd Skynyrd made their debut in 1973, they hit the ground running. Their first studio album, (Pronounced ‘Lĕh-‘nérd ‘Skin-‘nérd), was filled with songs that have since become classics. One such track is their power ballad “Free Bird,” which has gone on to become one of the group’s signature songs.
Written by lead singer Ronnie Van Zant and guitarist Allen Collins, “Free Bird” remains Skynyrd’s longest song. Over the years, Skynyrd has used the song as a finale for countless shows, and included it as part of their encore during their performance on the German music television show, Rockpalast.
Skynyrd appeared on the show in 1974, and featured a wealth of songs from their debut album on their setlist, including “Free Bird.” The band always dedicated the song to the late Duane Allman of the Allman Brothers Band before they performed it, but this time around Ronnie also dedicated the performance to the Allman Brothers Band’s late bassist, Berry Oakley.
In many clips from Skynyrd’s live performances, you can often hear the crowd screaming like wild in the background. But such was not the case during the band’s Rockpalast performance. In fact, the crowd remained completely silent until the end of the song, completely mesmerized by the talent they were witnessing.
Once Ronnie finished singing and the famous closing guitar solos started, even he appeared impressed with what he was hearing. You can see him smiling throughout the entire solo, and at one point in time he even starts clapping along as he watches his buddies play.
When Skynyrd concluded their performance, the crowd finally let loose, and Skynyrd walked off stage only to be called back on to perform just one more song. Needless to say, the Rockpalast crowd loved Skynyrd’s performance, and when you watch the clip below, you’ll know exactly why.