American Girl is a perfect song, musically and lyrically. As always, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers closed last night's show at the Garden with it. From the guitar intro into the first line "She was an American Girl/Raised on promises", the song grabs you. The chorus just invites the listener to sing along. Petty closes his shows with the rockers. The first song of the encore was Runnin' Down a Dream.
The show opened with Listen to Her Heart and flowed into You Don't Know How It Feels. Tom is a man of few words. To quote a cliche, he lets the music speak for itself. He thanked the audience profusely throughout the show. He referred to the Garden as the Temple of Rock and Roll. The band gave a first rate performance for the next two hours, which would make them the high priests of the temple.
Mike Campbell has always been a glue in the band. Petty introduced him as the co-captain. As a guitarist, he's probably one of the most underrated. He could go up against anyone. Benmont Tench's keyboards really struck me. They were evident and added a perfect layer(s) to the sound. Scott Thurston went from keyboards to guitar to harmonica and vocals. Ron Blair and Steve Ferrone were the steady backbone. They all raise the bar for Petty.
The band performed a few songs from the new album Mojo grouped in the middle of the show. It lead off with the jaunty Jefferson Jericho Blues. Good Enough is a down and dirty, dark guitar blast of music. I loved it. What stood out on the new songs was Mike Campbell's guitar work. It was smooth, bleak, melodic and blue.
The hits just kept on coming in this show: Learning to Fly, Refugee, Mary Jane's Last Dance, Free Fallin', I Won't Back Down..... Don't Come Around Here No More was the highlight for me. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers never disappoint. The set was solid rock and roll. It's good to be Tom Petty.