There are probably people who hate Tom Petty but I have yet to meet any of them. They were certainly not at his and The Heartbreakers‘ first of two nights at Queens’ Forest Hills Stadium (7/26), part of their 40th anniversary tour. This was a friendly crowd, ready for a good time, and those who didn’t sing along to “roll another joint” in the night’s third song, “You Don’t Know How it Feels,” were whooping in acknowledgement, or… taking a toke.
With a tour marking a milestone such as this, the setlist was a real victory lap, jammed with hits, lean on deep cuts which seemed to suit everyone near me just fine (including a first-times like myself). Petty was an affable, somewhat unreliable narrator for the evening, saying this was the first time playing “You Got Lucky” when in fact this was nearly the 50th time this year. I bet he says that to all the crowds.
In fact, Petty hasn’t really been known for mixing things up, setlist-wise, between shows or even tours lately but, again, nobody here seemed to mind getting hit after hit, and during “I Won’t Back Down,” “Free Fallin’,” “Refugee,” and “American Girl” it seemed like every single person in Forest Hills Stadium joining in. Petty and the band, which included The Webb Sisters on backing vocals, sounded fantastic. Forest Hills, which I’d describe as an intimate stadium experience, where you can see the faces of folks in the stands on the other side of the place, is great too and, along with the absolutely perfect weather Wednesday night, made for an ideal evening of singing along to some of the best pop/rock songs of the last four decades.
Setlist from the show is below, and we’ll have more pictures from Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers’ first night at Forest Hills Stadium soon. They play again tonight (7/27) with opener Peter Wolf (of the J. Geils Band and onetime David Lynch roommate) who I didn’t get there in time to see.
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Thanks @tompettyofficial for 40 years❤️✌️ @foresthillsstadium
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@tompettyofficial // @foresthillsstadium // #QueensNY // 7.26.2017 This group of humans bring me endless joy. Thanks, dudes. #TPATH #TomPetty #TomPettyAndTheHeartbreakers #ForestHills #LiveMusic #LiveMusicNY #YouDontKnowHowItFeels
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"Buy me a drink, sing me a song. Take me as I am cause I can't stay long." -Tom Petty. Cc. @corychecket
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SETLIST: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers @ Forest Hills Stadium 7/26/2017
Rockin’ Around (With You)
Mary Jane’s Last Dance
You Don’t Know How It Feels
You Got Lucky
I Won’t Back Down
Don’t Come Around Here No More
It’s Good to Be King
Crawling Back to You
Learning to Fly
Yer So Bad
I Should Have Known It
Runnin’ Down a Dream
Top photo by Dana Distortion for Forest Hills Stadium