Tom Petty – London, Ontario

Tom Petty – London, Ontario

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Was very excited to see Tom Petty for the very first time here in London Ontario – which was also his first visit to London ever!

This is a bit of an unusual tour for Tom, as he was playing a long run at the Fonda theater in Hollywood California, as well as playing a range of cities, and the big Bonnaroo Festival in Tennessee. In fact, the Bonnaroo date was just before the London show.

Very pleased with the set list, as it covered a lot of the hits as well as some deep cuts and cool covers. There is probably only one I can think of that I would’ve loved to have heard that was not included in this set list (Listen to Her Heart), but had been played recently. No worries though, it was a great show and I think everyone in attendance thoroughly enjoyed the event.

Here is the set list:

So You Want to Be a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star (The Byrds cover)
Love Is a Long Road
I Won’t Back Down
Baby, Please Don’t Go (Joe Williams’ Washboard Blues Singers cover)
Here Comes My Girl
Mary Jane’s Last Dance
Good Enough
Free Fallin’
A Woman in Love (It’s Not Me)
Cabin Down Below
Tweeter and the Monkey Man (Traveling Wilburys)
Learning to Fly
Yer So Bad
I Should Have Known It
Runnin’ Down a Dream

Don’t Come Around Here No More
You Wreck Me
American Girl

On to the pictures! Here’s Tom with a Rickenbacker 12 string, a perfect fit for the jangly feel of the opening song:

P1130340web cropTom changed guitars a lot, certainly something I like to see a concert. Here is with a nice Gibson dot neck 335 – probably an early 60s or a late 50s model:P1130395web crop Another great thing about Tom as a band leader is how loyal he is to his bandmates. Many of the Heartbreakers have been with Tom since the earliest days. Here is harmonica player Scott Thurston /guitarist and Tom:P1130397web crop Here’s Tom with his right-hand-man Mike Campbell, who has been the lead guitarist throughout the Heartbreakers’ career. Campbell’s guitar playing, both rhythm and lead, have been critical to the Heartbreakers’ success. Both Tom and Mike tend to write very catchy, memorable hooks/guitar parts. Mike Campbell is known particularly as a guitarist who plays what is a perfect fit for the song – not flashy, not overly fast, not too many notes in the solo, but just what fits. That is a rare and wonderful thing for guitarist to do!

Here’s Tom on a Gibson SG Junior model (probably vintage), and Mike with a beautiful Les Paul Sunburst (very possibly a current Custom shop reissue):

P1130460web crop Here are Tom and Mike with piano-obscured Telecasters, probably from the early 60s:P1130515web crop This concert had fabulous pacing in terms of musical dynamics. Tom was able to move us from joyous pop, though harder rock ‘n roll to even, at times, quiet jazz.

One great example of this Was with original Heartbreaker keyboardist Benmont Tench (now isn’t that a great Southern name). Benmont had some great jazz chops, and it was really neat to see a Mellotron on stage these days (I’m not sure if that’s a reissue or one of the originals that were on so many hits in the 1970s – these were keyboards the played actual tape loops of symphonic instruments that were very realistic).
P1130518web crop Tom on acoustic:P1130540web crop Tom on a different acoustic:P1130576web crop I would think that these are possibly old acoustic he’s using as he is utilizing a sound hole microphone as opposed to some of the more modern acoustics which have integrated electronics:P1130582web crop Mike Campbell on a beautiful Rickenbacker:P1130598web cropTom looks like he is having fun:P1130601web crop Here’s Tom with original Heartbreakers bassist Ron Blair:P1130606web crop Tom having more fun:P1130610web cropTom on Tambourine and Mike back on Les Paul:P1130622web crop Mike on a Gibson Firebird (probably an early 60s), and Tom on a very nice Strat (also probably from the first half of the 1960s):P1130657web crop AA better view of Tom’s Strat – hard to tell whether it’s a white Strat that has red light on it – giving at a pink hue – or if it’s actually the Fender Custom Colour known as Shell Pink:P1130661web crop Here’s Tom on a nice old Gibson Firebird:P1130672web crop And now Tom and Mike both on Firebirds!P1130683web crop Tom on a Rickenbacker getting into it:P1130713web crop P1130727web crop Back to the old Fender Esquire:P1130733web crop And then back to a nice Rickenbacker:P1130754web crop And finally Mike on a Duesenberg – a very fancy German guitar that is gaining popularity amongst many top players:P1130769web cropVery glad I got to see this show. I should add that the opening act The Smithereens were also fantastic, and deserve their own post, which will follow later.