Over the past two years, the Rossington-Collins Band has been the most exciting, inspiring rock 'n' roll band from the old Confederacy. Formed around a core of four survivors from the 1977 Lynyrd Skynyrd plane crash, this Jacksonville, Fla., septet has shaken off the personal tragedies of its past to make important new music for the present. They proved this again last night at the Capital Centre in a truncated 50-minute set. The triple guitar team of Gary Rossington, Allen Collins and Barry Harwood made the long jam on "Getaway" a series of surprising musical shifts. Lead singer Dale Krantz made one forget the band's past with her strong, distinctive blues wail on "Don't Stop Me Now." Just the same, the band's encore was an instrumental version of Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Free Bird," which began as a eulogy but ended in defiant triumph.
Because of the peculiar marketplace that is pop music, the Rossington-Collins Band was forced to open the show for the immensely popular and incredibly boring Charlie Daniels Band. Supplemented by horns and female singers, the Daniels Band delivered its greatest hits and previewed several tunes from its forthcoming album, "Window." Pianist Taz DiGregario and guitarist Tommy Crain took some nice solos, and the show moved with professional polish despite the plodding rhythm section, the weak material and Daniels' diminutive vocal range.