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Fans come out in droves for Lynyrd Skynyrd farewell tour

Jacksonville band joined downtown by Jason Aldean, Kid Rock

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The energy was palpable at TIAA Bank Field on Sunday night as fans gathered for the Lynyrd Skynyrd farewell tour.

Thousands of southern rock fans came together to witness history, flocking to the stadium to catch the Jacksonville band’s last hurrah.

Other big-name acts such as Jason Aldean and Kid Rock also turned heads.

Fans came from all over to hear “Freebird” and “Sweet Home Alabama” live in person, one last time.

The night got off to a rough start as the event was delayed a bit due to strong showers and thunderstorms. But after, that the stadium filled up quickly.

“(We’ve) got the best bands on the planet,” said Anthony Rossi, a fan. “We’ve got Bud Light (and) everybody here. You can’t need anything else on the planet.”

Despite strong acts from Aldean and Kid Rock, when people in the crowd of about 50,000 were asked why they came to the show, it boiled down to one reason: Skynyrd.

Many die-hard fans seemed skeptical that this would be the final time they’d hear the iconic tunes live.
When asked about whether this potentially could be Lynyrd Skynyd’s last show, many seemed reluctant to accept that.

“ … I hope it’s not true,” Rossi said.

“I don’t believe that,” said Terri Elmore, another fan. “It’s gonna be another couple years before they actually get through. They’re not done.”

A week after the shooting at Jacksonville Landing, security was tight, complete with metal detectors and K-9s, but it was nothing new -- the same precautions can be seen at a typical Jacksonville Jaguars game.

In an exclusive interview with News4Jax anchor Tom Wills before the band went on stage, the three local stars of Lynyrd Skynyrd described how they felt about playing before their hometown crowd.
News4Jax’s coverage of Lynyrd Skynyrd's farewell to Jacksonville continues later this week.

Wills will have more on the band's final message to Jacksonville in a special report called “Lynyrd Skynyrd: Train Roll On,” set for 5:15 p.m. Thursday.

About the Author:

Lifetime Jacksonville resident anchors the 8 and 9 a.m. weekday newscasts and is part of the News4Jax I-Team.