Tom Petty in the ATL
We have been working on our concert bucket list for about 3 years now. So many of our favorite musicians are getting up in age. We’ve already lost some of the greats (RIP Glen Frey). Tom and I have a mental list of our favorites that we want to see before they retire. An opportunity for one of them came up when we saw Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers had a tour date in Atlanta!
40th Anniversary Tour
The tour is to celebrate the 40th anniversary of their self-titled first album. Released in 1976, the chart topper gave us an array of hits and reached Gold status. Some of the hits include “Breakdown” (a personal favorite), and the iconic, still popular “American Girl”.
A Dream Lineup
The band wanted to celebrate the anniversary in style and lined up legend Joe Walsh as the opener. That means you get two headliners for the price of one!
The Opening: Joe Walsh
The always fun and exuberant Joe Walsh opened the show with a bang with “Meadows” from his 1973 2nd solo album. It was like taking a walk through music history as he followed it with the James Gang classic “the Bomber” He continued with a heartrending tribute to brother and fellow Eagles band mate, Glen Frey (Take It to The Limit). As was fitting, he finished his hour long set with the rocking classic “Rocky Mountain Way”. It was truly the beginning of a night to remember.
Tom Petty is not your big production arena rock show. His show is about the music, pure and simple. The backdrop started as a shot of what looked like either an old music store, or band room from the early days. The light show was simple, but magical. It enhanced the show and music, rather than competing with it. Once the music started, it was a changing backdrop of low key video, tasteful photos, and floating lights showcasing the history of the band and their music.
Tom Petty, the 66 year old Gainesville Florida native, came out looking spry in a burgundy blazer. He had a very fitting opening song too: Rocking Around with You, the first single off Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers.
The musical roller coaster ride began as we flew forward 20 years into “Mary Jane’s Last Dance”. The 90’s theme continued on with “You Don’t Know How it Feels” from the Wildflowers album.
Petty indulged himself and the audience throughout the night with several selections from his solo projects. As the set list warmed up, Tom quickly converted to rolled shirtsleeves.
It was the perfect selection of hits from Tom Petty’s 40 years of music, spanning from the 70’s to their most recent 2014 album. Here is the complete set list:
Rockin’ Around with You 1976
Mary Jane’s Last Dance 1993
You Don’t Know How it Feels 1994
Forgotten Man 2014
You Got Lucky 1983
I Won’t Back Down 1989
Free Fallin’ 1989
Don’t Come Around Here No More 1985
It’s Good to be King 1994
Time to Move On 1994
Learning to Fly 1991
Yer So Bad 1989
I Should Have Known It 2010
Runnin’ Down a Dream 1989
You Wreck Me 1994
American Girl 1976
It was a solid representation of the ever popular and evolving history of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. The only song I didn’t hear was “Breakdown”.
A Night to Remember
This was an incredibly memorable concert. I feel lucky to have been able to attend, and share it with my family. I was glad to see the crowd mixed with some younger attendees. Apparently we aren’t the only parents passing along a love for great music!
Tom Petty has had an incredible career, staying relevant and popular though 40 years of music. He took us on a magical roller coaster ride through all 40, and left us breathless. If you get a chance to see him on this tour, just do it!
Stay tuned for our review of the Phillips Arena, where were watched this show.
What are some of your bucket list concerts to see?
Have you check any of them off?
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