Report: Tom Petty & Heartbreakers Live in Colorado


April 19 at Broomfield’s 1st Bank Center the gang brought all the hits and then some.


By Tim Hinely

Mr. Petty and
his Heartbreakers come back to town playing two nights at the First Bank Area
in lovely downtown Broomfield, Colorado.
The Wednesday night show wasn’t sold out but this Thursday night one sure
was.  I have to admit, as someone who
sees a lot of live music but rarely goes to “concerts” the scene was a
throwback to one of my youth going to see bands at The Spectrum in Philadelphia.  You know what I mean: stoned teenagers (and
adults) nodding knowingly at each other before the start of the show,  the moribund haze of hazy smoke in da’ air,
dinosaur oldsters in their tattered concert tees,  women dressed in clothing that can only be
described as, well, ridiculous. And this was a Petty concert for chrissakes,
not Ozzy Osbourne. Petty, though around for years has plenty of street cred,
but still, I found a lot of these side situations laughable (not Petty’s fault,


Petty and crew
hit the stage at 9:00 PM sharp, not one minute earlier or later, as these guys
are pros who have been doing this for years. T.P., always a sharp dresser, came
out in his usual black pants, black shoes, a paisley shirt with a black vest
over top and his stringy blond hair still his calling card with the rest of the
crew in tow: Benmont Tench still on keys, Mike Campbell on guitar, original
bassist Ron Blair on the bass, (all three with Petty since 1976 though Blair
dropped out and then  dropped back in
after Howie Epstein’s death in 2003) as well as drummer Steve Ferrone and 3rd guitarist Scott Thurston (the last two , though newer, have been around for
nearly two decades).  The band basically
played a greatest hits set and they sounded terrific, though Petty was really
the only one who moved about the stage, swingin’ his axe around, interacting
with the fawning crowd, etc.  The set
basically went like this: “Listen to the Heart” (then a string breaks….doh!),
“You’re Gonna Rock Me Baby,” “I Won’t Back Down,” “Here Comes My Girl,”  “Handle With Care” (Traveling Wilburys
cover),  “The Best of Everything” (a song
Petty dedicated to Levon Helm who had just died the day before), “Something
Big’ (off Hard Promises),  “Have Love Will Travel (off The Last DJ, which Petty described as
one of his favorite songs he’s ever written) and “Free Fallin’.”


Petty then
stopped to tell the crowd a little story about the worst bar in the world, The
Cypress Lounge in Gainesville,
Florida. He went on to describe
the patrons of said places , “full of bums, criminals, hustlers and guitar
thieves” (which got a laugh of out of the crowd… Petty was making light of the
fact that several of his guitars got stolen just a few days before this
show).  He then came back with a cover of
JJ Cale’s “Travelin’ Light” and then an acoustic tune (“Time to Move
On?”).  They carried on the acoustic vibe
with a lighter version of “Learnin’ to Fly” (not my favorite version of this –
although it’s one of my favorite Petty songs – because it sounded too
Sting-ish). Then, towards the end, we heard “You’re So Bad,” “Refugee” and the
final song, the set-ending “Runnin’ Down a Dream,” which all sounded
great.  Encores? They probably played a
few but I headed for the exit after the last song. Sorry dear Blurt readers but
A) I wanted to beat the traffic out of the parking lot and B) I’m old and had
to get up in the morning for work.  Maybe
Rolling Stone or Spin will give you a more detailed live review but this is all I
got for you. Go ahead, call me names, curse me, ridicule me, throw rocks at me
it’s ok, you know why? Because I still love you all.


[Photo Credit:
Andy Tennille, via]



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