Friday, May 4, 2012

Tom Petty rocked my night!

Last night, I had the opportunity to see Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in concert at the Amway Center in downtown Orlando. Although I am by no means a huge Petty fan, I do enjoy listening to some of his songs – primarily his late ‘80s and early ‘90s hits. But my dad is a huge fan of the group and even went to school with a few of the band members in Gainesville where the group originated.

Before commenting on the actual performance, I must say that the new Amway Center is a fantastic facility. It opened last year and is one of the nicest venues I have ever visited. It was also an excellent place to hold this concert because of how well the sound system worked. At concerts in some other venues, the acoustics are just plain bad, so whoever runs the equipment in Orlando should give some tips to these other facilities.

In terms of the actual concert, it was probably the best musical performance I have ever seen. Even though many of the Heartbreakers are now in their 60s, it definitely did not show. Instead I realize just how talented and experienced these guys are. It is quite inspiring to watch people perform at the highest level in any kind of performance art, and I certainly did not expect anything less from these Rock and Rock Hall of Famers.

My favorite Petty song is “Runnin’ Down a Dream.” It took a while for them to get to it, but once they did, it rocked the arena. Perhaps I am a bit biased, but the crowd seemed more amped up than ever with its cheers after this song than any other song of the night. The group also did a cool rendition of a rock tune called “Travelin’ Light,” which I thoroughly enjoyed. Apparently this song was originally written by Grammy-winner J.J. Cale.

I believe that the best barometer to measure a concert with is whether or not you would want to see the same musicians play again. In my case, I would love to see Petty do his thing again some day. Hopefully he and the crew will continue to tour for many years to come. It was well worth the $85, and I probably would have been willing to pay even more had I known how special the show would be.