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  • 2001-07-26_The-Westfield-Leader

On The Beat: Tom Petty Packs PNC With New, Old Tunes
By Andy Goldenberg
The Westfield Leader -- Thursday, July 26, 2001 

Was there any particular reason I never took the opportunity to see Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers in concert the last 10 years? Perhaps it was because their music tended to get overplayed in the '80s? Maybe it was because they always seemed to be around? Oh yes, I remember now, because I am an idiot!

I finally checked them out recently at the PNC Bank Arts Center and was blown away by their stellar musicianship. Most of the hits were played, "Free Fallin'" "Here Comes My Girl" "Refugee" "Breakdown" "Learning to Fly," and more. As impressive as that was, I was especially amazed at what a great rapport Petty has with his audience.

They also threw in a few interesting cover songs, including an obscure "Zombies" tune, as well as an even more obscure surf-rock instrumental found on a 45 in guitarist Mike Cambell's basement.

PNC was packed to the brim, the crowd having braved a horrible thunderstorm an hour before the show started.

The opening act welcomed Jackson Browne, a main attraction in his own right. He warmed the crowd up, as many arrived late due to the storm. Browne, a true professional, thanked the crowd for its warm response to his older and newer material.

I learned a few valuable lessons that night -- never underestimate the power of pure rock 'n' roll played with passion and see Petty whenever the opportunity arises.

I'd like to extend a special thank you to the Mitch Snyder Organization for the ticket!

In related music news, Universal Music has been pumping out some great reissues in the last few weeks.

Beginning with the three Tom Petty titles, "Damn the Torpedoes," "Hard Promises," and "Long After Dark." All three sound much better than the original CDs on the market.