The Petty Archives

Petty concert rocks crowd with past hits
By Julie Gayle
The Lariat -- Tuesday, February 1, 1983

It was not the quantity, but the quality of the crowd that made Tom Petty and the Heartbreaker a success Thursday night as the group performed in concert at the Frank Erwin Special Events Center in Austin.

The show was not a sell-out, but the energy level was high throughout the evening, thanks to Petty and the band.

The concert opened with Nick Lowe and Paul Carrack singing "I Need You" and Carrack's attempting to divert the audience with his yellow socks and occasionally with his keyboard ability.

But show time did not actually begin until Petty himself took center stage and began an hour and a half of stimulating his audience with his ardent showsmanship and, of course, the music, which for the past five years has thrust Petty into the rock-and-roll limelight.

The music was enhanced by Petty's playful mannerisms and his ability to empathize with the crowd. he captured attention by taking advance of intense moments in his music, tampering with the mood and trifling with the crowd.

Lead guitarist Mike Campbell earned himself several rounds of applause, as did keyboardist Benmont Trench, who rendered a rhapodized introduction to "She's a Woman In Love."

Petty's two encore performances highlighted the evening. For the first, he belted out his wholehearted rendition of 'Shout," a tune familiarized by Otis Redding that brought the crowd to its feet.

The evening ended with Petty's unprecedented version of "Dixieland," which may have surprised some. But with the style only Petty is capable of, the song was well received.