Tom Petty & Trey at MSG
On Tuesday Tom Petty's tour rolled in to the world's greatest arena- Madison Square Garden for a stop on the Heartbreakers 30th anniversary tour. Trey Anastasio (of backpack fame) opened.
Trey's stripped down 4 piece plus 2 backup singer band sounded terrible- literally. MSG's sound system must have been geared for Tom Petty or something because Trey's vocals were difficult to hear and the sound was just muddy in general. It was fine for Petty. Trey played to a mostly indifferent and small crowd of TP fans and his generic sounding jamband-lite songs didn't do much for anyone- fan or no. Some of his older songs were ok, but it seemed as if they did not flow into the endings- the ends of songs were sort of just tacked on. Overall a mediocre show for Trey in a tough opening slot. The final song- First Tube was pretty rocking with a fakeout drum ending, but it was too little too late. Trey seemed enthusiastic though, jumping all over the stage.
Tom Petty came on to a pumped up, young, drunk crowd. You would think he would draw a middle-aged crowd but it's mostly high school age. Tom plays a straight up greatest hits show. He threw in a few new tunes but it was 90% singalong hits from Refugee to Free Falling to You Don't Know How it Feels to American Girl. If you can think of a Petty song, he played it.
Petty is completely incoherent with his between song banter... I think at one point he said "actigrayo eobvi you weptung city", clearly referencing some Bob Dylan banter from Bob's famous '74 MSG shows.
Halfway through his set, Tom brought out Stevie Nicks to sing with him for their hit Stop Dragging My Heart Around, as well as a few other tunes. Like a white winged dove, Stevie overpowered the Garden with her enchanting voice and impressively ornamented microphone stand. Every Tom Petty song seemed to have a crowd clapping section in the middle and a grand this-might-be-the-last-song style ending.
Overall, it was a fun show. Trey played like shit, and Petty played his hit, with Stevie for a bit. Good times.