Photos by G.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers closed out their sold out 5 night run at New York’s Beacon Theatre on May 26, 2013. Surprisingly with the amount of concerts I go to, this was my first time seeing Tom Petty perform! Needless to say, it was an amazing night on so many levels. Tom Petty is a great show man and just to be in his presence for 2 hours while he sang to us was a thrill. Because this run of shows was played at the relatively intimate Beacon Theatre in comparison to the arenas Petty typically plays when he comes to town, they changed the set list dramatically every night and performed some deep album cuts, a b-side and played some covers of songs that the band all loves.
Tom Petty told the crowd how much he enjoyed these gigs and he said that we definitely picked the best night to come (sorry nights 1-4)! One of the highlights of the show for me was a b-side called “Girl On LSD.” Petty introduced the song saying that he was bored in the studio one night and came up with the song and never thought it would ever be released. It was issued as a b-side and he said that he’s been getting requests ever since to play it. The lyrics were pretty funny and dealt with all these girls that he dated that were addicted to drugs. I also really enjoyed a killer guitar solo on the end of “It’s Good to be King,” from “Wildflowers.”
Typically when I see a legend for the first time in concert, I want to hear the hits, and while Petty did “American Girl,” “Rebels,” “Running Down a Dream,” and “Refugee,” the deep cuts were definitely for die-hards (and it was a great experience to see the Beacon singing along to every word no matter how obscure). Because Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers are such great performers, I never found myself missing the hits. In fact, before I knew it, the band was off stage before the encore!
The covers performed were The Byrds’ “So You Wanna Be A Rock and Roll Star,” “13 Days” by JJ Cale, “Born In Chicago” by Nick Gravenites, “Willin'” by Little Feat and “Tweeter and the Monkey Man” by Petty’s former super group Traveling Wilburys.
The band was tight musically and Tom Petty’s signature voice sounds as great live as it does on wax. Tom Petty is set to do 5 intimate nights in Los Angeles very soon and if you were wise, you’d make sure to be at one of those shows.
Thanks again Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers for reminding New York what rock and roll is all about! See the setlist after the jump.