Halfway through the encore of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ concert on Saturday at Oracle Arena, the 59 year old bandleader closed his eyes and spoke to the crowd mid song.
“I thought to myself,” he uttered during the group’s oft played cover of Van Morrison’s “Mystic Eyes,” “wouldn’t it be great if, for just one moment, everything was all right.”
Those moments tend to last three to four minutes and have names like “American Girl,” “Listen to Her Heart” and “I Need to Know.”moncler coats womens They regularly triumph over his listeners’ worldly cares and, indeed, make everything temporarily feel all right.
Petty and his Gainesville, Fla crew which consists of superman guitarist Mike Campbell, keyboardist Benmont Tench, bassist Ron Blair, multi instrumentalist Scott Thurston and drummer Steve Ferrone delivered plenty of those instances during what was a huge night for the band, and its fans, in Oakland.
For one thing, it was an early outing (only the third show) inthe Heartbreakers’ 2010 tour, which is currently scheduled to run into early October. Even more significant, however, was that the band was debuting material from a brand new album, “Mojo,” Petty’s first with the Heartbreakers since 2002′s disappointing “The Last DJ.” (“Mojo” is due in stores June 15.)
Those two reasons along with the usual ones, such as, most notably, Petty’s track record as a reliably entertaining concert act were enough to draw a capacity crowd to Oakland. They also helped generate a sizable amount of media coverage, which included reviewers from Spin and Rolling Stone magazines.
As expected, Petty did not disappoint when he stuck to the fan favorites. Classics like “I Won’t Back Down,” “Free Fallin’” and “Mary Jane’s Last Dance,” all of which came early in the two hour set, certainly haven’t lost their power over the years. On the flipside, though, was the new material.
The Heartbreakers performed five tracks from “Mojo” and each one was painfully mediocre. Yet, it must be said, that they failed to impress in a variety of ways. “First Flash of Freedom,” for instance, was run of the mill psychedelic rock, while “Running Man’s Bible” was a monotonous slow blues number with a somewhat entertaining guitar lead tacked on at the end. The trying quintet of tunes ended with “Good Enough,” which simply wasn’t.
With those five numbers out of the way, Petty and his men were able to turn their attention toward the songs the crowd had paid its money to hear. The last third of the concert was particularly inspiring as the group raced through killer versions of “Refugee,” “Runnin’ Down a Dream” and “American Girl,” all of which benefitted from Petty’s solid vocal work and Campbell’s tasty leads.
Those that got to the show on time were treated to an opening set by rock legend Joe Cocker, who turned in a performance that was at least the equal as what came in the nightcap. The 66 year old Englander was feisty and in tremendous voice as he punched his way through such all time greats as “Feeling Alright,” “The Letter” and, of course, “With a Little Help from My Friends.”
I don always agree with Mr. Harrington reviews but always try to read them nonetheless.
I was at the Tom Petty / Joe Cocker show last night and it was one of the best concerts I have attended. Everyone was at their best starting with Joe Cocker.
The audience was very responsive and that always makes the performers perform even better.
Tom and the Heartbreakers played several songs from the new CD (Mojo) and I must agree that they are forgettable. The audience was polite in listening but also did not care much for them. I agree that sometimes songs grow on you over time.
The rest of the show was full of the greatest hits and that is really what most people came to hear.
Tom Petty The Heartbreakers and Joe Cocker left everyone satisfied at having a great evening out listening to classic rock music.
This was my second time seeing Tom Petty and once again, I was blown away. He always engages his audience and his performance and musical skills are nothing short of impressive! I believe the reasons his news songs were viewed as mediocre is because no one really knows them well enough to get into them. I think they have potential, but of course, really don compare to Refugee or Breakdown. I was pleasantly surprised at the acoustic version of Learning to Fly. In a nutshell, Tom Petty puts on one hell of a performance and if you had the chance to turn your gaze away from the stage on onto the rest of the arena, you would have seen the incredible power of Tom Petty on his fans. The crowd was happy, engaged, and full of respect for one of the greatest performers of all time!
He didn say he said Big difference.
And Mudcrutch was not a HB record so it shouldn be mentioned in a HB discussion. Still, maybe Harrington just forgot about that very forgettable CD their disjointed live shows.
Petty the Heartbreakers have been doing it right live since Winterland. They KNOW what they doing and are always worth the effort, even at the Oracle, a once very acceptable arena concert venue that’s now an ultra cramped house of luxury box’s. Unless you have a seat in the lower bowl you should ALWAYS pass on that venue.