Set for release on Friday (November 25th) is Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers‘ four-CD / six LP-set, Live At The Fillmore (1997). The collection, which was produced by Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell and longtime producer/engineer Ryan Ulyate, was culled from the band’s legendary 1997 20-night stand at the San Francisco venue.
The shows from January and February 1997 have become legendary, with each night featuring a different setlist allowing Petty and the band to delve into their back catalogue and flex their muscles on old favorites and cover versions. The final night of the run — February 7th, 1997 — was broadcast live and proved to be the longest show of the stand, clocking in at a whopping three hours with the Heartbreakers tackling 40 songs.
According to the announcement:
Six of the shows were professionally recorded and this release features many of the high points of the residency. The small venue allowed the band to vary their sets each night; they included re-arranged and distinctive versions of their hits, deep cuts, and many cover versions – paying tribute to the artists that Tom and the band had been influenced by.
When we last caught up with Tom Petty he told us felt the Heartbreakers have beaten the odds by not only surviving as a unit — but actually improving over the decades: “I think that right now it’s actually better than I ever counted on it being. It’s great to be improving this many years along the line with the band. Usually when a band’s been around this long, it’s just sort of paying lip service to itself. I think our music is actually improving. It’s getting easier to do. It’s not nearly the chore it’s been. Those are nice things to have happen.”