LAKE OF THE OZARKS, Mo. — Ozarks Amphitheater expects sellout crowds this summer, and for good reason: in addition to the popular roots-rock band The Avett Brothers, the amphitheater is bringing several beloved classic rock bands to Lake of the Ozarks.
"We are just getting started,” said Ozarks Amphitheater Director of Business Development Tom Abbett. “Expect a few more Classic Rock shows to be announced, and we are getting our Country and Comedy schedules firmed up and will be making those announcements in the near future."
For now, here are three huge classic rock acts coming to the amphitheater this summer, along with links to buy tickets online, and a little refresher on each band: their roots, and where they’ve been for a half-century of rock-legend status.
Three Dog Night — Saturday, June 6, 7 p.m.
Classic rock at its finest, Three Dog Night was arguably the most popular rock band of the early 1970s: according to their website bio, “In the years 1969 through 1974, no other group achieved more top 10 hits, moved more records or sold more concert tickets than THREE DOG NIGHT.” A half-century later, the band is still traveling the country, bringing beloved tunes from multiple decades, and led by the band’s original founder and lead vocalist, Danny Hutton.
Their most popular hits are known across generations: “Joy To The World,” “Mama Told Me (Not To Come),” and “One.” But Three Dog Night has released singles as recently as 2009, with "Heart of Blues" and "Prayer of the Children", as well as "Two Lights In The Nighttime.”
You May Not Have Known
The band name comes from an idea by vocalist Danny Hutton’s girlfriend, who had read a magazine article about indigenous Australians who slept with a dingo (native wild dog), in a hole in the ground, on cold nights. On frigid nights, the indigenous people may even sleep with three dogs… a “three-dog night.”
Lynyrd Skynyrd — Friday, June 12, 7:30 p.m.
Founded in the 1960s and rising to fame in the mid-1970s, the iconic southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd was one of the headline acts in the Missouri Ozarks, 46 years ago, when the infamous Ozark Music Festival overwhelmed the Missouri State Fairgrounds in Sedalia, Mo. with a massively attended Woodstock-style event. The band had a rough-around-the-edges vibe and appeal, and possibly epitomizes the southern rock sound of the era. In 2018, Lynyrd Skynyrd announced their Last of the Street Survivors Farewell Tour; the band is still led by co-founder and guitarist Gary Rossington.
Lynyrd Skynyrd’s most popular songs are among the most popular classic rock songs of all time: “Sweet Home Alabama,” “Free Bird,” and “Simple Man.” The band has been producing music for more than 40 years.
Lynyrd Skynyrd released their first album, (Pronounced 'Lĕh-'nérd 'Skin-'nérd), in 1973, and their most recent album, Last of a Dyin’ Breed, was released in 2012. In 2019, they announced they’d return to the studio to record one last album, after the Farewell Tour is complete.
You May Not Have Known
The band was originally named “My Backyard.” Doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, does it? They went through several other names before landing on “Lynyrd Skynyrd” in 1969, as a mocking tribute to P.E. teacher Leonard Skinner at Robert E. Lee High School, where Rossington attended, who had insisted on enforcing the school’s policy against boys having long hair. The band eventually developed a friendly relationship with Skinner.
Also: as the band’s fame grew, in 1977, a plane crash killed lead vocalist Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines, and vocalist Cassie Gaines (Steve’s sister), assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick, pilot Walter McCreary, and co-pilot William Gray. Other band members were seriously injured, and Lynyrd Skynyrd disbanded for 10 years. The crash happened three days after the release of the band’s album Street Survivors; that album went platinum, and hit number 5 on the U.S. album chart.
REO Speedwagon — Saturday, July 4, 7 p.m.
A true Midwestern band, REO Speedwagon will rock the best Lake in the Midwest this summer. The band produced nine albums in the ten years between 1971 and 1980, and their enduring strength is in their performances. Their first platinum record was “Live: You Get What You Play For,” produced after the band convinced Epic Records to lean into their popular live shows for an album. And when the popularity of their newer material began to wane in the late-1980s, REO Speedwagon revived their hits and thus revived the struggling band: they’ve released many compilation albums and continued to tour.
REO Speedwagon has 13 Top 40 hits, including their biggest hits, “Can’t Fight This Feeling,” and “Keep On Loving You.” Their harder rock sound in the 1970s moved into more pop-influenced sounds in the 1980s. But regardless of the decade, REO Speedwagon puts on a concert not to be missed.
You May Not Have Known
The band’s name comes from an actual vehicle, the predecessor to the modern pickup truck, produced in 1915 and called the “REO Speedwagon.” But the company pronounced “REO” as a word, rather than saying each letter. Band founder Neal Doughty saw the name on the blackboard in his History of Transportation class, on the first day the band decided they needed to pick a name. The rest is history!
Abbett enthused, "We have been working on some of these bands with offers since 2017....and persistence pays off! We are getting classic rock in spades this year....with not only what we have announced, but probably 3 more Classic Rock announces before the season starts. Getting Lynyrd Skynyrd was very strategic. They are on the last year of their 'Last of the Street Survivors' Farewell tour and hosting them at the Ozarks Amphitheater here at Lake of The Ozarks will draw a regional crowd to not only our facility, but the Lake in general....many fans that have never been to the Lake before. REO Speedwagon is one of my personal favorite bands and I grew up listening to High Infidelity and all of their hit power ballads at school dances so I am really excited to have them here on 4th of July. That is going to be an awesome weekend, with Avett Bros and REO back-to-back!"