NOBLESVILLE, Ind. – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers returned to Klipsch Saturday night for the first time since 2013, but this time around they were celebrating an achievement few bands accomplish…being around for 40 years.
It was an unbelievable concert that lived up to years of anticipation for fans like myself, who have gone through many sleepless nights thinking about missed opportunities to see him in the past.
They were so sharp that even one of my least favorite Petty songs, Free Fallin’, had me tearing up like I was rolling around in an onion patch.
LiveNation couldn’t have booked a better act to kick off the summer concert season at Klipsch. The place was packed and mother nature was in full cooperation, with temperatures in the 70’s throughout the night.
Joe Walsh started things off just after 8 p.m. The veteran rocker and former member of The Eagles served as a perfect appetizer for the generally older crowd.
His hit “Life’s Been Good” got the capacity crowd howling early as people shouted lyrics like “My Maserati does 185, I lost my license…now I don’t drive” back at him.
I would say 75 percent of the audience was made up of older folks that grew up with the band, and 25 percent were younger fans like myself that had Petty’s music blasting every summer during the 90’s.
There were a few bad apples that just seemed to be there for the beer and atmosphere, but that’s expected.
I lost my mind when Tom and the Heartbreakers first took the stage, just after 9:30. They opened with the first song off their first album, “Rockin’ Around (With You)” and quickly showed Hoosiers they weren’t messing around, moving right into Mary Jane’s Last Dance.
Yes, the crowd went nuts for the iconic line “she grew up tall and she grew up right, with them Indiana boys on them Indiana nights.”
Other highlights that stood out to me was the synthy hit from 1982, You Got Lucky, a heck of a light show for Don’t Come Around Here No More, and Tom playing a whole lot of his solo album, Wildflowers.
Take a look at some video from the show and the full set list below.
If you missed them, they come back to the area June 12 in Cincinnati and they are playing Wrigley Field in Chicago on June 29.
You Got Lucky
Full set list:
1. Rockin’ Around (With You)
2. Mary Jane’s Last Dance
3. You Don’t Know How It Feels
4. Forgotten Man
5. You Got Lucky
6. I Won’t Back Down
7. Free Fallin’
9. Don’t Come Around Here No More
10. It’s Good to Be King
11. Crawling Back to You
13. Learning to Fly
14. Yer So Bad
15. I Should Have Known It
17. Runnin’ Down a Dream
18. You Wreck Me
19. American Girl
Videos courtesy of Chris Taylor and Jon Kinney on YouTube.