The first real concert I ever went to was Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. September of '81, at Cal Expo (home of California's State Fair). It was festival seating, so my friend Fredzo and I stayed out in the 100+ degree heat all day so we could be near the front when the gates opened. Bottled water hadn't been invented yet, and the crowd got so big that we eventually couldn't even individually go get a drink because we wouldn't be able to get back through the crowd to whichever of us was holding our spot in line.
So we gutted it out. All day. In the California sun.
It was all worth it once the concert started. They'd thrown a tarp over the race track and erected a stage in the middle, and we were about 25' from center stage. As he did today, Tom opened up then with American Girl. We yelled. We cheered. Stevie Nicks came out to do 2 duets with Petty--Stop Draggin' My Heart Around and Insider. I still have the pictures I took with my 110 camera.
I'd lost my voice by the end of that concert. Then the sore throats started, and then the doctor said my tonsils had to come out. To this day I wonder if there's any link.
So I watched the game today to ensure I wouldn't miss a second of Petty's halftime show, and I'm glad I saw it. Wow! Tom's showing some years, but he still plays like a wild man--still has his signature "hunch" when he plays, too!
Good to see Mike Campbell at his side--but when did Mike start with the 12-string? I remember Tom playing that, not Mike.
I think that was Ron Blair on bass today, too. Couldn't tell if Benmont Tench was the keyboardist or not. The drummer was most definitely not Stan Lynch!
Today's show was only a 4-song set. As I said, he started with American Girl, which many may remember from the opening scenes of Fast Times at Ridgemont High.
The second song was I Won't Back Down. Unfortunately, it sounded a little weak today, especially in bass and lead guitar. Could have been more powerful.
The third song was Free Fallin', which sounded even better than the studio version. It's a soulful song, and it will probably always sound better live. They did a great job. I love it when the lights go down for a song and everyone breaks out their cell phones instead of their lighters.
The final song was Runnin' Down A Dream, which sounded fine.
I knew the songs, I knew the words, I had the surround sound blasting. Awesome half-time show!
Can we get Fleetwood Mac for next year?
Update: as commenter Dan pointed out, I merged my comments for two songs into one, completely leaving out a song. That's now corrected.