Friday, August 13, 2010

The Tom Petty Experience

I became a Tom Petty fan early on in my life. I remember it like it was yesterday. I was in the front yard, Mom came out of the house yelling, "Tom Petty, Tom Petty! That's who sings that song!" She was talking about "I Won't Back Down" and she had finally caught who sang it on the radio. That was the only way to find out back then. Still is for Mom because she doesn't have a computer. Unless she asks me to look it up on the internet.

So when the opportunity arose to see TP in Nashville this year, I jumped at the chance and knew I had to take Mom and Perry. I had seen concerts with each of them but never the three of us together. Mom and I saw TP 15 years ago when he came to Roberts Stadium. In April, she and I saw Bon Jovi in Nashville for the third time. Perry and I saw Tesla at the Centre last year. And in July, Perry and I saw the Scorpions in Nashville. So since we all like TP, it was only fitting the three of us head back to Music City.

We picked up Mom yesterday afternoon and headed south. We stopped at Sumner Crest Winery to pick up some of our favorites bottles of wine and ended up in a traffic jam about 4 miles away our destination. Once we finally got parked and took the shuttle to downtown, we had a difficult time getting a table at our favorite eatery, Big River Brewery, because the place was packed and our usual open bar seating wasn't very open. I guess we looked like we were on a mad hunt for a table because this guy came over to us and offered to share his table with us. It was just him and his wife and it was a huge booth. That was so nice of them! We drank some beer, scarfed down chicken tenderloins, fries and pizza, and had great conversation with the generous couple because, of course, they were going to the concert, too. We were so grateful they let us sit with them. Otherwise, we wouldn't have made the concert on time. In fact, we walked in and found our seats (in the dark) right as Crosby, Stills and Nash took the stage.

I know a few CS&N songs but I just wasn't prepared for them. They were good, don't get me wrong, just very slow and folky. Plus the people behind us kept talking and talking and talking about them. They were also in the wrong seats which they also talked about for 20 minutes. They finally moved, thank God. In between CS&N and TP, the roadies did a lot of sound checks and tuning. I've never heard that before. Usually, they just set up the next band's stuff and go on. I always assumed they got all of the mic checks out of the way earlier in the day.

Finally, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers took the stage and began with "Listen to Her Heart" which I thought was awesome because I was just talking about that song in the car on the way down. I love how it starts: "You think you're gonna take her away, with your money and your cocaine." TP went on to sing "You Don't Know How It Feels", "Free Fallin'", "Mary Jane's Last Dance", "King's Highway", "Learning to Fly", "I Won't Back Down", "Refugee" and more of the old stuff, plus 4 or 5 new ones. I loved them all. One of favorite moments was the end of "Don't Come Around Here No More". It was like a strobe light jam session. Really intense. They ended many of the songs with a lot of momentum. The encore included "Runnin' Down a Dream" and ended with "American Girl" which I predicted. It was great.

The trip home was long. I drove the first leg. Perry took over in Bowling Green. And I got back behind the wheel after we dropped Mom off. We didn't get home until after 3am, very tired. But it was one of the best shows I've ever seen. Not many bells and whistles or theatrics. Just a sample of 34 years of some of the greatest rock 'n roll of all time.

1 comment:

Paperback Writer said...

Glad you had fun! I wish I would have been able to go to this show!!