The first time I saw Lynyrd Skynyrd live it was their first UK tour way back in the mists of the seventies. This may have been their last.

First time round they rocked the Glasgow Apollo, winter of ’74 I think, and it cost me 50p for a ticket. The Apollo was a dry venue, so if you were a drinking man – or woman – you had to pre-load at one of the pubs near Sauchiehall street. Luckily there were plenty to choose from, my favourite in those days being the Blenheim just down from the Glasgow Film Theatre.

These days concerts are BIG business. Live events are where the money is and the SSE Hydro is one of Glasgow’s custom-built event auditoriums, one of the busiest in the world. I”ve seen some great gigs there, most recently Roger Waters put on a storming show.
Lynyrd Skynyrd had been well-supported by Massive Wagons with Status Quo following as guests. If there’s one song that can fival Freebird for an encore it’s the Quo version of Rockin’ All Over the World. I was definitely in a mood for a taste of America.

Now when you’re seeing a hard-drinking, hard-living, good ole boy, genuine southern rock band, and you’ve just been fired up by a high octane version of the John Fogerty classic you may understandably take a fancy to a nice drop of bourbon.
Hold that thought. It’s an admirable dream.

Unfortunately in the SSE Hydro a dream it remains.
I understand the volume economics of shifting large amounts of alcohol to seething crowds in a limited period of time. And I was grateful that they actually poured Jack Daniels. I don’t even mind the plastic cups.
But I take issue with serving anything with soda that is flat and warm, both of which are eminently avoidable even when catering to large numbers.
A warm, flat whiskey is still a whiskey, but this was certainly not one to be remembered for the right reasons.

So, thought of the day:
Lynyrd Skynyrd are still a phenomenal live act.
The SSE Hydro is a great place to catch a band.
Hip flasks still have a worthwhile place in life.
(If only you can get them past security)