Lynyrd Skynyrd and Bad Company team up for classic show in Indianapolis

Anymore it’s hard to make it very long in a band. Longevity takes dedication, time, sacrifice and you have to love what you do. Making it 40 years in a band is virtually unheard of anymore, which is why this year’s XL Tour (that’s 40 for those of you who don’t know) featuring Bad Company and Lynyrd Skynyrd- both of whom are celebrating 40 years, has been just that- a celebration and a party.

Opening up each date on the tour has been southern rock rising stars Black Stone Cherry, who many have described as a modern-day Lynyrd Skynyrd. They always have an energetic and charismatic stage show and bring the heat it takes to open some of the biggest stages in rock.

On the Indianapolis date they played a hell of a show but it still didn’t seem to live up to the expectations and bar they’ve set for themselves over the last few years. They always seem to blow people away with how up-tempo they are on stage but this time around something seemed to be missing but it’s hard to tell what it was- they just didn’t deliver 100%.

They didn’t put on a bad show by any stretch of the imagination, though- they still did their job as an opener, which is to get the crowd moving and ready for the next few acts. They were a perfect choice to open this tour.

One thing that sets co-headlining tours apart from typical tours is that each headliner gets equal time on stage- usually around an hour to an hour and a half. Sometimes the final headliner will play a little longer, but not often.

The XL Tour shows Lynyrd Skynyrd and Bad Company swapping the final spot each night and on this particular night Skynyrd took the stage first.

Playing for a little over an hour and a half, Skynyrd played virtually every song a fan- diehard or new- could have wanted to hear. All the classics were there and some old songs that only the diehard fans would recognize as well.

For 40 years and after all the lineup changes, Skynyrd still sounds as crisp and powerful as ever before and their stage presence is as good as ever. Just like fine wine, they’ve gotten better over the years and decades and it was like no time has gone by whatsoever.

One thing that really stood out about their set was how interactive they were with the fans. Often times when a band reaches the level Lynyrd Skynyrd has they become unattached from the fans. They’ll often show up, play, not talk and then leave. Skynyrd, however took time between almost every song to talk to the fans and interact, which shows how humble they really are.

Capping off the night was British rock legends Bad Company, who took the energy and show Lynyrd Skynyrd put out and took it to another level.

With songs like “Shooting Star,” “Can’t Get Enough,” “Feel Like Making Love,” and “Bad Company,” their songs have been covered by numerous bands over the years and everyone probably knows at least one song by the band.

With frontman Paul Rodgers back from Queen the band is back and firing on all cylinders and to celebrate 40 years as a band, they were filming a live DVD.

Bad Company looked great and sounded even better; they hit everything right on key, directly on command and their professionalism was top notch. They did have some stage effects (smoke, fog) but didn’t overuse it like many bands do.

The most impressive aspect of Bad Company’s show was their two encores, which is very rare. They played for almost two hours and didn’t show any sign of fatigue whatsoever.

Bad Company and Lynyrd Skynyrd may just be the best co-headline combination assembled in quite some time and both bands operate on the most professional of levels and offer true showmanship.

-Reggie Edwards

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