Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers Live in Wichita

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
Intrust Bank Arena
Wichita, Kansas

By Jeb Wright

Set List:
Listen to Her Heart | You Wreck Me | I Won't Back Down | Here Comes My Girl | Handle with Care | The Best of Everything| I'm a Man | Something Big | Have Love Will Travel | Free Fallin’ | Saving Grace | It’s Good to Be King | Time to Move On | Learning to Fly | Yer So Bad | I Should Have Known It | Good Enough | Refugee | Runnin’ Down a Dream

Mary Jane's Last Dance | American Girl

Over ten thousand people gathered at the Intrust Bank Arena in the Heartland to welcome the timeless music of Tom Petty. From the opening notes to the final wave goodbye, those in attendance were treated to a concert filled with the perfect mixture of smash hits, album cuts, rarities and cover tunes.

Petty, dressed in a blue suit and sporting a full beard, was pleased with the overwhelming response from the Wichita faithful. The crowd stayed on their feet, often singing the hit songs nearly as loud as Petty. At one point, the 61 year old rocker even turned the lead vocals over to the crowd.

One of the highlights of the set was “Good to be King.” While this is not one of Petty’s biggest hits, on this night, however, both Petty and lead guitarist Mike Campbell put on a lead guitar display that had the crowd mesmerized. The song, much longer than the studio version, was absolutely brilliant and showed that Petty and the Heartbreakers are much more than just a three-minute FM radio hit band. Other tunes that were musically fabulous were “Something Big,” “Runnin’ Down a Dream” and “I Should Have Known It.”

The band, of course, played plenty of their classic songs as well, including “Listen to Her Heart,” “You Wreck Me,” “I Won’t Back Down,” “Here Comes My Girl,” “Free Falling” and “Refugee.” During these songs the crowd went wild leaving Petty, often between songs simply smiling and looking at the near capacity crowd with a huge grin on his face.

What is even more amazing is the fact that this was a wonderful concert filled with energy and packed with music, yet many of Petty’s most known songs were not performed. The following tunes did not make the set list: “Don’t Come Around Here No More,” ‘I Need to Know,” “The Waiting,” “Breakdown,” “Don’t Do Me Like That,” “Even the Losers,” “You Got Lucky,” “Into the Great Wide Open” and “You Don’t Know How It Feels.” It is a testament to Petty’s allure and prowess, as a songwriter and performer that he can leave these songs, mostly all of them found on his Greatest Hits, album out of the set and still receive a standing ovation.

The other side of the coin is that the Wichita gathering was able to hear “Good Enough,” “Time to Move On,” “The Best of Everything,” and “Yer So Bad.” Indeed, this was a show for the hardcore Heartbreakers, who actually prefer hearing the deep cuts and rarities. The encore consisted of two of his best loved tunes in “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” and “American Girl.”

At the end of the day, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers are an amazing team who put all they have into their live show. The music bounces between slow paced songs, rockers, ballads and even blues, keeping the crowd on their toes, dancing in the aisles and wondering what will come next.

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