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Tom Petty’s return thrills Spectrum fans
By Anthony P. Centola
The Villanovan — April 28, 1995
As his double-platinum Wildflowers solo album continues to soar on the nation’s album charts, Tom Petty is currently touring the country with the Heartbreakers. Their sold out show April 7 at the Spectrum was the band’s first appearance there in over three years. The new album is still picking up momentum after the first release, “You Don’t Know How It Feels,” hit number one on the Billboard charts nearly three months ago. The follow up single, “You Wreck Me,” also persisted to do very well on the charts. His latest release, “It’s Good To Be King,” has already begun receiving much airplay on MTV’s regular time slot.
After nearly 20 years in the business, Tom Petty, 44, still has the same charm and talent he did as a youngster. “Music runs my life. I have no hobbies. I collect guitars and records,” Petty states. This album is only his second solo album, the first being Full Moon Fever. Last year, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers released their Greatest Hits album which sold over three million copies. Petty has never lost sight of his roots through all these years. His early influences include Bob Dylan, The Byrds, The Rolling Stones and The Beatles. Petty has shown a great deal of artistic enthusiasm in all of his videos; he considers them “short films.”
When Petty hit the stage at the Spectrum on April 7, there were no explosions, no lasers, no video screens, just pure music. The stage was circular allowing fans with tickets behind the stage to view everything. The selection of songs contained everything from old to new. The beginning of the show boasted hits like “Free Fallin’,” “Into The Great Wild Open,” and “I Won’t Back Down.” Toward the middle of the set Petty did something different, he played four acoustic songs which included “Learning To Fly,” and “Listen To Her Heart.” Toward the end of his set Petty jammed through “Mary Jane’s Last Dance,” for which he won “Best Male Video” at the 1994 MTV Video Music Awards. Finally, the encore consisted of his early hits “Refugee,” and “American Girl.” At the end of the show Petty could not thank his fans enough for all their support through the years. Tom Petty definitely holds a place for himself in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.