When Petty Jammed 90,000 at Bonnaroo

Today on XRT, The Friday Feature is the music of Tom Petty. Where do you start? There are so many great songs!

Nothing shines a light on the sheer volume of Petty songs that are a part of your life more than when you see Tom and The Heartbreakers perform live. Every concert turns out to be a greatest hits show. Even when he says the tour will go deep into his catalogue, you still know all the songs because they’ve all been played on XRT at one time or another.

Among my favorite Petty concerts are the two times I saw him play Bonnaroo in 2006 and 2013. Both times he really got into the Bonnaroo vibe by acknowledging that he was there to “jam”. Unlike many artists who play that festival, he knew where he was that night.

2006 was my first “Roo” and I watched the set from the risers next to the stage giving me a birds eye view of the sea of people that stretched as far as the eye could see.  Petty and Heartbreakers gave the crowd what it wanted by extending songs into longer jams than usual and then floored everyone when he brought Stevie Nicks out for “Stop Dragging My Heart Around”.  Stevie  stayed and became his back up on a number of other songs including a long version of the F-Mac classic, “Oh Well”

I’ll never forget the photo I caught with my mind camera of Tom, his wife and Stevie walking arm and arm out of the backstage area after the show.

Enjoy today’s Friday Feature and as a bonus, check out Tom, Stevie and The Heartbreakers’ perform ‘Learning To Fly” from that warm Tennesee June evening.

More from Marty Lennartz
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