Pearl Jam and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers at the Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul, Minnesota, June 27th
There’s something amazing and wonderful about listening to a man in his fifties (?) with blonde, shoulder-length hair and an emerging bald spot hidden on his crown, a man who has been in rock and roll for 30 years sing:
“Somewhere, somehow somebody
Must have kicked you around some…”
I had this feeling that every adult in the arena could answer Tom Petty’s question in the affirmative. To me, one is fully an adult at the time in their life when a hope has been dashed, a promise broken, a mistake made, a goal missed, a disgraceful deed uncovered - in short, when someone has been kicked around some - and they have to take responsibility for it on their own.
And even when a multi-millionaire rock star sings it, you know there was a time when he got kicked around some too. We all do. For instance, lately, my job has been kicking me around some. Also, as is plainly evident to anyone listening to the NPR series on torture, the United States of America is using my/your tax dollars to kick folks around some.
But I digress…
As for the show and the line about being kick around, well, it was a stand-out moment when an artist connected with his audience. I attended the show* to see the other half of the line up. Pearl Jam was the draw for me, and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers was a nice bonus.
But after a quick 90 minute set from Eddie and his crew, a set that felt like an introduction, a conscious effort not to upstage the more seasoned veteran, everything was ready for Tom Petty to steal the show, which he did.
Yes, it was a hit parade.
Yes, Tom Petty is an egoist.
No, they didn’t play “Don’t Do Me Like That”
Yes, they still rocked quite a bit.
No, I probably won’t see them again.
The highlight was TPatH singing “American Girl” with Eddie Vedder. It was a great closing number.
Also, just for the record, most of the folks wanted to see Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. My guess is that TPatH fans out numbered PJ fans 3 to 1. For the most part, Petty fans were easy to identify. Also, TPatH fans smoke way more weed than PJ fans do. And it’s the cheap stuff. I went home smelling like a community-college dorm room.
* My ticket was sponsored by my handsome, charismatic brother-in-law.