Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers have been my favourite band since I was 8 years old. I'm now 29 and my all-time favourite album for the last 21 years has been Damn The Torpedoes. Though I got made fun of at school for not liking "new" music, I was defiant in my love for this band. Things started to change in high school when people started to expand on their musical horizons past The Spice Girls, The Backstreet Boys, Limp Bizkit, and Eminem. It turns out, I was right all along and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers were better than all of those other "cool" bands.
In the early 2000s, when I was in high school at the age where I was ready to start going to concerts, they never toured outside the US. It was frustrating to say the least. But then in 2006, after the tour dates had already been announced, and after once again being disappointed, I got a notification that they were coming to Toronto. Yay! I was far from the front row, but I was so excited to get to finally see my favourite band in person! It was an incredible night!
Thankfully, every tour since then they've made a stop at least in Toronto, and even did a Canadian tour in 2013. Last night was my fifth time seeing them and it was just as exciting as the first. I know there are a lot of naysayers about there not being much variations in the setlists and the visuals and lighting taking a front-seat to the music. But I thoroughly enjoyed myself. The Webb Sisters really add a lot to the show. Getting those high backing vocals that Howie used to reach really made the songs more like the original recordings. Having come just come from England, I could tell the band was tired and probably jet-lagged. Regardless, they gave it all they had and I was grateful for their effort! Ron & Steve make a fantastic rhythm section and they were locked in tight with each other the whole night. Scott was as versatile as ever. Benmont killed it on the extended jam at the end of It's Good To Be King. Mike Campbell is the reason I started playing guitar. He makes it look so effortless, as if the guitar were an extension of his body. Tom's voice sounded better than it has in years, especially on Refugee!
Say what you will about the setlists, but I had an amazing time watching my favourite band do what they do. I know Tom says this'll be the last big tour, but I really hope this isn't the last time I get to see them. But if it is, I'll at least be able look back on my life knowing that I got to see my favourite band five times and enjoyed myself immensely each and every time. And no one can ever take that away from me!