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Anyone who knows about Lynyrd Skynyrd‘s history knows that they performed two shows at the historic Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco, California. The first show took place in 1975, which is when Skynyrd first introduced the famed stage to their song “Saturday Night Special.”
Released as the opening track on the band’s album Nuthin’ Fancy, “Saturday Night Special” tackles the issue of gun control. The title refers back to a type of small, cheap handgun, which the song connected to acts of impulsive violence.
By tackling a tough subject, Skynyrd was taking a big risk with “Saturday Night Special.” But their fans loved the song, and it climbed all the way to the 27th spot on the Billboard Hot 100. To this date, the song remains one of Skynyrd’s most well-known.
Due to the song’s popularity, it only made sense for Skynyrd to include it in their set list once they returned to Winterland in 1976. Magic happened once the group reunited with the iconic stage, especially once they started playing “Saturday Night Special.”
Words can’t even begin to describe the energy that was in the room that night. Even now, decades after the performance took place, you can still feel the energy just from watching the show unfold on your screen.
As always, Ronnie Van Zant served as the force that kicked the group’s entire performance into overdrive. Moving with full steam ahead, Ronnie growled through the lyrics with intense passion and power
After all this time, Skynyrd fans are still pointing back to this performance as one of Skynyrd’s all-time best. In fact, both of their Winterland concerts showcased some top-notch talent.
Tune in below to relive a standout moment in Skynyrd history by watching the clip of “Saturday Night Special” from their 1976 Winterland show. We’re sure you’ll love it!