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Monday, September 8, 2014

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers return to Darien Lake with Steve Winwood Grade: A

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers rock a returned visit to Darien Lake

What: Concert Review

Who: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

Where: Darien Lake PAC, Darien Lake, NY

When: September 7th, 2014

Why: As part of T Petty’s Hypotonic Eye 2014 Tour

(Tom Petty pictured above at Darien Lake 2014 photo taken by Lou Sorendo!)
Welcome to Wildfire Review’s biggest article of 2014

Last night, one of rock n roll’s legendary bands came back to Upstate NY for the first time in several years to one of the biggest concert venues the area has to offer-Darien Lake. Size didn’t matter to Petty fans because they filled up the place in drones upon drones to a near sold out crowd of well over 15,000k. With a crowd that sounded deafening throughout the night with their constant cheers, Petty echoed back with awesome sounds of his own as his music flowed out from the large tent covered stage and speakers. 

Petty proved that although he and his band may look the age that they are, they can still steadily rock and entertain a two hour set list covering most of their hits and newer tunes from Hypotonic Eye.

Surprisingly, the newer tunes may have sounded the best of all what Petty sang last night. He and the Heartbreakers did powerful performances of ‘American Dream Plan B’ and ‘U Get me High’, the two singles from the new 2014 album.

Yet Petty didn’t steer clear of the songs that made him legendary. He opened up with ‘Rock N Roll Star’ and continued onto the second song of the night, ‘Mary Jane’s Last Dance,’ which got all the older folks in the crowd up and dancing and cheering away.

While the masses at Darien Lake consisted mostly of older people, there were a lot of people in their 30s and 40s that were attending as well who were just as more into Petty as anyone else. Parents also were there taking their older teenage sons and daughters to a concert to experience a band that can be loved by all ages. There were some younger folks in the massive crowd as well, but the general age appeared to be from 22 through 60.

Those who have been to a Petty concert before know the man can be as humble as ever to the crowd, with his conversations and appearances. Tonight was no expression-Petty rocked his usual appearance of light blue jeans, cowboy boots and a jacket. He also joked around to the crowd about how he remembered nothing about the year 1991 except that Johnny Depp appeared in their video they made for ‘Into The Great Wide Open’ which was one of the better tunes played that night.

Petty did a number of songs on acoustic guitar which was a bit interesting and sounded wonderful as well, including ‘Learning to Fly’, ‘Two Gunslingers’ ‘Rebels’ and ‘Yer so Bad’.

Unfortunately, the big letdown of the night came when Petty performed ‘American Girl ‘ at the end of his encore. The band sounded a bit off on this tune, but that might have been because hey, they just played for two hours and also came all the way up from Virginia the following night. Petty himself appeared to be a bit off throughout the night and it appeared the awesome performance might have gotten the best of him by the end of it. He even tripped on some wires on the stage but yet again, almost anyone can make that mistake.

The set list overall was almost perfect, but it would have been nice to hear something Petty usually didn’t sing every night like ‘Listen to Her Heart’ or ‘Breakdown’.

Despite those above two things, Tom Petty’s performance last night at Darien Lake PAC was well worth going to, and hopefully the legend gained some new fans that night. He no doubt greatly entertained the older ones who should have left the venue satisfied and almost as humble as Petty himself.

Opening the concert was Steve Winwood, who sounded tremendously good that night. He was just as big of a draw as Petty, and many people going to the concert never left out his name when they said who they were seeing last night. Winwood is a musician who also defies his age and seems to get better and better live every year. The last few songs he sang sounded amazing, especially his closing tune ‘Gimme Some Loving’. It was great to hear a lot of Traffic songs that night as well, and he was a perfect opener for Tom Petty and was just as good as he was if not a tad bit better.


Steve Winwood: ****/* out of 5 stars

Petty: 4 out of 5 stars

Set list September 8, 2014 @ Darien Lake PAC:

Tom Petty:
1) So You want to be a Rock n Roll Star (The Byrds Cover)

2) Mary Jane’s Last Dance

3) American Dream Plan B (New Song)

4) Into the Grade Wide Open

5) Forgotten Man (New Song)

6) I won’t Back Down

7) Free Fallin’

8) A Women in Love

9) U get Me High (New Song)


10) Rebels

11) Two Gunslingers

12) Yer so Bad

13) Learning to Fly

Back to Electric:

14) Shadow People

15) I Should have Known It

16) Refugee

17) Running Down a Dream


18) You Wreck me

19) American Girl

 EDIT: Here are Photos taken by Lou Sorendo of 55 Plus Magazine for Wildfire Reviews of Tom Petty at Darien Lake this past Sunday!

Steve Winwood:

The Crowd:

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