Tom Petty, Steve Winwood Head to Hollywood Bowl: Tix On Sale Today


Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers with Steve Winwood @ Hollywood Bowl Wed 6/25

So what did we think of Tom Petty at the Superbowl yesterday?

I thorougly dug it. Last year he told Rolling Stone he wasn’t going for the medley, and he stayed true to his word. Sure, I would’ve loved to have heard something like “Even The Losers (Get Lucky Sometimes)” or “The Waiting” – both fitting for a championship game, if you ask me (“Every day you get one more yard” – that line’s written for football!) – but at the end of the day I have no complaints with the songs he selected (you already know I’m biased, though – I’m a fan). The mini-setlist can be found here someplace (thanks, JJ). My father called me immediately following halftime to get my take on the set; we both agreed it was solid.

I first saw Tom Petty in 1991, Dallas, Texas – the “Into the Great Wide Open” tour, and my second or third major gig after having moved to the state (proud to say the short-lived La’s take the trophy for the first). The venue had a grassy field area; tickets were a staggering $10. The stage was filled with this gigantic, gnarled tree prop and all manner of lights. More than anything else looked like the Keebler tree, or maybe something out of middle earth – say, maybe this. And there’s Tom, running around it and all over it with a gigantic peace sign. Extravagant; over-the-top, perfectly gorgeous. (Here we go – reviews of that tour here and here.) That damn venue’s since changed sponsor names more times than I can fathom. I think it’s called the Smirnoff Pabst Blue Coke-plex now. Sounds about right.

In his prime, Steve Winwood was unstoppable: joining Spencer Davis at age 15, hanging out with Hendrix, jumping into Traffic and eventually Blind Faith alongside Clapton – let’s face it, very few artists can claim to have released an album with Eric Clapton featuring a naked 12-year-old on the cover. I challenge you to listen to a Winwood-era Traffic album and not come away from the experience impressed on a number of levels. So what happened, and where exactly did “Roll With It” come from? It remains an unsolved mystery how some rockers, upon reaching a comfortable age, commence a steady outpouring of beer-commercial-ready, schmaltzy, wholly indigestible pap (Phil Collins I am staring directly at your glistening, bald crown). Sure, it pays the bills, but is it dignified? Or do they really dig this music? Draw your own conclusions. Before that happened to Winwood, though, he not only acknowledged the changes age brings, but embraced them head on in 1986 (and subsequently made another bundle off of them):

“I’ll be back in the high life again
All the doors I closed one time will open up again.

And I’ll drink and dance with one hand free
And let the world back into me
Oh!, I’ll be a sight to see
Back in the high life, again.”

Damn it man. Well said. In fact he said it so well Warren Zevon was compelled to cover it a decade-and-a-half later — for a studio album, no less. I last saw Steve Winwood at the 2004 Jazz and Heritage Festival in New Orleans, and I’m proud to report that, despite that arguably ominous “Roll With It” era looming over his head, he sounded amazing, dipping into the reserves for Traffic tunes, old solo tunes, giving everybody exactly what they came to see. Suddenly the sky opened up and let us really have it, in a way that can only happen near the Gulf. I’ve never been so soaked…or happy.


May 30- Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids, MI
May 31- The Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, MI

June 03- Air Canada Centre, Toronto, ON
June 05- Wachovia Center, Philadelphia, PA
June 08- Nissan Pavilion, Bristow, VA
June 10- Post-Gazette Pavilion, Burgettstown, PA
June 11- New England Dodge Music Center, Hartford, CT
June 13- TD Banknorth Garden, Boston, MA
June 17- Madison Square Garden, New York, NY %
June 18- Prudential Center, Newark, NJ
June 21- Darien Lakes Performing Arts Center, Darien Center, NY
June 22- Blossom Music Center, Cuyahoga Falls, OH
June 25- Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles, CA (ON SALE NOW)

July 02- United Center, Chicago, IL
July 03- Verizon Wireless Music Center, Noblesville, IN
July 08- Riverbend Music Center, Cincinnati, OH
July 09- Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park, Atlanta, GA ****
July 11- Charlotte Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, Charlotte, NC
July 12- Walnut Creek Amphitheatre, Raleigh, NC
July 15- BankAtlantic Center, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
July 16- St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa, FL
July 19- TBD, Denver, CO ****
July 20- Quest Center Omaha, Omaha, NE
July 22- Sprint Center, Kansas City, MO
July 23- Target Center, Minneapolis, MN

August 07- Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, Maryland Heights, MO
August 09- MTS Centre, Winnipeg, MB
August 11- Pengrowth Saddledome, Calgary, AB
August 12- Rexall Place, Edmonton, AB
August 15- The Gorge, George, WA
August 16- The Gorge, George, WA
August 20- Arena, Glendale, AZ ****
August 22- Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, Irvine, CA
August 23- TBD, San Francisco, CA ****
August 26- Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, Selma, TX
August 27- American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX
August 29- Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, Woodlands, TX