Concert Review - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Today is Chuck Barry's 84th birthday which reminded me that I haven't written about this show yet. Read on...

I should call this "The Show That Was Never Going To Happen." I saw a notice for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers with opener Joe Cocker early this year. Really early. I think the show itself was set for May. I can't really remember because it got postponed until September because the new album wasn't ready for release.

So, we opted out of getting a refund and waiting until September. Neither of us had seen either act live and I'm learning that these old rock dudes may keel over at any time so it's best to check them off the musical bucket list when you get the chance.

By the time the show date came around, Joe Cocker was out and ZZ Top was in. I thought about it and decided that was an OK trade since I've never seen them live before and, well, see paragraph above.

However, the day of the show, TRS was looking into our transportation plan (we wanted to take the light rail) when he saw a message that the show had been postponed. Again! Apparently, Petty had a throat infection and the docs told him he couldn't perform.

I have to give LiveNation credit (which kills me since their fees are so frakking outrageous that my blood pressure jumps 20 points each time I buy tickets). In short order, I had a voice mail on my home phone and an urgent email to my Yahoo account. How did we survive without technology back in the day?

We got the same offer to cancel and I was worried about the reschedule date. We have a lot of vacation time coming up and I was afraid the show would get scheduled while we were gone. Fortunately, they announced a new date shortly and we were clear to go.

Oh, except this time ZZ Top was out and Chuck Berry was in.

Yeah, Chuck Berry.

He seemed an odd choice for an opener for Petty. TRS decided we didn't need to rush to get to the show since he was pretty sure Berry wasn't going to be worth the hustle. I can't stand to be late so I wouldn't have liked that. No matter, we got to our seats just as the show started.


Snazzy dressing for an 83 year old.


Still has a thing for/with the ladies.

Berry was actually very fun and you could tell he was having fun. I told TRS to keep track of how many songs he played that TRS didn't know and I think it was 3 or 4. There was one I didn't know. Not really our eras but I know a lot of the oldies.

They finally had to force him off the stage. He started to leave once then started playing again and walking back to the center of the stage. That got him one final song before they gave him the hook. I'm glad we got to see him and I loved his enthusiasm.


I loved the lighting for Petty.









Petty and the Heartbreakers have so many songs that there's no way they can play all of them in one show. I wish he'd tried a little more, though. When he first came on stage, Petty said something to the effect that he was sorry it took so long and they were going to make it up to us since it was also the last concert of the tour.

They only played for about 90 minutes. TRS can tell you exactly how much because we sparred about it. I just don't remember since I'm a lover, not a fighter and just let things go. ;-)

Overall, great set, though.

The crowd was interesting. Lots of "stuck in the 80s" peeps (with modified mullets and feathered hair) but also a lot of 20 somethings. Our section was less than half filled and, when they turned on the lots, it looked like the venue may have been about 70 percent full. I think the multiple concert dates caused some attrition.

I don't feel compelled to see any of them again but at least I can scratch two more acts of the musical bucket list.

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