Celebrating 40 Years Of Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers At Petty Fest

Petty Fest
September 14, 2016
Fonda Theatre- Los Angeles, CA

      For over 10 years, The Best Fest has been putting on tributes to some of the biggest names in music including Bob Dylan, Fleetwood Mac, Neil Young and more. The idea is to get an amazing house band and invite great performers to perform songs written by those legendary musicians. On top of that, proceeds from ticket sales go toward the Refuge Foundation. This year in particular, The Best Fest turned into Petty Fest to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. 

The second of the two night show featured Brandon Boyd of Incubus, Norah Jones, Jakob Dylan, Danny Masterson of That 70’s Show, as well as some surprise guests. Night two kicked off with the house band performing Cabin Down Below and after that, each song had a different celebrity guest.

Highlights from the night included the performance of Runnin’ Down A Dream featuring Justin Warfield of She Wants Revenge. His powerful vocals and calm demeanor had everyone in the room moving along to his voice. Next to impress was Emily Armstrong of one of LA’s best local rock bands, Dead Sara who performed Here Comes My Girl. The way Armstrong moves on stage makes it hard for anyone to want to take their eyes off of her. She moves with such ease and captivates the audience’s attention even before she starts to sing. She definitely made the song her own, with her raspy and clean vocals shining through. Going through the 30 song setlist, other stick out performances included Adam Busch from the show Buffy The Vampire Slayer petty-fest-40and Danny Masterson from That 70’s Show. They performed Yer So Bad and had the entire audience singing along.

As if the night wasn’t filled with enough performers, the most notable surprise guest had to have been Steve Ferrone of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. He took over drum duties for Don’t Come Around Here No More, pleasantly surprising both the audience and the house band, who seemed like they had no idea he was present. Following Ferrone’s incredible performance, Brandon Boyd of Incubus joined the stage with another surprise guest, Brian Bell of Weezer to perform Mary Jane’s Last Dance. The song choice was perfect for Boyd’s voice, who sounded incredible.

Jakob Dylan was next and performed The Waiting, followed by Rebels. “They like me so much, I get to play two songs!” He joked. Soon after, Matt Shultz of Cage the Elephant took the stage, also performing two songs: Breakdown and American Girl, that had even the security signing along. Shultz, like Emily Armstrong is a phenomenal performer who is constantly moving around and energizing the crowd.

As the night came to a close, all the performers came out on stage and performed the final song, Learning to Fly. With a nearly 3 hour set full of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, surprise guests and some amazing performances, Petty Fest was a definite success. If you’re interested in hearing more about the charity organization, click here.

Review by: Nicole Lemberg