The Six Best Tom Petty Tributes by Fellow Rockers So Far
Jason Isbell and the Killers among the top performers to cover the late artist.
It’s been a little over a week since we lost legendary rocker Tom Petty, and while we’re still having a hard time wrapping our heads around what it’s going to be like without him, we’re actually pretty lucky: He left us with this glorious, giant-sized American rock catalog to enjoy for the rest of our days.
Of course, us mere plebeians who sit behind desks and work day jobs can only don noise-canceling headphones and enjoy a trip down Petty Lane via Spotify or YouTube. But others have been given the gift of song and can resurrect his hits for us live. In that sense, Petty will never truly die.
Below, take a listen to what RealClearLife believes are the five best live tributes to Petty so far.
The Killers – “The Waiting” – This band had it really bad the week of Petty’s death, as they hail from Las Vegas. So you can hear their version of “The Waiting” swimming with a little more emotion than usual.
Wilco – “The Waiting” – You’re not seeing double. Here’s another “The Waiting,” but from a different, rootsier perspective. And it’s the perfect song for a band who hasn’t been afraid of using a 12-string electric from time to time. We can also forgive lead singer Jeff Tweedy for forgetting the lyrics in the first verse.
Jason Isbell – “American Girl” – If you’ve been following the ascent of Isbell, who’s released a string of critically acclaimed solo albums and won a pair of Grammys in 2016, you’ll enjoy this straight-laced cover of Petty’s classic, “American Girl.” Note the use of the 12-string Rickenbacker by Isbell’s lead guitarist. Can’t have too much of that.
Dawes – “Free Fallin’” – You might’ve caught Dawes as Jackson Browne’s backing band on tour several years back. We can’t help but be in awe of lead singer Taylor Goldsmith (the bearded dude in the front), when he effortlessly hits all the high notes.
The Avett Brothers – “You Don’t Know How It Feels” – Any band that features a guy playing the cello standing up, gets high marks from us. Either way, this band should be on your radar. We’d suggest starting with 2009’s I and Love and You (produced by Rick Rubin) and fanning out from there.
Honorable Mention – The War on Drugs – “Time to Move On” – Great band name, right? Probably one of the buzzingest indie bands out there right now doing the pleasant shuffle of this tune from Wildflowers justice. Mark our words: You will see their latest release, A Deeper Understanding, on everybody’s year-end best-of list—and maybe even at next year’s Grammys.
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