Lynyrd Skynyrd / Facebook
The tour began on July 21, 2023 in West Palm Beach and wrapped up on September 17, 2023 in Camden, New Jersey.
This marked the first Lynyrd Skynyrd tour without any of its original band members. Gary Rossington, the last living original member, passed away on March 5, 2023.
Gary survived the 1977 plane crash that claimed the lives of Skynyrd’s lead singer Ronnie VanZant, guitarist Steve Gaines, background vocalist Cassie Gaines, assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick, Captain Walter McCreary, and First Officer William John Gray.
Even the band members themselves did not know if they would continue performing. The band took a long break following the 1977 tragedy and made it known that they would continue as long as an original band member was still in the group. They also had the blessings of the families of the fallen original members.
Now, the last original band member was gone, so the musicians figured the band would be no longer. However, Rossington’s widow, Dale Rossington, as the families of Ronnie VanZant and late guitarist Allen Collins, who was another original member of the group, insisted that they continue.
See their statement below.
“After the recent death of original founding member Gary Rossington, the Lynyrd Skynyrd band members and estates have been in discussion on what was next for the group and the music that is celebrating 50 years of generational history in American Rock and Roll,” the band’s statement reads. “The current members, led by Johnny Van Zant, the singer for the past 36 years, was unsure if they would continue following Gary’s untimely passing. After much discussion with the band, the families of Ronnie Van Zant and Allen Collins, and Dale Rossington, the collective has reached unified support, and feel that continuing to perform LIVE, and keeping the music alive, is in the best interest of the fans and everyone involved.”
For 25 nights, Lynyrd Skynyrd and ZZ Top performed for their eager fans with special guest Uncle Kracker opening the show for them. According to a set list website, each legendary rock band performed 14-16 songs and from the videos we have seen online, every single song was savored by fans.
Lynyrd Skynyrd’s encore song, “Free Bird,” has always served as a tribute to their fallen members, and now with Rossington in the video tribute, it makes it all the more emotional.
The Sharp Dressed Simple Man Tour wrapped up on September 17, 2023, but in an announcement on Monday (Oct. 30), the band revealed that they will be extending the tour into 2024 with 36 more dates!
They will once again hit the road on March 8, 2024 in Savannah, Georgia and will wrap up on September 22 in Ridgefield, Washington. They will make stops in Knoxville, Tennessee, Syracuse, New York, Concord, California, and everywhere in between.
See their official announcement below!