Celebrating his 40th-anniversary tour’s stop at a packed audience at Rogers Arena, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers gave their faithful fans an evening of familiar favourites from their extensive catalogue.
The Denver based folk-rock band The Lumineers provided the precursor to the sing along with the much loved “Hey Ho”, and included a 12 song set consisting of memorable older songs, including “Flowers in Your Hair” and “Submarines”. Lead Singer Wesley Schultz also mentioned that when they played at Masquerade in Vancouver, that it was their first ever sold out performance.
When the Heartbreakers hit the stage at 9 pm the enthusiastic crowd stood up for the first song off the Heartbreakers first album “Rockin Around (With You)”, followed by “Mary Jane’s Last Dance.The evening’s set list allowed for the mostly-over-50 audience to revel and sing a long to familiar radio friendly favourites, such as “Free Falling”, “Into the Great Wide Open”, and “You Don’t Know How it Feels”.
The stage setup was simple, and consisted of a large video screen with smaller ones on each side and above. There were 4 rows of 40 white balls that moved in various patterns throughout the concert. I am not sure if the 40 has anything to do with it being the anniversary tour, but they did provide some motion to the set. Tom Petty, who never removed his shades for the entire duration of the concert, kept his stage banter to a minimum but did provide a lot of I love you’s to the audience.
Providing the calmest point in the show, was when the band played a trio of songs “Wildflowers”, “You Wreck Me” and “It’s Good To Be King” from the Wildflowers album. Another sing-a-long moment came with the Jeff Lynne production/inspired track “Learning to Fly” which graciously Tom letting the audience sing the chorus.
It wasn’t until “I Should Have Known It,” that the band kicked into a hard rocking gear. It was at this moment that guitarist Mike Campbell proved he is an integral part to the Heartbreakers, showing the audience his magic on his well-worn fret board, you realize it would be such a different sounding Heartbreakers if he was not in it from the start. The heavier sound continued with one of his most familiar songs, “Refugee”, and ended the set with “Runnin’ Down a Dream”.
The encore consisted of “You Wreck Me” which included a heavy duel of musicianship between keyboardist Benmont Tench and Mike Campbell. Topping off the evening was “American Girl”.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers setlist Rockin’ Around (With You) Mary Jane’s Last Dance You Don’t Know How It Feels (Tom Petty song) Forgotten Man Into the Great Wide Open I Won’t Back Down (Tom Petty song) Free Fallin'(Tom Petty song) Walls Don’t Come Around Here No More It’s Good to Be King (Tom Petty song) Crawling Back to You (Tom Petty song) Wildflowers (Tom Petty song) Learning to Fly Yer So Bad (Tom Petty song) I Should Have Known It Refugee Runnin’ Down a Dream (Tom Petty song)
Encore: You Wreck Me (Tom Petty song) American Girl