Forgiving It All: Mudcrutch At House Of Blues Boston Review & Photos
Words & Images by: Andrew Bruss
Mudcrutch :: 6.15.16 :: House Of Blues :: Boston, MA
The last time Tom Petty came through Boston, he performed a marathon set of hits before over 35,000 fans at Fenway Park. This time around, Petty played at the House of Blues across the street from the Green Monster for a crowd just about five percent of that size, but instead of The Heartbreakers, the headliner was Mudcrutch, the early-70s act with whom Petty cut his teeth.
Mudcrutch never even had a chance to make a record before Petty, guitarist Mike Campbell and pianist Benmont Tench went on to release their 1976 self-titled Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers LP, but the original Mudcrutch material was recorded and released in 2008.
In addition to the songs off the original record, Mudcrutch played a handful of tunes off their the recently released sophomore effort 2. Bob Dylan’s “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door,” “Lover Of The Bayou” by The Byrds and a set closing cover of Jerry Lee Lewis’ “High School Confidential,” offered some familiar territory for Petty fans who may not be prone to digging deep into his discography. The only Heartbreakers material to be heard was “Trailer,” a B-side that was cut from 1985’s Southern Accents.
While the night gave the setlist geeks something to pour over, the excitement of seeing the 2006 Bonnaroo-headlining, Super Bowl XLII halftime performing Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall Of Fame inductee in an intimate setting was the story of the night. Anyone hoping to hear the jangly, Rickenbacker tone Petty strums out on “Free Fallin’” was thrown off balance when Petty first strapped on a vintage bass guitar and kept it on for the entire night.
In addition to the novelty of seeing a big star guitarist playing bass in a small room, what really made the night special was Petty’s interaction with the other band members, the guys who weren’t invited to join The Heartbreakers and have been doing who knows what for the past 40 years. For Petty, the night club atmosphere and the blast from the past dynamic of playing with old friends must have been a fun change up for a guy who is so successful playing sold-out arenas is just another day on the job. As for the guys who weren’t heard from much after Mudcrutch (drummer Randall Marsh and guitarist Tom Leadon), seeing them grin ear-to-ear as they looked out at their massive crowd was like to seeing someone’s dream come true. It was clear these guys had waited their whole lives for this kind of success.
After Mudcrutch broke up in 1975, Petty went on to sell over 80 million albums worldwide while Leadon went on to become a guitar teacher. As different as their lives have been, when they shared the stage as members of Mudcrutch, it was like the past 40 years weren’t a factor: it was just two guys from Florida who moved to L.A. to chase their dreams all over again. It might have taken a while, but it seems like those dreams finally came true … for all of them.
Mudcrutch at House of Blues
- Shady Grove
- Orphan of the Storm
- Six Days on the Road
- Scare Easy
- This Is a Good Street
- Lover of the Bayou
- Beautiful World
- Dreams of Flying
- Save Your Water
- Hungry No More
- I Forgive It All
- Knockin' on Heaven's Door
- The Other Side of the Mountain
- Welcome to Hell
- Victim of Circumstance
- The Wrong Thing to Do
- Bootleg Flyer
- Crystal River
- High School Confidential