ROSSINGTON COLLINS BAND
Dale Krantz - lead vocals
Why talking about a thirty-five years old concert? First, because live recordings of the Rossington Collins Band are pretty rare. Then, because it is a historic event, a real testimony of the resurrection of the plane crash survivors. Even if the Rossington Collins band didn’t exist for a long time, it stays an important band because of its music and of what he represents. Four former members of Lynyrd Skynyrd play in that group: Gary Rossington and Allen Collins on guitars, Leon Wilkeson on bass and Billy Powell on piano, Artimus Pyle should have been there but he broke his leg just before the show. Rossington Collins Band has often been considered as a pale copy of Skynyrd, a tribute band of musicians trying to continue to exist. Music press pushed in that way too. But this band in fact has had an original way, with a female singer Dale Krantz who has a great voice. And this band has had an enormous impact on rock fans in America and in the entire world. At this moment, it was a real event and nobody should have bet for these musicians come-back. However, December 1980 the 30th this show happened and presents all the songs of the band first album, with an instrumental version of Free Bird. Sound is pretty good enough for diffusion on the air, and shows how guitars were great. Southern tradition is present with a third guitar player, Barry Harwood. Band seems to be perfectly homogeneous and Dale Krantz shows her powerful and heavy voice. Some songs are close to what Lynyrd Skynyrd did (« Prime time », « Misery loves company » and « One good man » with a hypnotic rhythm close to JJ Cale’s « I got the same old blues » on the album « Gimme back my bullets »). But that’s the only comparison that can be made as it can be seen on the other songs (“Opportunity”, “Winners and Loosers”). Dale Krantz introduces the audience to the musicians and begins with Gary Rossington, Allen Collins and Leon Wilkeson. It’s a standing ovation. She waited the next song (Getaway) to introduce Billy Powell. “Three Times as bad” is a great slow song and Dale Krantz looks like Janis Joplin (yes she can!). There’s after the hit “Don’t misunderstood me” and ends with “Sometimes you can’t put it out” with a drums solo. Then we wait for the New Year countdown. Fireworks explode and champagne arrives on stage. Dale Krantz begins “Auld Lang Syne” and wishes everybody a good 1981 year. Emotion arrives with a great instrumental version of Free Bird with the famous Billy Powell intro on piano. Allen Collins is at his best even he seems to be free with his solos and Leon Wilkeson is perfect on bass guitar. At the end, it hurts! This evening, for the audience and for those who were lucky enough to listen on the radio, it was a great way to begin the New Year. They should remember that particular moment. Who could have thought it was possible? Hope was back. Unfortunately this phoenix won’t fly a long time and will soon die in front of destiny (Allen Collins wife, pregnant, will soon die). Now there are two albums left and some live recordings including this one in Atlanta. This concert shows that these gifted musicians still have something to say and to offer to the fans. Happily they played again music later, but that’s another story!