Jackson Browne opened up the show for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers this last saturday night at the Autowest Amphitheatre in Marysville, California. The show was a complete success. Tom and Jackson managed to nearly sell out the venue, which holds 19,000 people. It is entirely possible that a large walk-up crowd purchased the few remaining tickets left at the box office. This has not been easy task for any band to do in the middle of this nasty recession which drastically affects the entertainment industry revenues. The show was completely sold out at the Reno concert venue also, not bad for a couple of guys with guitars. Tom Petty and Jackson Browne both have new albums due out in the near future and an army devout fans waiting to buy them. "The Last DJ," is the title of Tom's expected release which will be out on the Warner Brothers record label October 8th. Check out the Tom Petty official web site www.tompetty.com for details on an upcoming live broadcast of the entire album to be performed with a full orchestra from Los Angeles and sent via satellite to movie theaters in at least forty American cities. We can expect to hear the single from this new album on local radio stations around the country this week, it is the title track, "The Last DJ." The album features collaborative work with legendary Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham who provides some backing vocals for one of the twelve tracks.
The concert was phenomenal, and I am sure both of the coming albums from these timeless artists will also be well received by their faithful fans. Jackson Browne's new single, "The Night Inside Me" is already playing on the radio and you can look for his CD release to be out on the shelves in the last week of September. This album is his first studio release in six years and has been long awaited. The album is titled, "The Naked Ride Home" and will be another Elektra records release. Jackson Browne produces this album himself, as he has in the past, and he is back with producer/musician Kevin McCormick who has credits on many of Jackson's releases. Jackson Browne album credits read like a who's who of rock and roll, and with a little help from his friends he has been able to consistently make gold, platinum, and multi-platinum records that please generation after generation of fans. I am certain you can look forward to guest spots from some of the people who have performed on past Browne albums. People like, David Crosby, Scott Thurston, Mike Campbell, Bonnie Raitt, Don Henley, or any number of great rock and rollers to round out another star studded shining studio achievement from Jackson Browne. The new single rocks, so I expect the album will do very well right away. Jackson Browne also has a fantastic web site at JacksonBrowne.com and you can listen to the new single right now. The site is super cool and chalk full of audio and visual delights, I suggest you check it out.
Back to the concert, because that's what Rocktime Magazine is all about; bringing the concert experience to the reader, the complete version with set lists and photos. If you are a total Jackson Browne freak, then you likely left the concert slightly disappointed. I have always been a fan of his music, and could not help but notice the lack of his most desired tunes. Don't get me wrong, the show was an hour and five minutes of pure Jackson Browne with a full band and a mostly electric set; two words---jamming out!!! The show started a few minutes late around 7:40 p.m. as Jackson casually walked out into the twilight, the edges of his lips slightly a curl, eyes bursting with a hint of laughter. He went right into "Boulevard," a song from one of his best received albums ever, "Hold Out," which achieved gold and platinum status the same year it was released. This was followed up by" Everywhere I Go," one of Browne's more discreet hits from his 1993 album "I'm Alive." With a thirty year career in music, JB had any number of one hundred plus songs to pick from, so why not open with his classic song, "Take It Easy," and move on down through the hits. We will never know until Jackson comes back out on the road as a headliner touring in support of his new album. I sure hope he has just been holding out to just blow us away. When Jackson Browne opened for the Eagles at the millennium (see Rocktime Magazine photos and review) concerts in Las Vegas, I was sure that when he didn't play "Take It Easy" during his set that he would come out with the Eagles and perform it with them, alas that did not happen.
The concert continued with much the same formula, one lesser known song from each of his albums, continuing the show with "Fountain of Sorrow." He set down his electric guitar and hopped onto a stool in front of his keyboards and sung this one with the emotion that only he can give it. He played a big hit next, it was the new single "The Night Inside Me" and only a few people were familiar with it so everybody remained frozen to their seats. This new tune follows Browne's patented formula, it is another rhythm and blues based song with soul and meaning. Not to mention, it starts out jumping and never stops, I couldn't help but let my old bones go to dancing on this one. The next song, "Barricades of Heaven" was from a 1996 Jackson Browne album that was ironically, or not, produced by the newest member of the Heartbreakers Scott Thurston. Scott has performed on a few of Jackson's albums and produced the last two JB studio albums, also a studio musician mainstay for albums of rock and roll's premiere artists. He has recently been playing backup electric guitar, acoustic guitar, background vocals, and harmonica for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. I once heard Tom Petty say at the Fillmore West of Scott Thurston, "I would be lost without him." Many feel the same as surely as rock and roll is in his blood. I think Jackson Browne agrees as he did "Doctor of My Eyes" from his 1972 debut release and then introduced, "Culver Moon" as a song that was written in honor of Scott Thurston. Browne couldn't stop there though as he let 19,000 people in on what I think was a private joke and affectionately referred to Scott as "duckhead." It was a quick little jab and the whole audience cracked up as Jackson looked over to see Scott's reaction from stage left.
The crowd was getting anxious for some solid Jackson Browne hits and JB decided it was time to deliver the bounty that for which everybody had given up their legal tender. You know it, I was hoping for "Somebody's Baby" or "Tender Is the Night," but I'll take a "The Pretender" any day of the week. He had broken the mold now and just went with the flow and kicked out "Running on Empty." The hits stopped right there as he encored with a power finish, "For A Rocker." The crowd suffering severe withdrawal was waiting for their fix of "The Loadout/Stay" medley that was never to come. I'm jonesing, are you jonesing? He still has some songs to play, right. Not tonight, so it's settled then. Yeah, we're gonna have to check it out when he comes back out this fall doing his own tour. No worries, the show has just begun. Time to relieve and refresh before 19,000 other people get the same idea. Oh no, too late, too many people, we must escape to a quiet corner and relax for a minute. Twenty people in every line for everything you could want to buy and a hundred in the line for the bathroom.
Forget that, back to the seats and get ready for a good daydream because we're "Running Down A Dream," and "I Won't Back Down" for "I Need To Know" if you want "Mary Jane's Last Dance." I think everybody there wanted to dance with Mary Jane as Tom Petty strutted his stuff for her. He was dressed in a hip outfit, love clothes blasting from the past, wailing on a shiny new candy apple red guitar that shone like the sun. It was the same standard four song set that got everybody on their feet and out of their seat and that had opened every show on this tour. The waiting is the hardest part and it was finally over as we got to hear and see Tom perform "Have Love Will Travel," a song from their much coveted upcoming release. Back to the classics as the Heartbreakers deliver "Listen to Her Heart" and "Cabin Down Below," these were both set list change ups and are the songs that you might or might not hear. In Reno, they had played "Here Comes My Girl" and skipped "Even The Losers" because Petty was having voice problems and wasn't hitting the high notes without strain on his vocal chords. The set list was rearranged for the Sacramento show for this reason, this was a double bonus because instead of a seven song first set, we got ten in the first set. Back to the tour formula, Tom comes up to the mike before the eighth song "High Heel Sneakers," a traditional blues arrangement and starts talking about a dream he had. In the dream a fan got a hold of his phone number and called him up and said she had an emergency. So, he says to her, "What kind of emergency?" She says, "It's bad, real real bad, I need your help." So Tom says, "What do you need me to do?" She says, "Tom, I need you to rock me." Tom starts strumming a little rhythm out on the guitar and says, "Well, how's that do you, are you feeling any better?" She says, "That's pretty good, but I need you to rock me." Then the whole band starts wailing and this old blues song takes on new breath as the Heartbreakers bring it to life. Benmont Tench had the floor during this one as he went into the zone on the piano and gots those feets to a jumping old school style. You know the kind of playing that makes you want to jump up on the piano and kick up your heels like it was still the days of ragtime bands and juke joints.
Tom always plays the hits, I'm always hoping for those lesser known songs when he plays. I still am dying to hear "A Higher Place," I have been to over twenty Tom Petty shows and I am still waiting. But, you can be sure you're gonna hear the hits when you go see Tom Petty, the next delight was "You don't know How It Feels" and Scott Thurston played backup guitar as well as the harmonica part. I've seen them perform this song more than a few times and Tom usually blows the lead harp for this one and Scott blows harp too. I think he is taking it easy on his windpipes or has decided that Scott does a right fine job at it and he can just sing and play the guitar. Tom wrapped up the first part of the show with the always enjoyable "It's Good To Be King." The time for band introductions was upon us as Tom spieled out the names. The only lineup change that the Heartbreakers have undergone in the last ten years is the addition of Scott Thurston and the sad dismissal of long-time Heartbreaker bass guitarist Howie Epstein. A quick rundown, Mike Campbell (rhythm and lead guitar, vocals), Benmont Tench (piano and keyboards, vocals), Ron Blair (bass guitar, background vocals), Scott Thurston (backup electric and acoustic guitar, background vocals, harmonica, ukulele), Steve Ferrone (drums). Ron Blair is an original member of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and the band seems to be ecstatic to have him back. Howie was let go for reasons better left undisclosed, good luck and best wishes Howie!! We still love you and you'll always be a Heartbreaker.
It went pitch black up on stage just before the band introductions as the band unplugged for the acoustic set, and then Tom comes up to his mike in the center with a single spotlight on him. This is when he does his mention of the fact that he, nor his band endorse any corporate sponsors, Rocktime Magazine applauds this loudly and so did the crowd. Tom is always a funny guy on stage and he gets a good laugh next as he says, "You know, I always thought you were brought to you by you." Jokes aside, we all came here for rock and roll and it was time to get it. As the crowd lit up, just across the lawn, the world got still and Tom starts strumming very quietly and sings the opening verse of "Learning To Fly." Right when he goes into the chorus, the band come in behind him as the stage lights fade from black to bright to reveal the Heartbreakers. It was a great effect, with the lighting and the timing. It was a perfectly orchestrated moment, carried out with extreme musical precision. My spine tingled as I watched that five seconds unfold. A couple of everybody's favorite songs were next as the band played Bob Dylan's "Knocking On Heaven's Door " and "Time To Move On." The acoustic set ended right there, I guess it is because Tom's voice is still recovering from strain and "Yer So Bad" is another one of those songs that must strain his vocal chords. The set list posted below is completely accurate with the exception of "Yer So Bad" and "American Girl" were both dropped from the set list at both the Sacramento show and the Reno show. "Don't Come Around Here No More" was out of sight with the whole band suited up in electric guitars, the song was all jams and solos passing back and forth between Mike Campbell and Tom Petty. "Refugee" and "You Wreck Me" ended the set and when the extended jam part came around Tom started clapping and let his guitar fall slack at his waist. Dancing around the stage like a crazed fan, Tom let Mike Campbell and the Heartbreakers play the rest of the song. MC was wearing this great retro purple suit and was smiling the big smile. He ripped the lead solo guitar part and the spotlight was turned up to maximum lumens to let everybody know who was playing those leads. This was the highlight of the show for me, I have always thought Mike was phenomenal guitarist. It is awesome that he gets a chance to let it loose, he plays a great lead. The encores were, of course, "Free Falling and "Gloria." The show was a little piece of heaven and the the weather was perfect, shorts all night. The only bummer would be that two of the new songs were dropped from the set list in Reno and Sacramento. We're going to have to wait until the fall tour which will began after the new album is released. To see Rocktime Magazine photographs and a review of Tom Petty's last show on the Echo tour click here. Have love will travel is the motto until we travel and we meet again. Thanks for reading and we'll see ya at the shows.
COUNTING CROWS DEF LEPPARD CHER THE OTHER ONES AEROSMITH TOM PETTY & THE HEARTBREAKERS PAUL McCARTNEY SANTANA SHERYL CROW TESLA JAY-Z AND 311 OZZFEST 2000 OZZFEST 2001 OZZFEST 2002 DAVID BOWIE AND MOBY AT AREA2 THE WHO JACKSON
PAPA ROACH, P.O.D.,CYPRESS HILL, & ROB ZOMBIE MORNING SPRING RAIN FESTIVAL JUNE 2002 THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND MIDNIGHT OIL MT. AIRE 2002 BIG HEAD TODD CROSBY, STILLS, NASH AND YOUNG BUSH AND DEFAULT INCUBUS BLUES TRAVELER LINKIN PARK IN
BRYAN ADAMS AT THE FILLMORE LINKIN PARK & P.O.D. CROSBY, STILLS, AND NASH STRING CHEESE INCIDENT
FUEL & SALIVA AEROSMITH 2002 STEVIE NICKS THE
AEROSMITH 2001 BLINK 182 THE STRINGCHEESE INCIDENT OZZFEST 2001 BAD COMPANY LINKIN PARK OZZFEST 2000 MARILYN
MEGADETH TED NUGENT
NEW YEAR'S EVE 2000-2001
THIRD EYE BLINDSUMMER
YES THE FURTHUR FESTIVAL 2000 THE B.B. KING
THE STRING CHEESE INCIDENT JOE WALSH
CROSBY, STILLS, NASH, AND YOUNGREUNION TOUR 2000 NYE
WITH THE STRING CHEESE INCIDENT
MILLENIUM TOUR 2000
ZZ TOP & LYNYRD SKYNYRD TOM PETTY
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