Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers @ Beacon Theatre – May 22
Words: Scott Bernstein Photos: Chad Anderson
Like a fine wine, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers seem to get better with age. The legendary rockers are in the midst of a 21-show tour that includes arena dates, visits to sheds, festival appearances and most notably a pair of residencies at intimate venues. The first of these residencies is currently taking place at the Beacon Theatre in New York City, where the band played their second of five shows at the Manhattan venue last night and kept the crowd hanging on every note thanks to a full-bodied mix of potent rockers, gorgeous originals and even a few fun covers.
[All Photos by Chad Anderson]
Tuesday night’s show kicked off the way all four shows on the tour have started – with a deliciously jangle-fueled cover of So You Want To Be A Rock And Roll Star by The Byrds. While Petty deserves all the accolades he’s gotten over the years as the group’s front man and songwriter, from the first note it was clear just how much The Heartbreakers mean to his music. Lead guitarist Mike Campbell is one of the best in the biz and delivered one jaw-dropping lick after another all night. Keyboardist Benmont Tench is an extremely versatile player who adds impressive layers to each tune, while never stepping on his band mates’ toes. Drummer Steve Ferrone pounded the skins so hard that he nearly collapsed at the end of the group’s 19-song main set. Ron Blair steadies the band as an incredibly capable bassist, while Scott Thurston is the Heartbreakers’ Jose Oquendo – a multi-instrumental “utility player” who fills in wherever needed depending on the song.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – Friend Of The Devil
After finishing the Full Moon Fever track Love Is A Long Road, Tom Petty stepped to the mic and was met by a roar from the crowd. The roar only gained in strength when the Gainesville, Florida native announced, “Was anyone here last night? Well, we’re playing a completely different show filled with deeper tracks.” It seems most fans were clued in on the mission behind the residency, which was to show the depth of Petty’s repertoire that goes so far beyond the hits that continue to be classic rock radio staples. If there were attendees upset that songs like Free Fallin’, I Won’t Back Down and Breakdown weren’t performed, they kept quiet about it. These residencies are for the hard-cores and for fans who could appreciate the band’s stellar catalog. However, after making the “deeper tracks” announcement, Petty said they’d play one everyone knew before “embarking on tonight’s adventure” and lit into Here Comes My Girl.
We’re just about to post my review of last night’s Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers performance at the Beacon, but I couldn’t resist posting this incredible video of the group’s cover debut from Monday night’s Beacon Residency Opener. Watch as Petty and his band cover Willin’ by Little Feat…
Last night legendary rockers Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers kicked off a five-show run at the intimate Beacon Theatre in New York City, with plenty of rarities, covers and even a few greatest hits thrown in. The show marked the band’s first at the historic venue. Looking for surprises? Towards the end of the main set, Petty and his longtime band lit into a cover of Little Feat’s Willin’.
The Heartbreakers also played Tweeter and the Monkey Man from Petty’s days with The Traveling Wilburys. Before the tune, Petty told the crowd how he wrote the song with Bob Dylan. Take a look…
Other covers besides Willin’ included The Byrds’ So You Want To Be A Rock N’ Roll Star, Paul Revere & The Raiders’ (I’m Not Your) Stepping Stone and Chuck Berry’s Carol. Opening night also saw tour debuts of Melinda, Fooled Again (I Don’t Like It), Cabin Down Below, Billy The Kid, To Find A Friend and Angel Dream; showing that Petty and the Heartbreakers will dig deep during the five-show residency.
After playing only 13 shows in America over the past two years, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers will hit the road hard stateside in 2013. In addition to previously announced headlining sets at Firefly, Bonnaroo and the Hangout Fest, the legendary performers have unveiled a full slate of North American tour dates. The tour starts on May 16th at The Ford Center in Evansville, Indiana and runs until a June 29th show at The Target Center in Minneapolis. It also includes a five-night stand at the Beacon Theatre in New York City and a six-night stand at the Fonda Theater in Los Angeles.
Now three years removed from the last Petty record, though they are in the midst of recording a new one, you can expect the non-residency show setlists to contain “the hits” with a smattering of covers and rarities that change ever so slightly from show to show. Last year the Heartbreakers busted out Spike from Southern Accents, Hard Promises’ Something Big and The Damage You’ve Done from Let Me Up (You’ve Had Enough) as well as covers such as Carol (Chuck Berry), Travelin’ Light (JJ Cale) and I’m A Man (Spencer Davis Group). Hopefully they continue to dig deep in 2013.
“I don’t want to do a ‘greatest hits’ night,” Petty says of the New York and L.A. shows. “We should push ourselves, do things we don’t even remember. It’s about getting the best out of the band and to show people there are a lot of sides to us, the different kinds of music this band can play. We are a very good blues band. And we’re a pretty good bluegrass band, believe it or not. We just don’t get a chance to do that very much. You only get so much time in a concert – you can’t do everything in one night. But I’m just gonna go where the wind blows us.”
“I’d rather people heard the record before we perform the songs,” Petty says. “But I also like the songs and want to play them. If they’re sounding really good and I get the okay from the head office, I’ll do it.”
We’re excited by the possibilities these residencies bring to the table.
Here’s the full list of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Tour Dates…
The Firefly Music Festival returns for its second year on June 21 – 23 at Dover Speedway in Dover, Delaware. This morning, festival organizers unveiled the lineup for the rock-heavy fest which includes HT faves Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, Vampire Weekend, The Avett Brothers, MGMT, Alabama Shakes, Grizzly Bear, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Dr. Dog and Foxygen.
Here’s a look at the full lineup…
RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS • TOM PETTY & THE HEARTBREAKERS • VAMPIRE WEEKEND • FOSTER THE PEOPLE • YEAH YEAH YEAHS • THE AVETT BROTHERS • CALVIN HARRIS • PASSION PIT • MGMT • ELLIE GOULDING • DISPATCH • THE LUMINEERS • KENDRICK LAMAR • ALABAMA SHAKES • GRIZZLY BEAR • EDWARD SHARPE & THE MAGNETIC ZEROS • BIG GIGANTIC • AZEALIA BANKS • IMAGINE DRAGONS • ZEDD • MATT & KIM • PUBLIC ENEMY • DR. DOG • THE JOY FORMIDABLE • JAPANDROIDS • KREWELLA • THE WALKMEN • AMANDA PALMER AND THE GRAND THEFT ORCHESTRA • TORO Y MOI • LP ATLAS GENIUS • DJANGO DJANGO • DAN DEACON • CRYSTAL FIGHTERS • DRAGONETTE • MANUFACTURED SUPERSTARS • ACTION BRONSON • YOUNGBLOOD HAWKE • LORD HURON • WILD BELLE • THE WHITE PANDA • ZZ WARD • ST. LUCIA • HAIM • FOXYGEN • CAPITAL CITIES • A SILENT FILM • KISHI BASHI • KOPECKY FAMILY BAND • THE APACHE RELAY • THE CHEVIN • SELAH SUE • TWENTY ONE PILOTS • BLONDFIRE • THE ROYAL CONCEPT • CHVRCHES THE NEIGHBOURHOOD • IMAGINARY CITIES • ROBERT DELONG • CONNER YOUNGBLOOD • JC BROOKS AND THE UPTOWN SOUND • DELTA RAE • HEY MARSEILLES • YOUNG EMPIRES • THE LAST BISON • THE WHEELER BROTHERS • SISTER SPARROW AND THE DIRTY BIRDS • THE SPINTO BAND • LEAGUES • TRAILS AND WAYS • THE LAST ROYALS
2013 marks the 20th anniversary of hip-hop legends Wu-Tang Clan putting out their debut album Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). Wu-Tang mastermind and trademark holder RZA recently spoke with A.V. Club about the anniversary and revealed that both Bonnaroo and Coachella organizers have gotten in touch with him about bringing a reunited Wu-Tang to their festivals. It appears at least one of those fests was successful in their quest as Weeping Elvis reports that Wu-Tang Clan and Tom Petty will be among the headliners at Bonnaroo 2013 on June 13 – 16 in Manchester, Tenn.
The last Wu Tang Clan studio album, 8 Diagrams, was released in 2007 and featured contributions from all eight members including the late Ol’ Dirty Bastard. There have been plenty of rumors that another album and shows were in the works basically since that time, but GZA recently told Pitchfork that “we haven’t been on the same page in years.” If Weeping Elvis’s confirmation holds true, apparently a huge offer from Superfly/AC Entertainment can put them all on the same page.
Tom Petty, who was one of the headliners at Bonnaroo 2006 (watch pro-shot footage of the entire set HERE), returned to the road with The Heartbreakers for a three-month tour earlier this year. The folks at Inforoo have been batting Petty’s name around for the past few months, as well as Wu-Tang, as a potential ‘roo 13 headliner. As of now, the Florida native has no future shows on the books.
The end of the week is here and that means another Full Show Friday column. For this week’s FSF, we set the HT time machine to the year 2006 for Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers’ headlining appearance at Bonnaroo. The band was in the midst of a lengthy tour with Stevie Nicks and though the Fleetwood Mac singer wasn’t on the bill, she did make the trip to ‘Roo where she sang Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around, I Need To Know and American Girl with the Heartbreakers.
Petty’s two-hour-plus set also included a handful of well-played covers such as Bo Diddley’s I’m A Man, Oh Well by Fleetwood Mac and Them’s Mystic Eyes and Gloria. The rest of the setlist contained an array of the group’s greatest hits with only a few deep cuts thrown in. Many sets from Bonnaroo 2006 were webcast live including this one which has made it to YouTube for our viewing pleasure…
Set: Listen to Her Heart, You Don’t Know How It Feels, I Won’t Back Down, Free Fallin’, Saving Grace, Mary Jane’s Last Dance, I’m a Man (Bo Diddley cover), Oh Well (Fleetwood Mac cover), Handle with Care (Traveling Wilburys cover), Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around (with Stevie Nicks), I Need to Know (with Stevie Nicks), Melinda, Insider, Learning to Fly, Don’t Come Around Here No More, Refugee, Runnin’ Down a Dream
Encore: You Wreck Me, Mystic Eyes (Them cover), Gloria (Them cover), American Girl (with Stevie Nicks)
Austin Scaggs and his Cabin Down Below Band have turned their annual celebrations of the music of Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, Neil Young and Tom Petty into a small cottage industry. What started out in the basement of a small East Village bar are now must-attend events attracting an impressive roster of musicians to what amounts to a drunken karaoke party. For the first time “The Fests” will go bi-coastal to celebrate the music of Tom Petty, as both New York and Los Angeles will get their own unique versions on this annual celebration. Tomorrow night at NYC’s Webster Hall, Justin Townes Earle, Karen Elson, Father John Misty, Nicole Atkins, Devendra Banhart, Jesse Malin, Delta Spirit, Ryan Miller of Guster and more will take the stage.
While Petty Fest will head to Los Angeles for a two-night stand at The El Rey Theatre on November 14 and 15, which will see the likes of Pat Carney (The Black Keys), Nick Valensi (The Strokes), members of Eagles Of Death Metal, Harper Simon, Jenny O., Rodrigo Amarante and more on the bill. Tickets for all Petty Fest shows are currently on sale, with 100% of the ticket proceeds going to the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund, which helps struggling musicians.
If you don’t live close enough to NYC or LA to attend Petty Fest, then maybe you’ll be able to hit one of these recently announced tours…
Whenever I tackle a song by The Beatles for Cover Wars, I like to head on over to see what Alan Pollack has to say on the song’s topic and the in-depth musical analysis he provides on his website, a must-bookmark site for any Beatles fan or musician. The absolute basics: Released on The White Album, written by George Harrison and Eric Clapton guests on lead guitar.
This Cover Wars has been a long-time coming as I have started compiling it at least once in the past but did not complete it as there is such a large number of exceptional covers of the tune. But today, I present to you these 14 covers of While My Guitar Gently Weeps.
Artist: Jake Shimabukuro Album: Gently Weeps The Skinny: Leading off this week is ukelele extraordinaire Jake Shimabukuro who consistently wows audiences everywhere he plays. Shimabukuro’s cover is well known and is the inspiration for his 2006 album Gently Weeps.
There are no shortages of live performances from Shimabukuro of this song on YouTube with multiple clips having 1,000,000+ YouTube views. This one is the most popular, shot in New York City’s Central Park:
Pearl Jam front man Eddie Vedder has made no secret of his appreciation for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers over the years. In the most-excellent documentary Running Down A Dream, Vedder discusses the first time he heard The Waiting and how much that song means to him. Last night in Amsterdam Vedder made the most of an off night from his band’s tour to sit-in with Petty and his group at the Heineken Music Hall in Amsterdam.
The first song Eddie sat in on was The Waiting in which the grunge rocker handled most of the vocals.
HT faves Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers have recently embarked on their first European Tour in 20 years. Last night the group played the legendary Royal Albert Hall in London, where old pal Steve Winwood joined them for romps through Can’t Find My Way Home by Blind Faith and the Spencer Davis Group’s Gimme Some Lovin’. Winwood opened a number of shows for the Heartbreakers back in 2008.
Let’s check out a clip of Winwood, Petty and the Heartbreakers on Gimme Some Lovin’…
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (@tompetty) are currently on a break from their extensive tour across North America and Europe. The band is great at keeping fans in loop while they’re on the road, using the hashtag #TPATHLive2012 while tweeting updates from each city and offering up stellar pictures taken during their shows.
With a few days off, the band has instead been tweeting pics of their classic album and single covers including a couple which are from their international vinyl releases. These choice images give a glimpse into the Petty vault which we’re hoping continues into the future.
Last week iconic rockers Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers embarked on a lengthy world tour that will bring them across North America and Europe before it’s currently scheduled to finish in June. So far, through the first three performances of the run, The Heartbreakers have mixed their greatest hits with a few chestnuts and a batch of covers to make up their set.
At the second show of the tour, on April 19 in Broomfield, Colo., Petty and his band debuted a cover of J.J. Cale’s Travelin’ Light. Tom remarked that it was the group’s first public performance of the tune before drummer Steve Ferrone kicked in to the song’s familiar disco-esque beat. We’ve been waiting for a video of Travelin’ Light to find its way to YouTube and we finally came across one that’s decent enough to post. The video leaves something to be desired, but the audio shows off how the band did a fine job of jamming out Travelin’ Light…
With an official artist announcement set for 12PM ET, we’ll finally know for sure who will be performing at Bonnaroo this June in just a few short hours. As usual, the last few days have been filled with fake-outs and rumors galore. While we wait for the reveal, which will take place through Spotify, we thought it was fitting to post this kickass version of The Waiting performed by Tom Petty and Benmont Tench at the 1986 Bridge School Benefit…
After last night’s announcement that Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers were one of the headliners at the 2012 New Orleans Jazz Fest, you had to figure that more North American dates were in the works. This morning we’ve got our answer as the legendary rockers have revealed a series of North American concerts leading up to their first tour of Europe in 20 years.
The tour kicks off on April 19 at the 1st Bank Center in Broomfield, Colorado and continues through Jazz Fest until a May 5th date in Austin, Texas. Petty returns to the road a month later for some Canadian dates just before heading across the Atlantic.
April 19: 1st Bank Center, Broomfield, CO
April 21: Verizon Arena, Little Rock, AR
April 24: Tingley Coliseum, Albuquerque, NM
April 26: INTRUST Bank Arena, Wichita, KS
April 28: New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, New Orleans, LA
April 29: Verizon Wireless Amphitheater at Encore Park, Alpharetta, GA
May 1: Germain Arena, Estero, FL
May 3: Amway Center, Orlando, FL
May 5: Frank Irwin Center, Austin, TX
June 3: Mile One Centre, St. John’s, NL
June 7: 02 Arena, Dublin, IR
June 8: The Marquee, Cork, IR
June 10: 02 World, Hamburg, GER
June 12: Open Air, Horsens, DK
June 14: The Globe, Stockholm, SWE
June 15: Norwegian Wood Festival, Oslo, NOR
June 22: Isle of Wight Festival, UK
June 24: Hallenstadion, Zurich, SWI
June 25: Lanxess Arena, Cologne, GER
June 27: Grand Rex, Paris, FR
June 29: Piazza Napoleone, Lucca, IT
June 30: SAP Arena, Mannheim, GER
A date in Halifax will be announced soon. Petty will be live on Twitter (@TomPetty) tomorrow at 2:30pm PT to chat with the fans and answer questions about the group’s touring plans. Onsale information for each of the shows announced today will be revealed soon as well as support.