Metro Halifax — May 30, 2012

Petty fans on ‘cloud nine’ with big show now here
By Spencer Buell
Metro Halifax — May 30, 2012

Jason Arnold refers to himself as a Tom Petty super fan.

And at Thursday night’s much anticipated Petty concert at the Halifax Metro Centre, he plans to be carrying his Wildflowers album and asking the famous rock star for an autograph.

“Ever since I found out he was coming, I’ve been on cloud nine,” said Arnold, a Sackville resident.

He got his tickets for the sixth row on the floor on pre-sale, and he said he’ll be attending the show with his wife and a few friends.

Arnold, a member of the Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ exclusive fan club, is an avid collector of Petty CDs, vinyls, magazine covers and T-shirts.

He’s been following Petty’s career since the 1980s and visited cities like Toronto to see him perform. But now, for the first time, he’ll get to watch Petty in his own backyard.

He said he hopes the singer-songwriter will respond to his giant bristle board sign asking for a signature, but said he’d be content even just to share a few words with the man himself.

“That would be my ultimate dream come true,” he said.

And Arnold’s not the only one getting excited about the big show.

Rob MacCormick, a Fall River resident and self-described rock concert addict who catches 20 to 40 shows a year, said he’s seen all his favorite rock gods – John Mellencamp, Bruce Springsteen and John Fogerty among them – while travelling for work.

He saw Petty two years ago in Boston, and he said those going to tonight’s show “are gonna be blown away.”

“They have been playing together forever and Tom Petty is super laid back and he’s an incredible front man,” MacCormick said. “He plays off the crowd just like mad.”

No doubt unlike most fans going tonight, MacCormick is listening to the famous rockers’ countless number of hits to help add to the excitement level.

“Between YouTube and my iPod, I’ve been feeding pretty heavy off Petty,” he said.

Show promoter David Carver said Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers will be arriving into town during the day Thursday.

After the show in Halifax, the group is playing dates at Mile One Stadium in St. John’s Saturday and Sunday.

“Everybody you talk to about Tom Petty everybody raves about how great the show is,” Carver proclaimed. “It’s going to be powerful.”

Opening act
Jimmy Cliff is no longer opening for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

The Hall of Fame musician had to bow out due to a scheduling conflict.

The new opening act is The Blind Boys Of Alabama, who are considered living legends of gospel music.

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