Petty, Jackson deliver the goods
By Scott Iwasaki
The Deseret News — Wednesday, November 6, 2002
TOM PETTY & THE HEARTBREAKERS, WITH JACKSON BROWNE, E Center, Nov. 5.
Concerts don’t need flash pots, gyrating dancers or young singers to get the crowd cheering. Tuesday night, two elder statesmen of rock ‘n’ roll proved to the world that a good concert just needs good music.
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers and Jackson Browne treated a classic-rock-starved audience to a smorgasbord of hits and new songs at the E Center.
Browne began by playing to a nearly empty arena, but he wrapped up his nine-song set to a nearly sold-out house. He started off with “Boulevard” and worked his way to “Running on Empty.”
In between, he served up “Culver Moon” and “The Pretender.” He also offered a plate of new tunes, including “The Night Inside Me,” “About My Imagination” and “The Naked Ride Home.”
Browne’s mix was clean and balanced, and though his features have become a little more gaunt with age, his voice was still as warm as a summer day.
Then, Petty hit the stage and cranked out the first notes of his latest song, “The Last DJ,” culled from the album of the same name. But he wasted no time dipping into an older tune, “Love Is a Long Road” and topped that off with another new song — the Dylanesque “Have Love Will Travel.”
The Heartbreakers — guitarist Mike Campbell, keyboardist Benmont Tench, guitarist Scott Thurston and bassist Ron Blair — took potshots at the corporate world with the hard-hitting anthem “Joe” and the introspectively dynamic “Can’t Stop the Sun.”
Petty’s no-nonsense attitude cooked up some rowdy emotions with his trademark “Refugee,” the defiant “Won’t Back Down,” the soaring “Free Fallin’ ” and the restless “King’s Highway.”
A couple of nice surprises included the jangly “Woman in Love,” the catchy “The Waiting” and Chuck Berry’s “Carol.”
Still, the band made sure it pleased everyone with “Mary Jane’s Last Dance,” “Running Down a Dream” and “Yer So Bad,” all of which featured Campbell’s spitfire leads.
With a red-hot set list like that, there wasn’t any need for fancy pyrotechnics. Petty and Browne demonstrated that all that matters is attitude and the music.