True rock n’ roll devotees know when a show is one, “For the faithful.” And for the devotees of the musical musings of Tom Petty, an absolute treasure of a performance was delivered for a sold-out House of Blues on Wednesday night.
Best known for his Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame worthy work with the exemplary Heartbreakers, Petty has been taking a step back as of late by working once again with his predecessors in Mudcrutch. Both guitarist Mike Campbell, and keyboard ace, Benmont Tench, would eventually become essential Heartbreakers but on this night they were once again part of a crushing Florida bar band. One playing behind a pretty great second record.
What seemed to define and differentiate this show from the standard TP & the HB’s arena gig was the pure joy the entire ensemble – rounded out by drummer, Randall Marsh; guitarist, Tom Leadon, whose brother laid the groundwork for a young Petty by moving to California and forming the Eagles and touring member, Herb Pederson – displayed all night.
Petty playing bass proved himself remarkably musical, laying down warm, stiff rhythm that allowed Campbell to remind that he is easily one of rock’s most under-recognized guitar slingers. Leadon hold his own, too, and the beaming smiles shared between songs asserted that while the years have worn on the spirit remains pure. These are guys who love rock n’ roll music, and deliver it very well.