My Last Dance with Tom Petty…

A little over three months ago, I had a chance to get last minute tickets to see an artist that I had always wanted to see but never had the chance to catch live. With less than 24 hours before the show, I landed a ticket to see Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers at the Air Canada Centre (ACC) in Toronto.

I’ve been a huge fan of Tom and his Heartbreakers for close to 30 years, and this year the man and his band were doing to celebrate their 40th anniversary. I had this feeling in my gut that if I didn’t make this purchase and go to the show, that I might regret it. So on July 15th I saw an amazing show, finally seeing an artist that I had always wanted to see live and in person.

(My view of the show at the ACC, July 15th of this year)

Petty had hinted to the media earlier this year that this 40th Anniversary Tour was going to be his last. He was getting up there in age, and he made it clear that after the tour he was going to spend more time with his grand kids and going into semi-retirement. Musicians say that all the time but I wasn’t willing to risk that so I grabbed my ticket and went down to the ACC to check him out.

I was saddened to hear that Tom Petty passed away just a full week after his last tour ended. Truly heartbreaking to lose an musician and performer so talented, and during the show Tom was so humble not only to everyone who showed up that night, but for the support he received for the last 40 years. It really did sound like someone who was saying goodbye that night. What I had witnessed was Petty’s last performance in Toronto, so I was relived that I stepped up and bought that ticket. I would have really regretted it if I had missed the show.

I actually had the chance to get 2 tickets for the show, and I had offered to buy one for my Dad who was in town that week. I had the extra bucks so I offered to get it for him, but he passed. He didn’t want me to spend anything on him and he wasn’t in the mood to check out the show. Are you sure I asked him. He was that night, but if you asked him today he might answer it differently. Here’s a video taken from that amazing show…

Petty and the Heartbreakers played for almost two hours that night, covering a lot of great material… including some of my favorite songs such as Free Falling, Refugee, I should have known it, You’re so Bad, and Wallflowers. It was great to hear these songs live, and played to near perfection as well. It was night that I was privileged to experience, lucky to make that last chance before his tragic passing.

The moral of this story: if you get a chance to experience something great… don’t hesitate and just do it. There’s no guarantee you’ll get another chance. Our time here is finite, do not take it for granted.


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October 21, 2017

just happened to see this……I was not a Tom Petty fan. But that doesn’t mean I can’t recognize true talent.

Great advice you gave for all of us.

October 21, 2017

I’m so, so envious. I’m a huge fan, plus his age at leaving us hit hard in this household. How I would have loved to see that show.

October 21, 2017

I did take some video… check it out:

October 22, 2017

DiaryMistress is a huge fan, and we saw them for the first time during this tour, feel so lucky now that we did. He truly did leave too soon.

October 23, 2017

Glad you got that chance and good advice!

October 23, 2017

I love Tom Petty, been a fan of his for years. I was heartbroken at his passing. I saw him may years ago and it was one of the best concerts I ever saw. Glad you were able to see him one last time.

October 23, 2017

Aw man, this brought a few tears to my eyes. I was an 80s/90s kid who was raised on a lot of classic rock (my parents are musicians) and one of my favorites was a CD of Tom Petty’s Greatest Hits that I used to listen to a lot, and I always got a kick of his music videos when I was a kid because they were so surreal/creepy (mainly I’m thinking of Mary Jane’s Last Dance and Don’t Come Around Here No More). He maybe wasn’t one of my VERY favorites, but he was up there. He came to WI recently and I remember thinking, “Hm, that would be kind of cool to see” but didn’t really pursue it (I work full time, have kids, we’d have to get a sitter, etc). I wish I had, honestly.