Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, August 14th 2014 @ Rogers Arena, Vancouver B.C.
on August 22, 2014 10:52 PM in
The 1st thing I noticed upon taking our seats at Rogers Arena was how incredibly full the place already was and the opener hadn’t yet reached the stage. That is a luxury that is not often granted to openers.
Tonight’s opener, Steve Winwood, would not disappoint the packed house.
Winwood bookended his set with a couple Spencer Davis Group covers; opening with “I’m a Man” and closing with “Gimmie Some Lovin'”. Interspersed throughout his 9 song set were mainly Traffic covers along with 1 Blind Faith song and 2 form his own solo career. One of these, “Higher Love”, had the entire house intensely rocking from top to bottom. Great opening act for sure.
Next up, the man of the hour.
There wasn’t a whole lot to the makeup of the stage; a large screen was hung high at either side and a large curtain that images were projected onto was draped across the back, high at the center and tapering down lower to the left and right.
After all nobody came here for pyrotechnics, we were here for good old fashion rock and roll.
We got everything we wanted.
Tom and the boys opened up their set with a hark back to 1985 by playing the same cover they opened that year’s live album “Pack Up The Plantation” with, The Byrds’ “So You Want To Be a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star”. They followed that with a clear crowd favorite, “Mary Jane’s Last Dance”, that had everyone in attendance singing along at the tops of their lungs.
This would be a very common occurrence throughout the night.
This classic cut was followed up by the brand new track “American Dream Plan B” from the band’s latest effort, the very solid “Hypnotic Eye”. This album is one that can not only comfortably sit up there with some of the best they’ve done in their career, but also accomplished something none of their previous records had done: hit number 1 on the charts. While this designation is certainly overdue for this act, it comes very well deserved.
Hypnotic Eye rocks.
Another treat given to the audience was that a digital copy of “HE” came free with every ticket purchase. A VERY nice touch if I do say so myself.
“This is our very 1st night in Canada on this tour” Petty proclaimed at one point, “We’re gonna have some fun tonight.”
He wasn’t kidding.
Over the course of the night the Vancouver faithful were treated to everything from Heartbreakers’ tunes and tracks from Petty’s solo efforts, to a few cover tunes that included a fantastic rendition of The Traveling Wilburys’ “Tweeter And The Monkey Man” that elicited a raucous roar from the crowd.
Another gem thrown into the mix was the rarely performed “Two Gunslingers” from 91’s “Into The Great Wide Open”. Before they played the title track from that same album Petty joked that he “found it difficult to remember much of anything prior to 1991.”
It didn’t show.
All night long, song after song, Petty and his Heartbreakers ripped through the set with a fluidity of a well oiled machine.
After closing the night with an encore of “You Wreck Me” and “American Girl” respectively, the gang assembled at the front of the stage in a line of giant smiles with arms over shoulders and took a couple big bows to show their appreciation to the crowd as we loudly voiced ours back at them.
The only thing that could have made the night any better would have been if they just didn’t stop playing at all! Clearly not an option even though, at age of 63, Petty’s voice sounded as crisp and Petty-like as it ever has.
A fantastic night indeed. If you are a Petty fan and were not able to make it, you have my deepest condolences.
Full setlist here: http://www.setlist.fm/setlist/tom-petty-and-the-heartbreakers/2014/rogers-arena-vancouver-bc-canada-73ced2ad.html