The Petty Archives

Concert review: Tom Petty, ZZ Top rock the house at Superpages.com Center
By Mario Tarradell
Dallas Morning News - September 23, 2010

Tom Petty lifted his arms, guitar draped over his torso, and did a quick hip-shaking dance. He then laughed. Later he vamped with the most free-spirited look on his face.

My concert buddy Robb Peterson turned to me and said: "He's quite a showman. I didn't see that coming, since he's so laid-back."

Petty and his stellar band, the Heartbreakers, commanded the Superpages.com Center on Tuesday night for 100 minutes of classic rock songs old and new. Eight video screens flanked the stage, and a series of light strips hung from the ceiling. When all were illuminated and the screens projected the players, the montage was engulfing. The audience of 15,000 loved every colorful image.

The crowd looked to be 20-something to 50-something, but near me sat parents with two preteen daughters who were joyfully dancing to Petty and opening act ZZ Top.

Petty is touring in support of Mojo, his blues-based new album. So we got four cuts from the record, including the blues ballad "Good Enough" and the wonderfully rhythmic "Running Man's Bible." Naturally, the biggest response came during staples such as "I Won't Back Down," "Don't Come Around Here No More," which prompted a clap-along, and "Refugee."

Petty played maracas during a cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Oh Well." Throughout he was jovial and gracious. He did plenty of bowing and threw a bunch of kisses. It all felt genuine.

It doesn't get more real than ZZ Top, that little ol' band from Houston that still makes a whole lot of noise. Guitarist-singer Billy Gibbons, bassist-singer Dusty Hill and drummer Frank Beard delivered many blues- rockers, including a Jimi Hendrix tribute in the form of "Hey Joe." The slamming triumvirate of "Gimme All Your Lovin'," "Sharp Dressed Man" and "Legs" was awesome. It was so great to hear those again.