Written By James Downing
I remember working at Rivergate Mall (just outside of Nashville, TN) for a record store called Camelot Music in the mid-seventies. One of the many benefits of working at a record store is getting the lowdown on new music before it’s released. There were all kinds of great bands coming out back then, some of them are still around and some are not.
One record that my manager was really excited about was from a band called Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. He had one of the best pairs of ears that I have ever known when it came to music. We would usually just get one or two copies of a new bands record in but we got about 10 copies of this one so taking these two factors into consideration I quickly bought a copy. I loved this record after the first play and would recommend it to anyone that came in the store. Including 4 friends of mine named Mike Arnold, Brian Hasbrook, Tom Thompson, and Tom’s twin brother Jim (a little Concert Blast Trivia for you).
Tom Petty and his band went on to become one of the most popular bands of the past 30 years. They are members of The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame, they have a star on the sidewalk of Hollywood Blvd. and have won just about every music related award there is.
After a very lengthy set by Crosby, Stills, & Nash, everyone who was sitting around me were ready for Tom & Company to take the stage. The near full arena came to its feet when the lights went down. You could see the band members take their places on stage and then out walked their leader, Tom Petty. They opened the show with “Listen To Her Heart,” an early hit for the band from their second album, “You’re Gonna Get It.” Without saying a word, they broke into the second song of the 18 song set. “You Don’t Know How It Feels.”
Tom said hello to Nashville and added that they had some good songs to play tonight…and that they did. “I Won’t Back Down” was their next offering to the Music City. Mr. Petty told us that he had a lot of friends in the crowd tonight and broke into one of my favorites of the night, “Free Falling.” After this song Tom removed his jacket. I really don’t know how he kept it on as long as he did because it was hot where I was sitting and I am sure that the stage lights didn’t help with the heat on the stage.
The early Fleetwood Mac song “Oh Well” has always been a favorite of mine. When I heard the opening notes of that song, I thought, “They are going to play it!” I must say it was another high point of the night for me. I love it when a band I like does a cover song of one of my favorites. Mick Fleetwood would be proud. This was followed by “Mary Jane’s Last Dance,” which the crowd loved. Everyone around me was singing along to the lyrics of this classic. Tom told us that they were going to do a song from the album “The Great Wide Open” and the song that came to my mind was the title track but to my disappointment it wasn’t. It was the first song on the album “Kings Highway.” The band visited that very first album that I was speaking of earlier when they did their very first Top 40 single “Breakdown.” Tom got the crowd singing “Woo woo” towards the end of the song. I loved it!
“Mojo” is the new album from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. I knew at some point they would do a song or two from this album which I haven’t heard yet. But I didn’t know they would do 4 new songs in a row. I wish they had only about half that many and maybe spread them out a little during the show. This was the low point of the evening for me. The first song was “Jefferson Jericho Blues.” Tom told us that it was a song that he had wrote with The Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell. This was followed by “Good Enough,” “Running Man’s Bible” and “I Should Have Known It.” “Running Man’s Bible” was good but the other two just a little too bluesy for my taste.
It was nothing but the hits for the remainder of the show. “Learning To Fly” was followed by “Don’t Come Around Here No More” with the crowd helping out on the “Hey” part through out the song. I remember this video with it’s Alice In Wonderland theme. The final song was the first song from the “Damn The Torpedoes” album, “Refugee.” The band said good night a left the stage but we all knew they wasn’t going to get very far before the crowd called them back for more.
The encore part of the show was great in my opinion. When they returned to the stage, the first of three songs was “Running Down A Dream.” This got the crowd singing and dancing but the next song really rocked. The old Chuck Berry song “Carol” sounded great and kept us rocking. We went back one more time to that very first album as they played “American Girl.” After this song ended, the band took their final bows and exited the stage for the final time.
Being a huge Tom Petty fan and having only seen them once before, I really loved this show. Like I said earlier, I could have done without the four new songs in a row. Once again there are several songs I would have liked to have heard from the bands past discography. For this reason on the Concert Blast scale of 1 to 10 I am going to give the show a 9. Mike Arnold said due to the extended new song set, he gave it an 8.2.
Tom Petty has been playing music for over 30 years and never fails to please his fans. It is good to see a band that has been around that long with all but one of the original members still intact. If this tour comes close to you, go see it. You will be glad you did.
Written by James Downing
Tags: 8/12/2010, American Girl, and Nash, blog, Breakdown, Bridgestone Arena, concert blast, concert review, Crosby, Fleetwood Mac, James Downing, Mike Arnold, Mike Campbell, Nashville, Oh Well, Running Down A Dream, Stills, TN, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Tom Petty Concert Photos