Live Review & Picture Book: Tom Petty at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater

Tom Petty




Review by Molly Segers

When you go see Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, you don’t go in expecting any surprises. With a 30 year catalog of hits to pull from, the odds of a fan getting their favorite album cuts are more or less nonexistent, especially if your favor a record like, say, Wildflowers over classics like Damn the Torpedoes.  Petty fans are cool with that, partly because “stick to the hits” is written in blood in the rock and roll rule book, but mostly because there’s never any doubt that every performance will be spot on.

The set opened with “Listen to Her Heart,” followed by “You Wreck Me Baby,” from the aforementioned Wildflowers, “Here Comes My Girl,” and the Traveling Wilburys’ “Handle with Care.” This was looking like it was going to be the greatest his night everyone was expecting. That’s when things got… interesting.

First there was the cover of Muddy Waters’ “I’m a Man” and “Taking My Time” from 2010’s Mojo. Then came the deep album cuts like “Something Big” from Hard Promises and “Spike” from Southern Accents, which served as the only mention of the recent guitar theft, when he described the Cypress Lounge as a bar full of rough guys like guitar thieves. While the album cuts spanned his whole catalog, Wildflowers turned out to be the unexpected album of the night, with “Cabin Down Below” and “To Find a Friend” also making appearances.

These were moments that were obviously for the band as much or more than they were for the diehards. Petty and the rest of the Heartbreakers looked their happiest when they were playing these songs that don’t usually get much set list real estate. While the diehards were eating up these treasures, these were the parts of the show when the casual fans showed themselves. Many of the people who were dancing and singing for “Won’t Back Down” were looking a little confused at these songs. One woman even loudly complained that she didn’t know any of these songs and declared, “He better play ‘Mary Jane’!”

Or course, for every awkward moment for these fans they were rewarded with hits like “Learning to Fly” and “Free Fallin,’” which had seemingly everyone in the venue singing along. By the time “Refugee” and “Running Down a Dream” rolled around, the spirits were high, even among the crankiest attendees. There was a buzz in the crowd as the interlude between the set and encore dragged. Everyone screamed with glee as they strummed in intro of “Mary Jane’s Last Dance.” This was nothing compared to closer “American Girl,” which got even the last holdouts to give in, stand up, sing along, and actually look like they were having a good time.


  1. Listen to Her Heart
  2. You Wreck Me Baby
  3. Won’t Back Down
  4. Here Comes my Girl
  5. Handle with Care (Traveling Wilburys)
  6. I’m a Man (Muddy Waters cover)
  7. Taking My Time
  8. Something Big
  9. Cabin Down Below
  10. Free Fallin’
  11. Spike
  12. “Traveling Light” (JJ Cale cover)
  13. To Find a Friend
  14. Learning to Fly
  15. Yer So Bad
  16. I Should Have Known It
  17. Good Enough
  18. Refugee
  19. Running Down a Dream


  1. Mary Jane’s Last Dance
  2. American Girl

PHOTOS By Catrina Maxwell

Full gallery after the jump.

Tom PettyTom PettyTom PettyTom PettyTom PettyTom PettyTom PettyTom PettyTom PettyTom PettyTom PettyTom PettyTom PettyTom Petty


Leave A Comment!