In 1997, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers had a 20-night run at The Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco. Some of their performances have been released in the past, but now we get an official box set.
The 4-CD Deluxe Edition has 58 songs, and 35 of them are covers of music by other artists. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers loved to include songs by artists who had influenced them. For example, there are four songs by The Byrds (with guest Roger McGuinn!). The set includes a 32 page booklet, three initialed guitar picks, a replica all access pass, and a “The Fillmore House Band” patch. The CD box set lists for $59.98 ($47.99 on Amazon), and the 6 Record Deluxe vinyl set is at $174.98 on Amazon. Here it is:
This set also includes an art lithograph of the cover, set lists, and a replica of a 1997 news letter. The release date was November 25th, 2022. Here are the lists of songs included in both the CD & Vinyl Deluxe box sets:
Tom Petty said he thought these concerts represent The Heartbreakers in their peak form. Their time at The Fillmore followed the 1994 release of Wildflowers, and the 1996 release of She’s The One.
Since Tom Petty died in October of 2017, his family, along with members of The Heartbreakers, have been releasing very welcome performances from the past. Lead guitarist Mike Campbell assisted with this new set.
My copy of the CD box set arrived on the release date (11/25/22). Here are the two sides of the box:
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers were probably the world’s best cover band. Many of the cover songs are classics from the 1960’s (along with some ‘50’s & ‘70’s rockers) that obviously influenced the band members in their youth. It’s easy to hear the love they have for these songs, and the box set lets us share in that joy. If you like the songs you see on the lists, you’ll enjoy The Heartbreaker’s performances.
The musicianship is just so high…Benmont Tench on Keyboards, Mike Campbell and Tom Petty on lead and rhythm guitars, Howie Epstein on bass & harmony vocals, Steve Ferrone on Drums, and Scott Thurston augmenting it all on multiple instruments & harmony vocals. These guys tackle every style of music equally well.
Guitarist and songwriter Mike Campbell wrote in the booklet… “Playing The Fillmore West for a month was one of my favorite experiences as a musician in my whole life. The band was on fire, and we changed the set list every night. The room and the crowd was spiritual…AND…we got to play with some amazing guests. I will always remember those nights with joy and inspiration.”
There are 23 Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers original songs to remind us of their own great music, but having these 35 cover songs with the spirit they’re played, is what makes this collection essential. We miss Tom.