Onstage at Atlanta’s Tabernacle last week (June 2), it was a far more than a mere sentimental romp for some old friends and fans. Likewise with the May 26 show in Denver at the Ogden Theatre, of which we have a bonus review following the main text.
TEXT & PHOTOS BY JOHN BOYDSTON
So there was Tom Petty and the boys at the Tabernacle in Atlanta, Ga – smiling and waving and looking so fine. I don’t think any of them knew they would be in this song in 2016.
It is pretty amazing Tom Petty and some of the Heartbreakers could ‘get back’ together after more years than I can count and actually sound so eff’n great, but this is what he and Mudcrutch have accomplished. Now touring thru June to support their brand new release “2”, they sound like the world’s best bar band at the top of their game, playing to sold out theaters in 2016 instead of beer taverns in 1972. This is not just a sentimental romp, although there is obviously some of that going on too. More country-tinged southern rock-sounding that the HB’s. But tight as hell. That and great vocals, songs, ringing guitar tone heaven and some cool covers too – all makes for a fun night of music.
They re-formed to record their first post-‘70s record in 2008, which critics and fans loved, but only did a handful of club shows apparently. So this expanded tour is a treat for fans. And the band is clearly having a good time too.
Mudcrutch is: Tom Petty (on bass for the tour, just like in the old days), Mike Campbell, Benmont Tench, original singer/guitarist Tom Leadon, and drummer Randall Marsh. Acclaimed sideman Herb Pederson is supporting the band for this tour (far right in the photos) on guitar and vocals.
On this night opening band The Shelters (below) from LA were worth catching. I’d like to hear more, and with the release this week of their full-length LP I could get the chance. Maybe they’ll send me a vinyl copy in exchange for the great photos I sent them. (There is always a first time.)
More John Boydston photos can be seen at jobo.smugmug.com
Mudcrutch – 5/26/16, Ogden Theatre, Denver CO
Meanwhile, Petty and his pals also took over the Ogden Theatre a few nights earlier for a couple of fun-filled hours for fans.
BY CHERYL HINELY
It’s not often that Tom Petty fans get to see him in a more intimate club (ok theatre) atmosphere and they made the most of it, both the band and the fans. The place was jammed to the rafters as Mudcrutch played for coupla fun-filled hours. This band was Petty’s pre-Heartbreakers group from the ‘70s in Gainesville, FL that made a little noise back then, moved out to California, released a single and then called it a day.
Petty got the band back together seemingly for fun back in 2008 with Heartbreaker co-horts Mike Campbell and Bemont Tench plus Randall Marsh and Tom Leadon and they released their debut album that same year. This year saw the release of the band’s sophomore effort, 2 so the band is in the midst of a tour for the record and made a stop here in the Mile High city.
They opened with traditional song ‘Shady Grove” and then into “Orphan of the Storm,” “Six Days on the Road” and “Scare Easy.” From there we heard a Heartbreakers’ song (“Trailer”) plus a Byrds cover (“Lover of the Bayou”). It all sounded perfectly tuneful, like what the Byrds might’ve sounded like in their prime.
From 2 we heard “Beautiful World,” “Dreams of Flying,” “Hungry No More,” “Welcome to Hell” and “Save Your Water” (which they brought out a banjo player), all of which swounded excellent. The band seemed completely comfortable together (no surprise there) as the packed house bobbed and weaved all night (with a strong smell of THC in the air).
They ended the set with “Bootleg Flyer” (from the debut) and came out for exactly one encore, a cover of the Jerry Lee Lewis classic “High School Confidential” and called it a night. I’m imagining that Petty and crew are really liking these smaller shows and we are too. Thanks Mudcrutch.