The Wall Street Journal recently had an interesting article on the yelling of "Freebird" at rock concerts.
Yelling "Freebird!" has been a rock cliché for years, guaranteed to elicit laughs from drunks and scorn from music fans who have long since tired of the joke. And it has spread beyond music, prompting the Chicago White Sox organist to add the song to her repertoire and inspiring a greeting card in which a drunk holding a lighter hollers "Freebird!" at wedding musicians.
It's an interesting article, but it fails to mention what I believe to be the main force behind this tradition since the early 90s. On The Simpsons, prior to a concert, somebody in the crowd yells "Play some Skynyrd, Man!". I can't exactly recall if this is "The Otto Show" or "Lisa's Rival", but it's one of the two I'm sure. I believe this episode introduced this tradition to the masses promoting the action to rock cliché.
It certainly introduced me to the ritual and I've been doing it ever since. I'm not at all suggesting The Simpsons invented this, I'm merely mentioning the fact that they played a role in the commonality of the practice we all witness today. For the Wall Street Journal not to mention this fact is a serious oversight on their part.