When Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers announced European tour dates ignoring Spain due to lack of interest from promoters I got so disappointed I didn’t consider the option of visiting him overseas. I love Petty but it’d be untrue to define myself as a diehard fan.
There are certain obligations or at least a list of things not to be missed by all means, for a rock lover. I’ve always said that attending a Kiss live performance should be compulsory, and better if you’re a teen. I really mean it.
Well, same happens with Tom Petty. If you get the chance, you must see him regardless. It’s like paying your respects to one of the Godfathers of rock.
I didn’t realize about it until I helped my best friend to purchase tickets for the show in Dublin, the first one. In the afternoon of that very same day, I was with Artie and Mayra when they insisted on me joining them in their trip. Thus at that point eventually I understood they wanted the best for me and accepted the proposal, despite my financial situation. This was one of those Do or Die situations, once in a lifetime.
As we didn’t know the city, Dublin seemed like a good destination, a very easy city, with pubs every two meters. We arrived in town the day before, so we could start getting acquainted with the birthplace of remarkable celebrities such as Imelda May, Jonathan Swift and Oscar Wilde among others. I thought Rory Gallagher was born in Dublin, but a reader corrected me, he was raised in Cork (my mistake!).
Weather was rough on Thursday, typical horrible shitty Irish weather, raining nonstop, but we didn’t really care, Petty was already in town and we were basically focused on the upcoming evening.
It was 7pm when we got into the venue, the stunning O2. Tickets had eventually been sold out, and although there were still 30 minutes remaining for Jonathan Wilson’s performance, there was a great deal of audience already congregated.
The supporting act started on time. Wilson’s performance was neat and atmospheric, and he and his band sounded amazing. I was delighted when he started with the beautiful Desert Raven. He went on playing remarkable songs from his album The Gentle Spirit. The audience was quite attentive to his set, and seemed that everybody was quite pleased. The double voice melodies and guitar lines were outstanding. A very nice appetizer.
The standing zone got packed after a while, although we could easily move and track friends among the crowd. Once settled, we were ready to welcome Mr. Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, who started playing Listen to her Heart to go on blowing out minds with You Wreck Me, I Won’t Back Down and Here Comes my Girl.
I’m not very good at remembering song and album titles, especially since I’ve had limitless access to so much music. Those days when you used to learn all lyrics and album details by heart are long gone. I still keep back lyrics but I’m awful with the rest. Don’t tell me about producers nor band members, I’ll disappoint you immediately. Why am I telling you this? Because Mr. Petty had the kind gesture of introducing most of the songs in the set list, providing a brief feedback or background. It was really helpful for all who were writing down the songs. I had this guy from Madrid by my side with a small pocket book, in the same situation as I was, so we were assisting each other when necessary, sort of journalist brotherhood, hahaha!
So many tours ignoring, or better said, leaving Spain behind, are obliging diehard fans to move overseas to enjoy the shows. It’s a sacrifice and a huge expense, worth investing most of times. I could see many familiar faces around and Spanish language presence was remarkable. I don’t think the band had realized about it before, because when Tom related the meeting with a fan coming from Spain the night before, the venue almost fell down due to the noise, shouts and soccer style chants coming from all the Spanish crowd. I’m not fond of such cattle displays, but this time, and considering the disappointment suffered by the absence of Spanish dates in the tour, I felt glad and even proud of all of us letting Petty know we love him.
Free Fallin’, It’s Good to Be a King, Learning to Fly, Runnin’ Down a Dream…imagine hit after hit, it was the closest idea I’ve got of being in Heaven. It was wonderful, the band sounded perfect, and the work of Mike Campbell and Scott Thurston was brilliant and essential for the final result.
It was at the time of the encore, with Mary Jane’s Last Dance, and once we had left the first rows dehydrated in search of a pint of beer, when my strength collapsed and I started crying like a child, hugging my friends and thanking them for being there by my side sharing such an awesome experience. gotta admit crying of happiness and excitement in a show is something I feel glad for, cause among several circumstances of each time, it also means I’m alive and happy for real, and it’s mostly music the only thing which makes me achieve such state.
Despite the length of the show, not reaching the 2 hours, and many hits among such an extended discography missing, the experience was worth living, and the concert was awesome, leaving us with a blissful sweet taste in our mouths and all of us wishing we had tickets for the show in Cork the following day. Never enough of Petty.
I only wish what he said at the end of the show is true, and we can see him soon again.
Let’s not make it 20 years next time
This is what we enjoyed the other night:
Listen to Her Heart
You Wreck Me
I Won’t Back Down
Here Comes My Girl
Handle with Care
It’s Good To Be King
Something Good Coming
Learning to Fly
Yer So Bad
I Shoulda Known It
Runnin’ Down A Dream
And here is the set of the most decent pictures I could take. Hope you like them.