Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Make It Last All Night

Last night was the first concert at the new Iowa Events Center and it did not disappoint. Somehow it's easy to forget how immensely popular Tom Petty is. He always seems to be just outside of music lovers' frame of reference. When you're asked about your favorite Hall of Fame artists, you might say The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, or even U2. Petty doesn't often leap to the front of the pack. But if last night is any indication, perhaps he should.

It wasn't a full crowd, which was the only real blemish to the Events Center's first big night. But it's been a long time since I've been to a show in which the audience was so involved and enthralled with the music. Often, I'd hear my fellow concert-goers singing in unison, which at other shows can be quite annoying. What I realized last night, though, is how universal Petty's tunes really are and how ingrained they are in our pop brains. This made for a surprisingly entertaining night.

Pick your favorite Petty hit song and he played it. I was especially thrilled to hear his Full Moon Fever material like I Won't Back Down, Free Fallin', and Runnin' Down a Dream because that was his first album that I really enjoyed (me and millions of others I'm sure if last night's reactions were any indication). The classics like Refugee and the encore performance of American Girl established Petty's performance in proper historical context. Don't Come Around Here No More was another stellar moment. For me, though, the highlight was the night's biggest surprise, a performance of The Traveling Wilburys' biggest hit, Handle With Care. You could almost feel the greats like Harrison, Orbison, and Dylan up there with him. There were better performances of better songs throughout the show, but I never expected a Wilburys' tune so it made my night. Charlie T., Jr. made his pop proud.

I don't get to see a lot of shows, but I'm glad I shelled out 60 bucks on this one. It certainly now ranks up there as one of the best. And kudos to the Events Center for selling Sam Adams and having cupholders!

And, oh yeah, The Black Crowes kinda sucked. Sorry, Kate.

4 comments:

Dirty Phil said...

well put! petty rules.

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