Last night I returned to the Rock'n'Roll world of live music in a big way! I attended Tom Petty and the Heartbreak's Mojo Tour at the Izod Center in East Rutherford NJ and this morning still am stoked from the energy of the show.
Having never seen TP&THB's live before I didn't know what to expect. Was TP going to hit us with new stuff right away? Is he an artist that shuns the old and classic stuff and insist that his fan base move along with him as he releases new songs? Well, TP knows what brought him his fan base and he delivered right out of the gate! The set started with a classic, Listen to Her Heart. The crowd erupted when the guitar hit those familiar chords and happiness filled the arena because we knew we were in for a good night. The marijuana haze quickly rose with the cheers as You Don't Know How it Feels was the next song on the list for the band to play. The crowd was delighted with the choices so far and they were vocal about it. This audience ranged in age from 18 to 50 something. Mostly prevalent were the thirty-something crowd who were enjoying the serious rock and roll and classic R7B that the band was pumping out. Next in the set was I Wont Back Down, then (as Tom Petty said) for the girls backstage and in the audience, Free Fallin'.
The band then paid homage to Fleetwood Mac as they did an excellent rendition of Oh Well which really sounded terrific. After that, Last Dance with Mary Jane kicked the crowd into a fury. Here's where I lose track of the list a bit.I think I heard Kings Highway which was a surprise from the Great Wide Open album.
TP worked in new songs from his outstanding R&B rock album Mojo next with Jefferson Jericho. I liked this song, but the harmonica may be a bit to overwhelming in the piece. It should supplement and not dominate in my opinion. The next songs were The Running Man's Bible, which I didn't know but enjoyed and I Should Have Known It which Mike Cambell Killed on guitar! He was absolutely amazing on this an left the audience gasping.
After this song TP called for the house lights and the audience roared to life. TP then played an acoustic version of Learning to Fly that the audience practically sang, and he let them. Don't Come Around Here was next and the energy from this song was driving everyone to their feet and making people look silly dancing in their places. There was this cool strobe light effect they used at the end of the song that was wild. Refugee was next and the band hit this hard. They totally blew the place apart as they used this one to leave the stage when they were done. The crowd did their thing in demanding they come back and after a while the band returned. They played Running Down a Dream and used a very interesting laser show on the opposite wall. It really was a spectacle but the music was the driving force. The finale of course was his anthem, American Girl. The band played with enthusiasm and energy and the crowd soaked it up. The entire night was enjoyable from start to finish. TP&THB's are talented Rockers and excellent entertainers most of all. I would absolutely spend anther evening with them given the opportunity.