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  • 2011-12-10_Halifax-Chronicle-Herald

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Tom Petty will play Halifax in spring
By Stephen Cooke
Halifax Chronicle-Herald - Saturday, December 10, 2011

The blond, guitar-playing cat is out of the bag: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers are coming to the Halifax Metro Centre this spring.

After running down the dream of presenting the Florida-raised rocker on his home turf for the past decade, East Coast concert promoter David Carver confirmed Friday that Petty and his legendary band will play their first shows in Halifax and St. John's in late May or early June 2012.

"I've been wanting to work with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and I've been speaking to their agent on and off for quite a while, but I've been more persistent in the past two or three years, " said Carver on the phone from St. John's.

"(This time) the timing was just right.

"They're leaving for Europe after the East Coast dates and they're bringing their full production to Atlantic Canada. From there they fly overseas, they load out all their gear, put it in a big cargo plane and head to Europe."

Currently, Petty's website only displays a graphic promoting his upcoming appearance with the Heartbreakers at the 2012 Isle of Wight Festival in the U.K., June 22 to 24.

Details of the St. John's show at Mile One will be officially released on Monday, while a firm date for Halifax is still being nailed down with a handful of days reserved at the Metro Centre.

Previously, Carver presented Halifax shows by Van Morrison and Petty's fellow Travelling Wilbury, Bob Dylan, as well as '90s rock acts Matchbox 20 and Go Go Dolls. He also produced outdoor summer shows in Charlottetown featuring the Black Eyed Peas' first Maritimes appearance, with the Pussycat Dolls, in 2006 and Aerosmith and Cheap Trick in 2007.

"People have been calling me over the past couple of days and I've been hearing great things," says Carver, after news of Petty's performances was leaked via social media sites and local radio stations.

"They're telling me it's one of the best shows they've ever seen."

Petty's last studio release was the 2010 album Mojo, a bluesy, southern-rock-flavoured record featuring the Heartbreakers. It was followed by Mojo Tour 2010, a live recording available online to fan club members and anyone who bought a ticket to one of his concerts.