Tom Petty - lead vocals, guitar, harmonica; Mike Campbell - guitar, vocals; Benmont Tench - keyboards, vocals; Ron Blair - bass; Stan Lynch - drums, vocals
In 1978, Tom Petty and his brilliant band, the Heartbreakers, had become critics' darlings, and after two albums the band's music was fully indoctrinated into FM playlists. This show was recorded at Boston's intimate Paradise Club for broadcast on the King Biscuit Flower Hour. The band had elevated itself to small theaters by this point, but the Paradise was a Class A showcase room and better set up for a live recording.
Touring in support their second album You're Gonna Get It!, the band charges through great material from that and from their first album, 1976's Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, as well as a good chunk of cool '60s covers.
"American Girl," which Petty wrote for Byrds front man Roger McGuinn before turning it into a hit himself, is a highlight. The same can be said for the band's funky and dramatic version of "Breakdown," which has been a core hit in the Petty live show since day one. "Too Much Ain't Enough" is followed by a seven-minute version of "Shout!" Petty and the band turn in a tight version of "I Fought The Law," originally released by one-hit-wonders the Bobby Fuller Four in 1966. A final encore of "Route 66" and the blues classic "I'm A King Bee" (also recorded by the Stones) closes things out.
As we all now know, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers became one of the best live bands in America. This and the other early recordings of the band in the Concert Vault show how their sound developed, a terse and lean musical texture that blended the best elements of The Byrds (Petty's biggest influence) with The Rolling Stones (the musical inspiration for the backing band the Heatbreakers). Enjoy!