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Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers – Globen, Stockholm, 2012-06-14

2012-06-15

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I never really thought I’d get the chance to see Tom Petty in concert, at least not in Sweden. But twenty years after his last visit, Petty decided to include us on his European tour. I’ve heard from many people that Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers are a fantastic live act, and sure, they were quite solid. But if you ask me, I have a feeling that it is a completely different Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers that you see when they’re touring in the States. I mean, all the songs sounded great, but it sort of felt like they were just going through the motions, playing the same set for who knows how many times in a row.

But it’s hard to fault them for their monotony since the crowd hardly returned any of the love sent out. Sure, people were cheering between songs, and sounded really excited. But aside from the über-fans up front, everyone else seemed way past their prime to bother to stand up. I think the fact that the floor was seated may have been one of the main problems why the concert never really seemed to take off.

That all being said, I still had a really good time seeing Tom Petty for the first time. The main revelations for me were what an integral part Scott Thurston’s backing vocals play in the overall sound, what an awesome guitarist Mike Campbell is, and that The Heartbreakers sound more like a heavy rock band in a live setting compared to the pop sound that Petty is known for, especially in the Fleetwood Mac cover “Oh Well.” It was really cool when The Heartbreakers would go in to extended jam sessions, with Petty looking cool playing to the crowd with a couple of Maracas.

It was cool to hear “Free Fallin’” and Petty’s musings of LA, now that I’ve been there myself. I could just picture crossing Mulholland Drive on my way down Topanga Canyon Boulevard towards Highway 1, with the Pacific glistening in the setting sun behind it.

My favorite songs of the night was the two song encore of “Mary Jane’s Last Dance,” and “American Girl.” “Mary Jane” is my favorite Petty song, and it sounded really good live, I just love that guitar riff, and the harmonica. I had all but given up hope of hearing “American Girl” since Petty used to have it as his opener for the past couple of years. It was the perfect end to the concert, finishing with two real crowd pleasers, and what in my mind is the song that best personifies Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers’ music, which is essentially a love affair with American culture general. If I see Tom Petty in concert again, it will be in the US where his music makes more sense and gets the appreciation it deserves.

Opening act: Jonathan Wilson

Setlist:

Start: 20:58

01. Listen to Her Heart
02. You Wreck Me
03. I Won’t Back Down
04. Here Comes My Girl
05. Handle with Care (Traveling Wilburys cover)
06. Good Enough
07. Oh Well (Fleetwood Mac cover)
08. Something Big
09. Don’t Come Around Here No More
10. Free Fallin’
11. It’s Good To Be King
12. Something Good Coming
13. Learning to Fly
14. Yer So Bad
15. I Should Have Known It
16. Refugee
17. Runnin’ Down a Dream

Encore: (22:40)
18. Mary Jane’s Last Dance
19. American Girl

End: 22:57

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