Steve Winwood and Tom Petty – West Palm Beach, FL (September 20, 2014)
Saturday night I had tickets to go see Steve Winwood and Tom Petty, and what a show. I have seen Pettty on TV before and knew a few of his tunes — “Won’t Back Down” and, of course, “Americaan Girl” — but before the show Saturday I couldn’t tell anyone the title of a Steve Winwood song. I just wasn’t familiar with any of his material, or what he had done in his music career. (I didn’t know he was in Traffic.) This is one of the reasons I love going to see big names., If I haven’t heard any of their material, they’ll either get me to want more, or they wont. Or, if I have listened to some of their material but am not that big of a fan yet, the show will have made me a fan. This show left me wanting more.
It was slpit up into two sets, with Winwood coming out and playing his stuff first and then Petty rocking it up in the second set. I really wish they both came out together instead of having them play seperately. It would have been really cool to watch, just to see them trade licks and take solos on each other’s songs. Plus, when one artist comes out and plays one set and then the other plays another, one of them is going to have a shorter set. In this case, they both diserve the same time to play.
Winwood’s set was awfully short, but killer. He did some Traffic tunes, which the audience went nuts over — “Dear Mr. Fantasy” and “Who Knows What Tomorrow May Bring.” He also played great solo material such as “Higher Love” and “Gimme Some Lovin’.” The bass work on the latter was absolutely outstanding. I only wish he would have brought along some ladies to sing backup for him. His saxophone player, Paul Booth was, besides Winwood, the musician who was given the most solo opprotunities. Booth is a fantastic sax player. When Winwood broke into “Dear Mr. Fantasy” and then “Gimme Some Lovin’,” the crowd practically went nuts. This man is in a complete league of his own, with his cool piano and organ playing, and a unique jazz flavor that he adds to his music. Like I mentioned previously, it was a great set, but way to short.
Up next, as Winwood said, were “the Florida boys”: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. These guys are not just on tour to be out on tour; they are promoting a new album titled Hypnotic Eye. Petty did two songs off of this Saturday night — “American Dream Plan B” and “Foolish Man.” They sounded great, and I can’t wait to listen to the entire thing.
Petty also did some major hits, like “The Last Dance with Mary Jane” and “Free Fallin’.” “Free Fallin'” was a huge sing-along. One of the greatest things about watching Petty’s set was watching all of the fans sing along to the lyrics and rock out. Althoiugh many people sat in chairs, it was obvious that they were still rocking out and having a great time. Besides, how can anyone go wrong when Petty gives practically every guitar solo to Mike Campbell? The entire band is such a talent. In fact, they make Petty better then Petty makes them.
Besides all the hits, Petty performed one of his rarer songs, “Southern Accents” — just him and his acoustic guitar. Probably the best thing he did the entire night was “The Hardest Thing,” though. The entire band was singing backup and they sounded absolutely outstanding. For the encoure, he came out with “American Girl,” stating, “We couldn’t have left without doing this one.”
This show was for the true fans of Winwood and Petty. I love watching people enjoy musicians that I haven’t really gotten into fully, but who have so much love and respect towards them. I have much respect for both Petty and Winwood; I’m just not what one would call a true fan yet. Still, they both put on one hell of a show and I would recommend this tour to anyone who hasn’t seen it yet. I was a little disappointed that they didn’t do a song together at the end of the show. But, really, who cares? They both rocked, whether or not they were on stage together at the same time.