Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers at Target Center, 6/29/13

Categories: Last Night
Photo by Tony Nelson

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Target Center, Minneapolis
Saturday, June 29, 2013

Saturday night's Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers show at the Target Center didn't offer anything new in the way of what the band might be or where they are going. But it was a fairly fantastic two-hour set from an American legend in what would seem to be the twilight of an outstanding career. It sure didn't seem like it at any point during this final show of his current tour.

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Slideshow: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers at Target Center

During this "hits" tour they came out fast and furious with a cover of the Byrds' "So You Want to Be a Rock 'N Roll Star." From there they began hauling out the old favorites one by one. "Love Is a Long Road" and "I Won't Back Down," both from 1989's masterful Full Moon Fever, got the crowd plugged in for the night, singing along, clapping in the appropriate spots and so on. As always, that's the fun of Tom Petty's songs: They're earworms that you don't mind getting stuck in your head. All are deceptively simply arranged, and the lyrics -- which are often about lost love, troubled relationships, and people winning despite slim odds -- are often written as a short story, with a little metaphor to muddy the waters. The night's loudest sing-along came, unsurprisingly, with "Mary Jane's Last Dance," a song Petty had kicked around for years beginning with the Full Moon Fever sessions, with it finally surfacing on the band's 1993 Greatest Hits offering.


Photos by Tony Nelson

The set began to sag a bit in the middle with Petty and company offering up a few lesser-known and slower tracks, including "Cabin Down Below" and a cover of the Traveling WIlburys' "Tweeter and the Monkey Man." "Rebels" from 1985's Southern Accents put a stamp on the portion of the evening, making it seem for just a few minutes that the bottom had come out of the set and the far too long, roughly 12-minute version of "It's Good to Be King" did nothing to dispel that notion. It was certainly the night's strangest passage. The songs were good, but bunched together they were sleep-inducing and a bit of a bore.

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