Listen, dance, and sing along to 12 songs in a tiny theater with Fitz and the Tantrums, and I guarantee you’ll be running on enough energy to get you to the weekend. Promoting their album More Than Just a Dream, the audience got a great variety of old and new, with one cover thrown in just for the hell of it.
“Out of My League” is their single, but I actually favor “Spark.” Regardless of what’s being highlighted, FATT always bring a completely infectious, sometimes retro, Afropunk-ish energy to the stage, as was the case last night. They went full-on for the entire set, sweating up a storm and entertaining the entire room. And that cover of Swedish House Mafia sounded great with a little FATT flavor.
I’d love to see more shows in the iHeartRadio space: the staff was great, the venue is intimate, and the sound/lighting was spot-on.
Setlist - May 29 at the iHeartRadio Theater
Keepin’ Our Eyes Out
Don’t Gotta Work It Out
Break the Walls
Breakin’ the Chains of Love
Out of My League
Dear Mr. President
Don’t You Worry Child (Swedish House Mafia)
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers have been on my shortlist of concerts for a long time. Thankfully I lucked into a last-minute ticket for their Saturday night show, one of five in their run at the Beacon Theater.
I was particularly looking forward to going (until everything sold out in two seconds initially) because Petty claimed this run was all about the deep cuts in their anthology instead of another hit parade. True to his word, TPATH played only a handful of number ones on Saturday (“Listen to Her Heart,” “Refugee,” “Runnin’ Down a Dream,” “American Girl”), leaving a majority of the night to songs often not heard live and a few well-selected covers.
Kicking off with The Byrds’ “So You Want to Be a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star,” TPATH settled in with an eclectic set list, full of songs that they truly wanted to play. They pulled “I Should Have Known It” from Mojo and “Two Gunslingers” from Into the Great Wide Open. They included “Love is a Long Road” from Petty’s first solo album Full Moon Fever. I couldn’t list favorites from the evening, but a few stand-outs include a cover of “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone” — a standard, Petty said, “for every garage band” — and a sweet version of “Melinda,” which can only be found as a live recording from an anthology album.
They paid homage to the Dead with “Friend of the Devil” and Conway Twitty with “The Image of Me,” which set off some commentary from Tom:
“We’re gonna play a country tune. Not new country, which is like bad rock with a fiddle. [What am I saying…I forget we’re in a big town.] We like the country from the ’50s, the kind we heard at truck stops.”
TPATH spent the night running the gamut, from “Tweeter and the Monkey Man” to “Like to Love You Baby.” It is a testament to the solidity of the band that they could dig deep and still entertain, while having a ball themselves. Even the sound guys, who had the hockey game on during the show, couldn’t resist rocking out throughout the night. And if you can pull some hardened music pros away from Stanley Cup finals, it’s safe to say you’ve hit the rock ‘n’ roll star status.
I haven’t had this much fun at a concert in quite some time. And I promise, Jameson being the sponsor only had a tiny role in it. Stones Fest 2013 promised an incredible line-up of performers and didn’t disappoint: the Cabin Down Below Band backed everyone from Norah Jones to Jakob Dylan to Boz Scaggs.
The CDB guys were great musicians in their own right, coming from backgrounds like Rolling Stone and The Strokes. And the wealth of talent on stage churning out Stones hits made for a fantastic evening of music. You had Nicole Atkins and Ruby Amanfu absolutely destroying “Gimme Shelter.” You got splattered with mad man Matt Vasquez’s PBR shower during Delta Spirit’s sprint on the stage. You watched Atkins take on “Shattered” with aplomb and cheered for Seth Herzog’s spot-on Jagger impression during “Start Me Up.” There was Har Mar Superstar strutting up “Satisfaction” with a little help from Patrick Carney on drums. There was Adriel Denae and Norah Jones sharing the stage for “Wild Horses.” There was a brilliant duet of “Ruby Tuesday” by Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon, Amanfu, and Dylan. There were surprises from Perry Farrell of Jane’s Addiction, Regina Spektor, and Jack Dishel; a semi-stage dive from Jesse Malin; and a rousing finale led by Butch Walker. And that was only about a 1/3 of the night.
I think I even remember Vasquez jumping off stage and dancing with a woman in the crowd, with a shaky looking dip to boot. (Thanks for that, select-reserve Jameson.) What’s amazing is that among the shenanigans and the really cool collaborative spirit of the night, I discovered a few new (to me) artists I liked. I already counted Jason Isbell as an artist I follow, but Nicole Atkins really impressed me, as did Corey Chisel and Walker.
And even better, it was for a great cause. Stones Fest benefits a charity called Sweet Relief, which helps out musicians in need. I will definitely be back to support the fest again and am keeping my eye out for the other Best Fests too. They live up to their reputation.