September 11, 2014
PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, NJ
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers continue to perform like one of the greatest rock bands of all time. Fans both young and old packed New Jersey’s PNC Bank Arts Center in September to hear many of the Band’s greatest hits, as well as new songs from their recently released album Hypnotic Eye. Petty opened with a cover of the classic hit “So You Want To Be a Rock And Roll Star”, paying homage to one of his early influences, the Byrd’s. Listening to Petty’s unmistakable voice and Mike Campbell’s searing guitar, it’s hard to imagine they have been doing this since the ‘70’s.
While guitarist Campbell worked his magic on one side of the stage, Petty floated about the stage with arms outstretched, enjoying the moment. Early on, he told the crowd, “this could go a little long, better call the babysitters and tell them you’ll be home late.” Sadly for the fans, the show didn’t run late. However, the songs ran back to back with an amazing level of energy and volume.
Petty covered many of his top hits including “Mary Jane’s Last Dance”, “I Won’t Back Down”, “Refugee”, and “Free Fallin’”. Fans that grew up listening to Petty and teens who only recently discovered his music stood side by side singing along. As the end drew near, Petty and the Band returned to the stage to close with “American Girl”, their top song of all time.
As long as Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers continue to tour, fans will every stadium and venue to experience this remarkable band.
Steve Winwood opened for Petty on this tour. For those who don’t know, Winwood was part of the Spencer Davis Group, Traffic and joined with Eric Clapton to form Traffic after the beak-up of Cream. Listening to Winwood, you suddenly remember how many hits he had over the years. His performance included “I’m a Man”, “Them Changes”, “Empty Pages”, “Higher Love” and “Gimme Some Loving”.
Article and Photography By: Glenn Malmberg