Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers At The Fonda Theatre

Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers At The Fonda Theatre

  • Tom Petty performs at the Fonda Theatre on June 4
    Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images
  • Tom Petty and Mike Campbell perform at the Fonda Theatre on June 4
    Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

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By Jamie Harvey
Los Angeles

When there's an opportunity to see a big rock band in a small place, I try to seize it. So I quickly drew two tickets to see Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers at the Fonda Theatre on June 4.

Prior to this, I had only seen Petty perform at a festival. But as he emerged onstage with a cover of the Byrds' "So You Want To Be A Rock 'N' Roll Star" — his first of many covers that night — I remembered that Petty's music has always played somewhere in the background in my life and that his Southern-tinged, bluesy vibe has always resonated with me.

"We're going to be playing some deep cuts and B-sides tonight ... but first, a few you might know," Petty said. This concert marked the second of a week's worth of shows at the Fonda, and after a less-synthy "Love Is A Long Road" and "Here Comes My Girl," I will admit there were several songs that followed that I wasn't familiar with. But it didn't matter. The duo of Petty and guitarist Mike Campbell has not degraded with time, with their long-standing musical relationship still shining bright to this day. When it came time for band introductions, it was pointed out that drummer Steve Ferrone had just experienced a "romantic upset." A Heartbreaker undergoing heartbreak? It made me hone in on the band's logo — a Flying V guitar piercing a heart — and I was reminded how much I love it.

Somewhere between "Kings Highway" and "Two Gunslingers" I dredged up memories of rewinding and fast-forwarding my tape of 1991's Into The Great Wide Open and watching the video for the title track, which featured Johnny Depp, and loving it so much. How epic would it have been if Depp cane onstage to play on that song with him? Unfortunately, that didn't happen.

What did happen was a performance of The Traveling Wilburys' "Tweeter And The Monkey Man," which had a long meandering finish, and left me thinking about the scope of the supergroup's talent between Petty, Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, and Roy Orbison.  

When the band played hits "Refugee," "Runnin' Down A Dream," "Listen To Her Heart," and "American Girl," I realized how positive and even motivational Petty's songs are. "You smell really nice, Hollywood," Petty said as he closed the night, with a grin on his face. 

And there they went, proof that rock and roll can be happy.

Set List:

"So You Want To Be A Rock 'N' Roll Star" (Byrds cover)
"Love Is A Long Road"
"Here Comes My Girl"
"Baby, Please Don't Go" (Big Joe Williams cover)
"When A Kid Goes Bad"
"The Best Of Everything"
"I Just Want To Make Love To You" (Muddy Waters cover)
"A Woman In Love (It's Not Me)"
"Kings Highway"
"I'd Like To Love You Baby" (J.J. Cale cover)
"Tweeter And The Monkey Man" (Traveling Wilburys)
"Rebels"
"Two Gunslingers"
"Time To Move On"
"Friend Of The Devil" (Grateful Dead cover)
"It's Good To Be King"
"I Should Have Known It"
"Refugee"
"Runnin' Down A Dream"
"Listen To Her Heart"
"Carol" (Chuck Berry cover)
"American Girl"

To catch Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers in a city near you, click here for tour dates.

(Jamie Harvey lives in Los Angeles and is the rock community blogger for GRAMMY.com. She has attended and written about more than 500 shows since 2007. You can follow her musical adventures at www.hardrockchick.com.)

 

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