The Petty Archives

Review: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers give the fans what they want in Dallas
By Mac Engel
Fort Worth Star Telegram - Wednesday, September 22, 2010

DALLAS -- Between Tom Petty, Mike Campbell and Billy Gibbons, Tuesday evening's combination of ZZ Top and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers was the ultimate white man's overbite, air-guitar playing experience.

Playing in front of a full crowd at the Superpages.com Center, Petty and his bandmates demonstrated they are one of the few acts who sound superior in person than from a studio-produced CD. And Campbell, who has been with Petty forever as the Heartbreakers' lead guitarist, routinely stole the show with his energetic and distinct Heartbreaker solos.

Although the band recently released a new album, Mojo, the group mostly stuck with their classic hits to the delight of the thousands in attendance who grasped to the hard-driving guitar sounds as a link to their youth.

Starting with Listen to Her Heart and ending a two-song encore of Running Down a Dream and American Girl, Petty knows and accommodates his paying audience's wishes.

Of the 17-song setlist, four came from Mojo. This is the first recording Petty has released with the Heartbreakers since 2002. The four songs Petty played remain true to the unique sounds he and the Heartbreakers created, but this is also a blues-rock-heavy album. The track Good Enough is a slow, almost painful-sounding blues ballad; but by the end of the song, Campbell took over with his powerful sounds to put the "Heartbreaker" touch to it.

The other new song the audience responded to was I Should Have Known It, a recording that infuses the more up tempo blues/rock sound Petty and the Heartbreakers made their own.

Sandwiched around their new stuff were the classics, such as You Don't Know How it Feels, I Won't Back Down, Free Falling, Breakdown and a surprisingly wonderful, elongated version of Don't Come Around Here No More.

The only curious choice was rather than dip into his extensive catalog and pull out, say, The Waiting, Petty elected to cover Fleetwood Mac's Oh Well early in the set. It left a lot of the audience looking at each other wondering what the song was, and what it was doing in a Petty show.