While I don't usually post concert reviews, I felt compelled to tell you about the goods delivered by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, along with opening band The Smithereens.
It's rare to find someone who hasn't heard a Petty song which, therefore, elevates him to the category of American Rock Royalty and his performance last night merely secured his position in the Court.
Nearly 11,000 fans packed the Ford Center in Evansville last night to witness the first show of a highly anticipated, high profile tour which was impressively delivered without a glitch.
New Jersey's pride & joy, The Smithereens, schmoozed the audience with their East Coast charm and tight performance. These veteran rockers have been performing together for 33 years, which cements their well-deserved place in rock and roll history.
The crowd sang along with the band's biggest hit, "A Girl Like You" and followed the musicians across the bridge into a great rendition of The Youngbloods 60's hit "Get Together."
Lead singer, Pat Dinizio, expressed their
appreciation to Petty as he described the thrill of being requested for the tour lineup. It was Petty's enjoyment of the latest Smithereens tunes on the radio which prompted the golden call. The band impressed the sometimes finicky Hoosiers and it was clear The Smithereens will be added to the top of our playlists.
Once Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers entered the stage, among the electricity & excitement was also a sense of calm, peace & home. Petty's genuine smiles & waves to the crowd made it perfectly clear that he was happy to have his job. They opened with "So You Wanna Be a Rock & Roll Star" and they nailed it, generating thundering applause. Their sound was as crystal clear as a CD and that meticulous perfection made this American Girl swoon.
It was terrific to see Petty loving it, too. I recalled the comfort of my Grandpa's Sunday dinner, where you knew the food would be good and the company would be good and when it was over you have a great sense of satisfaction and fulfillment. It was Sunday dinner with Tom Petty & his soulful friends, as they entertained the adoring crowd with a delicious, non-stop, two hour menu of music, which was seasoned with genuine smiles and acknowledgement of gratitude. Petty shared his greatest stories with us via his music and what treasures they are.
Perhaps my favorite song of the eve was "There Goes My Girl" ... Petty's swagger & even the occasional shaking his tail for the audience indicated that you'd better not take your eyes off of him. He also included a couple of mellow pieces, including a Traveling Wilbury's piece (written by Petty & Bob Dylan) "Monkey Man," which stirred my comparison of Petty & his songs to a parent who tenderly shares & entrusts a newborn baby in the arms of another friendly soul...
The Heartbreakers were not even close to breaking the hearts of this Indiana crowd. It's been widely known that Petty's band is among the finest of talent in the world. This veteran rock band was acknowledged by Petty as being the hardest working band in the biz. And he proclaimed his love & appreciation for them to the world.....
In his final sealing of the deal, Petty & the boys shared the classic hit "American Girl," which left this girl completely satisfied and looking forward to our next Sunday dinner.
Rock & Roll Forever...
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