Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers hit home with Wrigley Field faithful during Chicago stop of 40th anniversary tour

Tom Petty at Wrigley Field

By Tom Siebert

Tom Petty donned a Cubs jersey prior to his encore at Wrigley Field during the Chicago leg of his 50-city tour.

The number on the back of the shirt, 40,  signified the four decades during which he and his brilliant band, the Heartbreakers, have been recording songs and hitting the stages.

The sold-out, rain-soaked concert before nearly 40,000 fans featured an American songbook of classic rock par excellence.

“Let’s sing one together!” Petty shouted out to the adoring crowd before he and his band broke into a blistering rendition of “I Won’t Back Down,” from his multi-hit, 1989 solo album Full Moon Fever.

Perhaps the iconic singer/songwriter was not aware that most of the fans had already been singing along with such favorites as “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” and “You Got Lucky.” In fact the crowd drowned out the powerful stadium sound system during Petty’s acoustic version of his 1991 hit “Learning to Fly.”

It is a testament to Petty’s authentic connection to his avid listeners that many of them knew not only the choruses but the complete lyrics to several of the 19 songs played over two and a half hours.

“We came here first in 1977, and fell in love with the town,” he said before the band performed “American Girl,” their last song of an epic evening. “Thank you so much for coming for 40 years.”

The sentiment was sincere, just like his music.

Tom Petty performs with his band the Heartbreakers in Chicago on June 29, 2017.

Many of the 40,000 fans knew the songs word for word and sang along with Petty.

Wearing a Chicago Cubs jersey, Petty performs his classic song “American Girl.”

 

The Heartbreakers’ lead guitarist Mike Campbell trades licks with front man Petty.

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About Tom Siebert

Tom Siebert received a journalism degree from the University of Illinois and worked as a staff writer for newspapers in California, Florida, and Illinois. He reported general news, interviewed entertainment figures, and covered elected office holders––including four presidents and a pope. More significantly, Tom profiled human suffering in the form of a homeless man dying of AIDS, a college cheerleader battling Hodgkin's disease, and a senior couple living the long goodbye of Alzheimer's. He also worked as a copyeditor and proofreader for Tyndale House, a Christian publisher based in the Chicago suburbs. Tom is presently self-employed as an editor of Christian books. In addition, he serves as community relations director for Public Action to Deliver Shelter (PADS) of Kendall County, Illinois. And Tom is on the leadership team for the Celebrate Recovery ministry at his church, Harvest New Beginnings, in Oswego, a suburb west of Chicago. He may be contacted at tmsiebert@gmail.com or (816) 344-7815.
This entry was posted in Chicago, Concert Review, Tom Petty, Tom Siebert, Wrigley Field and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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