The Petty Archives

The old pro Tom Petty brought his Heartbreakers to a sold-out Wachovia Center Thursday and showed he can still nail the hits after three decades.
By Doug Wallen
The Philadelphia Inquirer - June 7, 2008

With more than 30 years of experience and a long string of smash hits, Tom Petty and his veteran Heartbreakers nailed every nuance as they charged through nearly 20 songs at a packed Wachovia Center on Thursday night.

Wearing a beard and velvet blazer, Petty displayed his usual easygoing attitude, belying the bracing megawatt anthems at his fingertips. A line from "Mary Jane's Last Dance" came to mind as the Heartbreakers, defined by lead guitarist Mike Campbell's tight work, tore into material from the last few decades: "You never slow down / You never grow old."

Music Review: Hit-filled Petty show is the real deal
By Justin Jacobs
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Today's classic rockers (musicians who, if they were currently on tour, would make you think "Aren't they a bit too old for that?") can generally be split into two categories.

Let's call them the Springsteens and the Jaggers; some seem like old boys who would sit down with you for a beer, while some still seem like, well, rock stars.

After witnessing Tom Petty's sold out Post-Gazette Pavilion show Tuesday night, it's clear that the 57-year-old is learning to fly high with the first group.

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers start slow, finish strong
By Regis Behe
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - Wednesday, June 11, 2008

There was a reason Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers' concert Tuesday at the Post-Gazette Pavilion had a rather ragged start: The band's flight to Pittsburgh was delayed by weather conditions in Washington, D.C., the group arriving at the venue just before they took the stage.

Thus, the well-oiled and usually spot-on Heartbreakers were just a bit helter-skelter in "You Wreck Me" and "Mary Jane's Last Dance."

The disarray didn't last long. Petty and his mates found their footing in the defiance of "I Won't Back Down," and the rest of the concert followed form. The Heartbreakers, like Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, are emblematic of a certain strain of American music, and Americana itself.

Tom Petty Shows He's Aged Well
By Eric R. Danton
Hartford Courant - June 13, 2008

Tom Petty declared two years ago that he was no longer interested in mounting full-scale national concert tours.

Wednesday night, he and the Heartbreakers played Dodge Music Center in Hartford as part of a 38-date summer tour. If that's not full-scale, nothing is, especially given the size of Petty's innovative stage set.

Like the trunk of a huge tree, four curving steel light rigs rose in gentle arcs from a central spot onstage, branching into a canopy of video screens overhead along the front of the stage, with LED video cubes hanging over the band.

It was a focal point during the show, but not the focal point. That, of course, was the music.

Petty's Garden concert a joyous affair
By Joan Anderman
Boston Globe - June 14, 2008

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers rocked a sold-out Garden to the rafters last night without a whiff of U2's pomp, Stonesian swagger, or the Red Hot Chili Peppers' raw energy -- just first-class, meat-and-potatoes anthems from one of the finest live bands in America.

Petty must have played these songs a thousand times, and he always manages to bring fresh verve to his well-trod catalog.

It helps to have the Heartbreakers, trusty sidemen who redefine the notion of well-oiled. And it goes a long way to be a gracious human being who conveys genuine gratitude for his band and his fans at every turn.

Petty's concerts are joyous affairs hosted by a frontman who seems to revel right along with the audience.

Petty hits right notes in Mansfield
By Peter Noll
The Sun Chronicle - Sunday, June 15, 2008

MANSFIELD - Tom Petty paused between songs, asking for the lights to be shined on the audience so he could get a good look at Saturday night's sold-out Comcast Center crowd. "You look great out there," he said.

The veteran rocker had the look of someone who is truly appreciative of the fact that, after all these years, legions of fans are still turning out for his shows. Maybe it's his humble, sincere demeanor and his gift for entertaining a crowd that keep him so popular.

As he sung in "End of the Line," the Traveling Wilburys song that followed: "I'm just glad to be here, happy to be alive."

Petty provides the power, nature adds to the flash
By Joe Sweeney
The Buffalo News - June 23, 2008

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | With Steve Winwood on Saturday night in Darien Lake Performing Arts Center.
Being original is overrated. Just ask Tom Petty. For the past 30 years, he's been making music that has the earthy swagger of the Stones, the shimmering jangle of the Byrds, the bluesy poetry of Dylan and the palpable energy of Springsteen. From his self-titled debut in 1976 to 2006's understated, bittersweet "Highway Companion," Petty has worn his influences proudly and prominently -- so much so that he ended up with a beloved, utterly recognizable sound.

Apart from a little synthesizer tinkering in the '80s, fans of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers have always known what to expect -- focused, hook-filled, guitar- driven rock songs that are a little Southern-fried, a bit folk-ified and totally primed to be played on open roads and around smoking grills. And during his set Saturday night at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center, Petty kept the streak alive in dramatic fashion.

For Tom Petty Fans, the True Sound of Vinyl, Also Captured on a CD
By Robert Levine
The New York Times - June 23, 2008

The vinyl version of the new album from Mudcrutch, the recently reunited band from the early '70s that features Tom Petty, comes with a CD that buyers can play in their cars or rip to make MP3 files. Those who do will notice that it is abnormally quiet -- and that the CD holder instructs listeners to play it on a good stereo and turn it up.

One reason CDs sound different from LPs is that mastering engineers can make them louder in much the same way commercials sound louder than television shows. This is done by raising the level of the softer sounds, so there is less difference between a bass drum and a whispered vocal. This dynamic compression, as it is called in the audio world, can make songs jump out at listeners who hear them on the radio.

Live: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
By Steve Appleford
The Los Angeles Times - June 27, 2008

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers soar through a set of jangly epics for their adopted hometown at the Hollywood Bowl.
Tom Petty is no newcomer to the Hollywood Bowl. He's a frequent visitor, seeming to find both comfort and inspiration in its vast open-air setting, a space well-suited to his epic tales of young antiheroes and world-weary survivors.

The power of those songs about rebellion and possibility, the joy and confusion of young boy-girl confrontations -- many of which date back to the '70s -- hasn't diminished with age, something the Heartbreakers ably demonstrated during a two-hour performance Wednesday night.