A Fresh Old Flame

Tom Petty and his Heartbreakers bring yesterday’s favorites and today’s new grooves to town.

The new "Mojo" album coverTom Petty and his Heartbreakers have got their “Mojo” workin’, and they’ll bring it to the Wachovia Center midsummer, hitting Philly about halfway through the tour. We’re among the few cities that get them for two shows, on a tour that has the likes of ZZ Top, Drive-By Truckers,  My Morning Jacket, and Crosby, Stills and Nash opening up at various shows—which truly speaks to the all-encompassing appeal of this band.

Philly got extra lucky because living legend and blues guitarist Buddy Guy will be setting the stage for us July 31 and Aug. 1.

Petty’s two-hour, 20-song-or-so set list will evoke a sing-along or two. Spanning a 30-year-plus available catalog of material—from the chiming Rickenbacker guitar opener “Listen to Her Heart” to the fabulous ’90s solo stuff a la “Learning to Fly,” to the frenzied psychedelia-inducing “Don’t Come Around Here No More”—there’s plenty of familiar territory. And some pretty cool covers have been showing up, including the dandy Fleetwood Mac classic “Oh Well” and Van Morrison and Them’s “Mystic Eyes.”

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Do be aware that there will be an unbroken stretch mid-show of new songs from Mojo. The temptation might be to hit the beer stand at this point, but do the band and yourself a favor and stick around for at least a couple of those songs. There’s a real Allman-Brothers-jam feel to many of the new ones and, coupled with the contact high that you’ll no doubt be getting at this point, you just might find yourself dancing in the aisles.

And when you buy a ticket for this show, you also get a download of the Mojo album, plus eight live tracks to be recorded on the tour.

Petty and the boys are closing in on 60, but that really doesn’t matter—they’re still runnin’ down that dream.

Where: Wachovia Center, Philadelphia
When: July 31 and Aug. 1 at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $52.50-$128. Visit livenation.com.

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