Over 40 years ago, 17-year-old Tom Petty moved to L.A. with guitarist, Mike Campbell, and keyboardist Benmont Tench, after disbanding their band Mudcrutch (reunited in 20160. It was not until 1975 when Petty heard a demo from Campbell, Tench, bassist Ron Blair, and former drummer Stan Lynch were working on. It was then that the Heartbreakers formed.
As part of their fortieth anniversary, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers played their hit songs to a filled arena on Monday night.
After Joe Walsh’s set, photographs were shown of Petty and the Heartbreakers throughout the years.
It was not until around 9:15 p.m. that crowd’s excitement went from zero-to-60 in the blink of an eye when Petty and the Heartbreakers came on stage with their 1976 hit “Rockin’ Around (With You).” Videos of the band from the 70s were playing on the three big screens throughout the whole song.
Throughout the 2-hour set, Petty and the Heartbreakers performed on a wide stage with floating orbs.
The band, especially Petty’s presence, gracefully empowered the stage throughout the whole show. Even though they have been touring for 40 years and have not been on tour since 2013, Petty and the band still knew how to work the crowd with solos and lots of clapping.
The crowd was singing along to every song, especially to “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” as well as Petty’s song “I Won’t Back Down.” It was not until Petty switched to his red Rickenbacker 335 guitar that people knew he was going to play “Free Fallin’.” When he did, the entire arena was joining in with the sing-a-long. It was definitely a moment to sink in.
In what could be their last major tour, Petty and the Heartbreakers were playing as if it was their last show. Guitarist, Mike Campbell, infused the audience with his legendary, whammy and lick induced solos.
His partner-n-crime, Petty, embraced his emotion in to every song even though he has been performing them for years. Former Iggy and the Stooges member, Scott Thruston, played guitar phenomenally well while Tench incorporated his amazing musical skill on a grand piano as well as the keyboard. Bassist Ron Blair and drummer Steve Ferrone added perfection to the whole show.
For the first time in 30 years, the band played their 1982 hit, “You Got Lucky” which is off their 1982 album “Long After Dark.”
The band not only played their well-known hits, but also played “Forgotten Man” which is off their 2014 album, “Hypnotic Eye.”
During “Don’t Come Around Here No More,” the crowd engaged with the band by clapping along to the beat of the song. The energy of emotion embodied in the music really bounced to the audience’s engagement to the song.
With every song, the band put their heart and soul in to the music. Petty, who majority of the time directed the band on stage, illustrated his passion on stage. Along with that, came with his humble yet free spirited personality
He thanked the crowd after every song, which demonstrated his appreciation for his fans. Petty took in to consideration that this tour would be nothing without the fans.
During what was thought to be their last song of evening, Petty and the Heartbreakers performed their 1989 hit “Runnin’ Down a Dream” with Petty playing his Gibson Firebird V and jamming along with his bandmates on the stage.
As soon as the band walked off the stage, fans were screaming for one more song along with waving their phones in the air. After a few minutes went by, Petty and Heartbreakers walked back on stage to perform one of Petty’s songs off his Wildflowers album, “You Wreck Me” and a Heartbreakers song “American Girl.”
After “American Girl,” fans were cheering as they waved goodbye to their favorite classic rock-n-roll band as this could be the last time they come to the Queen City.
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers Setlist
Rockin’ Around (With You)
Mary Jane’s Last Dance
You Don’t Know How It Feels-Tom Petty song [Wildflowers]
You Got Lucky
I Won’t Back Down- Tom Petty song [Full Moon Fever]
Free Fallin’-Tom Petty song [Full Moon Fever]
Don’t Come Around Here No More
It’s Good to Be King-Tom Petty song [Wildflowers]
Crawling Back to You-Tom Petty song [Wildflowers]
Wildflowers-Tom Petty song [Wildflowers]
Learning to Fly
Yer so Bad-Tom Petty song [Full Moon Fever]
I Should Have Known It
Runnin’ Down a Dream- Tom Petty song [Full Moon Fever]
You Wreck Me-Tom Petty song [Wildflowers]