Tom Petty and his smile lit up Xcel Energy Center again

Star Tribune photo by Jerry Holt

For the third consecutive time, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers were very, very good at Xcel Energy Center.
That’s 2006 (with Pearl Jam opening), 2008 (with Steve Winwood) and Tuesday (with Drive-By Truckers).
The nearly two-hour set was well-paced, with a bunch of taut radio/MTV faves, Fleetwood Mac’s big and bluesy “Oh Well” as a prelude to what was soon to come – four songs from this month’s “Mojo,” Petty’s first studio album in eight years.
As I said in my review, “Mojo” was a detour de force. “Jefferson Jericho Blues” was the most muscular thing this band has ever done. “Running Man’s Bible” was in the band’s more familiar mid-tempo vein yet it was surging with urgency.
Then Petty and pals returned to more hits and a cool cover during the encore, the moody “Mystic Eyes” by Them (whose lead singer was Van Morrison). Some of the 12,807 fans might have preferred hearing  “The Waiting,” “Don’t Do Me Like That” or “You Got Lucky.”
Opening were Atlanta’s Drive-By Truckers, playing their first gig with Petty. These versatile country-rockers really connected during the last-half of their hourlong set, peaking on the name-checking finale, “Let There Be Rock.”
Here is what TP and the Heartbreakers played:
Listen To Your Heart/ You Don’t Know How It Feels/ I Won’t Back Down/ Free Fallin’/ Oh Well (Fleetwood Mac, 1969)/ Mary Jane’s Last Dance/ Drivin’ Down to Georgia/ Breakdown/ Mojo material: Jefferson Jericho Blues/ First Flash of Freedom/ Runnin’ Man’s Bible/ I Should Have Known It/ Learning To Fly/ Don’t Come Around Here No More/ Refugee ENCORE Runnin’ Down a Dream/ Mystic Eyes (Them, 1965)/ American Girl

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