Monday, 10 June 2019

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers - Southern Accents In The Sunshine State (1993)


Recorded live in Gainesville Florida 1993

This is another of those radio broadcast concerts that is now, thankfully, legally allowed to be released. This time it finds Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, such an honest, hard-working live band, performing in front of an enthusiastic Gainesville, Florida crowd. As many have commented, the crowd noise certainly makes you feel as if you are there - whoops and hollers abound throughout. It is a little distracting, I guess, but not too much so, indeed it sort of adds to the live atmosphere. The sound is ok for one of these broadcasts, but I will certainly not say that it is "audiophile" (God I hate that term!). It has that "very good bootleg" quality to it, a little bit muffled on the drums. It is a bit difficult to describe what I mean by that type of sound but you know it when you hear it. There is a good, solid bass, though. Actually, being totally honest, after about an hour of it, the sound starts to grate. If you turn it down you lose the annoying crowd noise, but the music becomes more indistinct. If you turn it up, the crowd deafens you.

Petty and his marvellous band attack all the material with a commitment and honesty that is hard to beat. The songs are a healthy mixture of material from Petty's recent solo work, The Heartbreakers' recent albums and crowd-pleasing classics like I Won't Back Down, Refugee, Free Fallin', Don't Come Around Here No More and, of course, American Girl.

Nevertheless, there is much better live Petty material out there (The Live Anthology is probably the best - a huge four CD collection of live material). This is still a lot of fun on the occasional listen, though. Americans were really lucky that so many great concerts were broadcast live on the radio, something that has never really happened in the UK.


1. Love Is A Long Road
2. Into The Great Wide Open
3. Listen To Her Heart
4. I Won't Back Down
5. Free Fallin'
6. Psychotic Reaction
7. Ben's Boogie
8. Don't Come Around Here No More
9. Something In The Air
10. Mary Jane's Last Dance
11. King's Highway
12. A Face in The Crowd
13. The Ballad Of Easy Rider
14. Take Out Some Insurance
15. Thirteen Days
16. Southern Accents
17. Yer So Bad
18. Drivin' Down To Georgia
19. Lost Without You
20. Refugee
21. Runnin' Down A Dream
22. Learning To Fly
23. Rainy Day Women #12 & 35
24. American Girl
25. Alright For Now