Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers are celebrating their 40th anniversary in 2017 with a tour that will stop in Kansas City on June 2.
Tickets go on sale to the general public at 10 a.m., Friday, Dec. 16 through AXS.com. Pre-sales for Highway Companions Club members begin at 10 a.m., Wednesday, Dec. 14.
Petty announced the tour Thursday on “The Tonight Show” and again this morning on Tom Petty Radio on Sirius XM. More info on the tour can be found here.
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Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers canceled a show here in 2014 due to “scheduling conflicts.” The band last played Kansas City at the Sprint Center in 2010. A full review of the 2010 show follows.
REVIEW: Tom Petty at Sprint Center, July 13, 2010, by Timothy Finn, The Kansas City Star
The difference between an oldies/heritage act and a veteran band with lots of old hits can get mighty thin at times. Tuesday night at the Sprint Center, Tom Petty made it perfectly clear which side of the line he and his Heartbreakers live on.
For nearly two hours, they gave more than 11,000 rabid fans a mix of things old and new. Petty is touring on his brand-new “Mojo” album, a collection of rock-blues songs. He would showcase a few of those amid a pile of classics and hits, mixing the present with his illustrious past.
He opened with one of his signature songs, the lovely “Listen to Her Heart.” It started the first of several hearty sing-alongs, especially during the chorus of “I Won’t Back Down.”
Shows like these can become more like recitals if the band looks as if it’s playing everything by the numbers. Not the Heartbreakers, whose polish and discipline do not waver. Petty set up his new material with some better-known rock-blues songs: a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Oh, Well, “ his own “Honeybee” from the “Wildflower” album and then “Breakdown, “ his first big hit.
Before he reeled off five “Mojo” songs, he confessed he’d been “dying to play them” for his fans. Point taken. When you’ve been playing “Breakdown” for almost 25 years, it must feel refreshing to launch into something new, even if it sounds vintage.
But Petty is a master showman, too, so he packaged the new songs into a separate 30-minute showcase. Wise move. It allowed him to pile up more gold and oldies at the end.
Live, the new tracks sounded more engaging than the recorded versions. Given the opportunity to stretch out and improvise more, Mike Campbell, Benmont Tench and the rest of the Heartbreakers looked more enthused than normal. The crowd showed respect for the new songs, but by the time Petty finished “I Should Have Known It, “ which he introduced as the band’s “new single, “ the mood in the place was beginning to flicker.
After thanking the crowd for its indulgence, Petty reignited the mood with “Learning to Fly” and then “Don’t Come Around Here No More, “ which ended with an extra long, loud and furious outro that shook the place. (Speaking of loud, from where I was sitting on the floor, the sound in the arena was crisp and clear all night.)
They ended with three more big ones that kept the room in flames: “Refugee, “ “Runnin’ Down a Dream” and “American Girl, “ a 33-year-old standard that never gets old. They didn’t act as if it were new or the first time they’d performed it, but, as always, Petty and his boys seemed aware that any time could be the last.
SETLIST: Listen to Her Heart; You Don’t Know How It Feels; I Won’t Back Down; Free Fallin’; Oh, Well (Fleetwood Mac cover); Mary Jane’s Last Dance; Honey Bee; Breakdown; Jefferson Jericho Blues; Good Enough; Running Man’s Bible; First Flash of Freedom; I Should Have Known It; Learning to Fly; Don’t Come Around Here No More; Refugee; Runnin’ Down a Dream; American Girl.