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Petty and Crew Rock Solid
By Jamoosh from Pearland, TX on 8/31/2008
Crowd Was In To It, Engaging Stage Presence, Great Encores, Great Lighting, Great Sound, Perfect Set List
Don't bore us; get to the chorus...
The above quote is courtesy of one Mike Campbell, who (as everyone should know, but most no one does) is the lead guitarist of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
Tom and the Heartbreaker crew showed up at the Woodlands last night, on the last stop of their tour, and let's just say the Cynthia Woods, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Micthell Pavilion may as well just shut down and wait for next year's concert series because everything else is going to fall woefully short.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers aren't just a concert gig. They're not even a show. They are an experience. It's quality rock n' roll folks and Tom Petty is the engineer coordinating one heckuva journey. The band is tight and well balanced on stage. The lighting and effects are phenomenal, yet they are merely just a backdrop to the driving force of the band.
The tone of the evening was set early when the band opened with You Wreck Me. You knew you were going to rock and you knew you were going to rock hard. As far as I am concerned, the climax was Breakdown, always a staple and Tom always delivers. In fact, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers could come out, play Breakdown and leave and I would be totally satisfied. Until you have heard Petty and Company play Breakdown live, your life is unfortunately incomplete and may as well be the life not worth living.
The song rises and falls and the music drives right through you. Tom reaches out and grabs you, holding you close, telling his story. Wanting you to understand; wanting you to believe in her; if only for a moment, before letting her go.
By the way, the Heartbreakers aren't just a bunch of guys backing up Tom Petty. They are an extension of him and it is apparent he needs them as much as they need him.
Petty has always been short on dialog with the crowd. However, he is a master communicator and get's the most out of just a few words. Further, he is a maestro at orchestrating the band and the crowd together; fusing everything into a perfect mix. On Learning to Fly, he brought the crowd up on chorus, creating his own personal backup singers. Tom brought the band down, balancing it with the crowd and producing a beautiful melody. With the band and the crowd working as one, Tom talked to us as only he can and you realized you were part of a perfect song.
Every song is like this. Don't Come Around Here No More, Breakdown, Free Fallin',Tom knows exactly when and if to bring the crowd in on it. He also knows exactly when to let the band drive the bus. It was one darn good bus ride.