The Petty Archives

Petty thrills Myriad crowd
By Kathy Karr
The Vista - November 14, 1991

Great lighting, great songs, great stage set, great band, great opening act and a great crowd sums up the show put on last Monday at the Myriad by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

Petty and the Heartbreakers are on tour in support of their latest release, Into The Great Wide Open, and the band brought a hot show into the convention center. At first the audience was wowed by the incredible stage set-up, which had been kept hidden during the opening performance by oh-so-talented newcomer Chris Whitley.

Concert Review: Petty's as durable as timeless tradition
By Bruce Britt
The Vindicator - Thursday, November 14, 1991

Rocker Tom Petty is generous with concert themes that keep pleasing audiences.
LOS ANGELES -- The curtain went up around 8:30 Monday night at the Forum to reveal a stage festooned with folkloric artifacts such as a suit of armor, a totem pole and an old chest.

The scene surely seemed familiar to old Tom Petty fans. During their last jaunt, Petty and his band, the Heartbreakers, had so much bric-a-brac in tow that the stage resembled an attic.

The clutter seemed like a visual device during that last tour, but the reappearance of these flourishes Monday suggested there is a method to Petty's madness. These hand-me-downs bespeak tradition, and the message Petty appears to be trying to get across is that he is as durable as that suit of armor -- a notion Petty reinforces in sturdily titled tunes, such as "I Won't Back Down" and "Built to Last."

Survivors: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers -- along with adjunct multi-instrumentalist Scott Thurston -- demonstrated why they've been around for 15 years. The band offered a congenial performance that struck just the right balance between no-frills rock 'n' roll and Las Vegas-style staginess.

It's no wonder the show was as good as it was -- parts of the performance were lifted wholly from previous tours. During a dreamlike interpretation of "Don't Come Around Here No More," Petty re-created a scene where he is chased by men wearing the masks of former presidents.

He continued his tradition of performing "The Waiting" with a solo introduction instead of playing the tune in its fully arranged recorded version.

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Tom Petty mends weary hearts with classic rock 'n' roll
By Eric Rife
The Daily Aztec - Friday, November 15, 1991

Over their 15-year career, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers have become somewhat of an institution.

From their early days as the prototypical bar band to their later evolution into a quasi-Byrds/Dylan sound, Petty and the Heartbreakers continue to maintain their legacy as the classic American rock band.

Although a giant forum may not be the coziest place to witness such a remarkable group, their performance Tuesday night at the Sports Arena demonstrated that the Heartbreakers are a durable and honest band; able to overcome the usual confides and corruptions of big time rock 'n' roll.

Petty keeps enthusiastic audience on its feet
By Holly J. Wolcott
The Prescott Courier - November 15, 1991

PHOENIX -- The sky in the "Valley of the Sun" may be hazy and polluted, but occasionally there is the feeling that the air is clear and full of life.

Such was the case on November 8. when rocker Tom Petty and his band the Heartbreakers visited the Desert Sky Pavilion in west Phoenix, and gave approximately 11,000 attendees no less than another great show.

Petty, famous since the 1970s for his simple stage scenes and consistent song sets, has gone out on a limp for his "Touring The Great Wide Open" tour by providing concert-goers with extravagant lights, heavy theatrics and surprising political statements.

Petty Projects - He And His Band Have Rock-Solid Reputations
By Patrick Macdonald
The Seattle Times - Friday, November 15, 1991

Whenever you see a comedian doing rock parodies, they always include one of Tom Petty. They'll put on a flat-top derby and a pair of square granny glasses and, in a pinched, drawling voice, do a gag version of "Refugee" or "Don't Come Around Here No More."

The fact that the Petty look and style is instantly recognizable is just one indication of his status as one of rock's unique personalities. He and his great band, the Heartbreakers - who play Wednesday at the Coliseum, with promising newcomer Chris Whitley opening - have gained such status that they not only are familiar figures but can share the stage (and the recording studio) as equals with greats like Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and George Harrison.

Petty and the Heartbreakers' new album, "Into the Great Wide Open," reinforces their image as one of the premier bands working today. Their 10th release, it features some of Petty's sharpest, most mature song writing and underscores the Heartbreakers' ability to make fresh and vital music without resorting to contemporary gimmickry or gadgetry, like synthesizers or drum machines.

Tom Petty's Great Concert Is Wide Open To Surprises
By Gene Stout
Seattle Post-Intelligencer - Thursday, November 21, 1991

"The waiting is the hardest part," laments Tom Petty in one of his songs.

But there was no waiting last night at the Seattle Center Coliseum, where Petty and his band, the Heartbreakers, showed up promptly at 9 p.m. and played a long, surprise-filled set that spanned a 15-year career.

There was no sense the group was rushing things, however. The show was beautifully paced, with plenty of built-in pauses that allowed the audience to savor Petty's fine vocals and easy-going banter.

Petty started with "King's Highway" and "Too Good to Be True," two songs from the group's fine new album, "Into the Great Wide Open."

Wearing faded jeans, suede jacket and bandana, Petty led keyboardist Benmont Tench, guitarist Mike Campbell, bassist Howie Epstein and drummer Stan Lynch through a set that focused on new songs like "Free Fallin"' and "Learning to Fly."

Providing an eyeful was the elaborate, odd-looking stage set, which featured a giant, gnarled tree trunk with a staircase and doors, chandeliers, an old trunk and a suit of armor.

Petty: He's What Life's All About
By Tom Phalen
The Seattle Times - Thursday, November 21, 1991

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, with Chris Whitley, Seattle Coliseum, last night.
Possibly the nicest thing about Tom Petty is that he seems to live in the same world as the rest of us.

True, he's a rock-'n'-roll star, a great songwriter, almost something of an elder statesman now to the rock generation of the '70s, '80s and '90s. He clearly displayed all of these attributes during a two-plus hour show before a near capacity audience. But in his heart of hearts, it appears that Tom Petty is a real mensch.

He dedicated a gentle Van Morrison song to Magic Johnson. He chastised the security guys for over-muscling some audience members, stopping the show to do it, and they complied. People sang along on the new songs without being asked. When they were asked, they sang even louder. He told the audience he wasn't sponsored by soft drinks or beer. "We're just a small business," he explained. There was a real sweetness - Petty's own word - to the entire evening.

West Reviews Local Music Scene: Encourages Trinity To Seek Alternate Social Scene
By Pat West
The Trinity Tripod - December 10, 1991

"Hartford sucks."

Well, that may be true, but since everyone seems to complain that there is nothing to do around Trinity, here's a list of the top show that happened this past semester. There are clubs and bands out there worth seeing if you're willing to investigate a little. It's a real pain with clubs always gearing shows around making money and selling alcohol, but this is a rundown of the top 10 shows which went down when you were complaining that there was nothing to do except watch "Baywatch."

9. Tom Petty -- he supposedly put on a very good show for the half-full Civic Center crowd. He played long, well, and with emotion, or as much emotion as he can show. If you like that type of rock, he was the guy to go see.

The shows are out there to see, so go see them. The Bad Brains, Public Emeny, the Ramones, White Trash and others are in the area soon and should be checked out. If transportation is a hassle, call up WRTC to see who's going, and who knows, you  just may win tickets! So next semester, go out and see some good bands to liven up your Trinity experience.

That's Entertainment: Music Choice '91 -- 25 Of The Best
Galway Advertiser - December 26, 1991

Good...better...best (and then there's just plain awful), how do you decide which of the hundreds and hundreds of releases over the past twelve months are "the best"? What do you look for? What criteria do you use in choosing one and dumping another? Why do some make it and others don't? What is the meaning of life? Does God exist? Why do some cakes rise in the oven while others don't? What's it all about, Alfie?... (We don't know, but we felt there ought to be some kind of introduction to this selection of what the editor of "That's Entertainment" feels to be the best releases of '91. There, that'll do)

11. Into the Great Wide Open - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Petty's back with the Heartbreakers - one of the best rock bands in the world - after his solo outing and Wilbury warbling and this is a fine album, with some stand-out tracks like "Learning to Fly," "All The Wrong Reasons," and the reflective "Built to Last."