Tulsa crowd loves Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
By Jennifer Chancellor
Tulsa World — Thursday, September 23, 2010
Tom Petty and his Heartbreakers shook a near-capacity crowd Thursday night at the BOK Center, which was celebrating its second anniversary.
Six high-definition screens hovered in a semicircle over the band and added depth and drama to Petty’s musical prowess. The six smaller screens gave way to enormous LED screens, stories high, up close and personal on Petty.
“This is our very first show in Tulsa, Oklahoma,” he said as the crowd reciprocated with nearly a full minute of cheers. “I love it here!”
He and his backing band thanked the audience often and blew kisses into the crowd.
Petty is a consummate professional still in the prime of his game. Thursday night’s show proved that. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee played oldies (“Listen to Her Heart”), goodies (“Mary Jane’s Last Dance”) and newbies (“Good Enough”).
The set spanned his 40-plus-year career, with plenty of crowd-pleasing hits to anchor the bluesy rock mix, including “You Don’t Know How it Feels,” “Breakdown,” “Don’t Come Around Here No More,” “American Girl,” “Free Fallin” and “Refugee.”
Petty wore a royal blue velvet jacket and oversized red tie, white button-down shirt and black pants as he rocked through Thursday night’s set, which included a playful, rumbling version of Fleetwood Mac’s “Oh Well,” the frontman shaking maracas to the beat.
A mini-set in the midst of the concert tackled new “Mojo” album tunes with garagey, blues-rock rambunctiousness and included “Jefferson Jericho Blues,” “Good Enough,” “Running Man’s Bible” and “I Should Have Known it.”
Petty and guitarist Mike Campbell hurdled rock licks toward each other with fiery glee.
Texas music stalwart ZZ Top opened the show. Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill and Frank Beard didn’t stun the crowd as much as they wooed them.
It seems like every ZZ Top song is a classic. Their fur-bearing guitars and beard-flaunting shtick is as well-rehearsed as it is popular.
Gibbons reminded Okies that the trio’s been the blues-rock house band for the Sooner state for four decades as they played a roster of hits, including “Sharp Dressed Man,” “Tush,” “Just Got Paid” and “Legs.”