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Rocking the USA!
.......America is dazzled by rock stars, but the real magic
comes from rock bands. Tom Petty is a rock star. Tom Petty and the
Heartbreakers is a rock band. And a great deal of that particular magic
materialize at the Concord Pavilion show Wednesday night. Which comes from a
special balance between good music and how to related to their fans. The
Heartbreakers have had a long time together to establish themselves as one of
the best rock bands in the world. When Tom Petty began his rise to fame, many
people wrote him off as just another pale imitation of either Bob Dylan, The
Byrds or Bruce Springsteen. Twenty-five years into a career that has defied
expectations. Petty had a couple of key factors working in his favor. First
Petty has amassed so many hits and beloved album tracks that even a
"greatest hits" set did not preclude variety. The lively fans were
treated to a visually stunning performance from the rockers whose careers have
spanned 30 years. And, while they were looking older, their fans were acting
pretty young. The audience that spanned generations from Baby Boomers to Gen X
attested to Petty's crossover to a new genre of listeners. He and his band
stole the crowd's affection with many of his hits, beginning with "Running
Down a Dream." They continued with favorites "Won't Back Down"
and "Mary Jane's Last Dance" adding, "You Don't Know How It
Feels." Lighters lit up the mountainside as he helped the crowd
"Learning to Fly." And the crowd responded by roping Petty back for
an encore of "Free Falling" and the staple "American Girl."
During Petty's set, the drapes opened to reveal a breathtaking tapestry that
looked as though it was taken directly from one of his conceptual music videos
- think "Don't Come Around Here No More" and "Mary Jane's Last
Dance," . . As exciting as the familiar tunes were the new ones, from a
planned October release called ''The Last DJ''; they indicated that Petty has
not lost his way around an innovative hook. ''Have Love, Will Travel'' was a
mid-tempo rocker with a rootsy chorus that called out for cheers for the boys
''who play rock 'n' roll. They love it like you love Jesus, it does the same
thing for their souls.'' Petty's faith in the power of music, akin to Bruce
Springsteen's, has never wavered. The other new material succeeded as well.
''Lost Children'' was harder-edged, but with a soft chorus and a Jerry
Garcia-esque guitar supplied by Mike Campbell, while ''I Can't Stop the Sun''
combined the moodiness of Petty's ''She's the One'' with a crashing
Beatles-influenced chorus. Campbell was a marvel throughout the evening. He has
always been an essential ingredient to the Heartbreakers' success, and his
playing on the set's apex - a formidable one-two shot of ''Here Comes My Girl''
and ''Even the Losers'' was focused yet earthy enough for the entire band to
feed off. Browne opened for Petty and to a warm reception. He played such
well-loved classics as "Running on Empty," "The Pretender"
"Doctor My Eyes' and his smash hit "Somebody's Baby." Browne
mixed it up with acoustic and electric performances
By Randy Cohen
........This is the Official Rock Publication Web Site
All photos and written material courtesy of Rock Publication
.Copyright © 2002
Need To Know
I Wont Back
Mary Janes Last Dance
Here Comes My Girl
Even The Losers
You Dont Know How It Feels
Its Good To Be King
Time To Move On
Learning To Fly
Have Love Will Travel
Can't Stop The Sun
You Wreck Me Too Much Ain't Enough
Runnin' Down A Dream ~ ~ ENCORE ~ ~
Check out Songs of Tom Petty :