Case Number 23072: Small Claims Court

TOM PETTY AND THE HEARTBREAKERS: LIVE IN CONCERT (BLU-RAY)

Image Entertainment // 2003 // 109 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Patrick Naugle // January 5th, 2012

The Charge

The prettiest man in rock & roll...live!

The Case

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame icon Tom Petty and his iconoclastic Heartbreakers blow the roof off the house as they settle in for a full blown concert featuring songs that have gone on to become radio staples as well as deep cuts and rarities. Appearing on Chicago WTTW's Soundstage in 2003, this two-part concert is a great introduction to a man who has spent nearly 40 years as the soundtrack to our lives.

The songs featured on Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Live in Concert include:

* "Baby Please Don't Go"
* "Crawling Back to You"
* "Handle With Care"
* "I Won't Back Down"
* "I'm Cryin'"
* "Angel Dream"
* "Melinda"
* "Born in Chicago"
* "Red Rooster"
* "Carol"
* "Refugee"
* "Love is a Long Road"
* "You Don't Know How It Feels"
* "Black Leather Woman"
* "I Done Somebody Wrong"
* "I Got a Woman"
* "Thirteen Days"
* "Wake Up Time"
* "Rollin' in My Sweet Baby's Arms"
* "Lost Children"
* "Two Men Talkin'"

It seems rather easy to take some of the older -- or classic, if you like -- rock musicians for granted. The newest, hottest artists dominate the charts, while seasoned often at-their-peak musicians get left in the shuffle. While I don't think anyone has forgotten about Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, their hits have dried up, even as they continue to release new music. Petty's time as a dominating force has come and gone, but his music and talent keep on trucking.

The great thing about concert movies is that they allow you explore artists in their element, and Tom Petty is most surely at home on stage banging out some (see: a few) of his biggest hits. The simply titled Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Live in Concert is a great experience, for those who are lifelong Petty fans and those who just came in. This concert covers a lot of bases, from Petty's biggest hits to lesser known gems and everything in between. The caveat is that those looking for a concert of pure hits will be disappointed. Petty is not one to rest on his laurels, and this concert proves that tenfold.

The Heartbreakers themselves are a taught, tight group of musicians who just keep getting better with age. Rob Blair, Mike Campbell, Benmont Tench, Scott Thurston, and Steven Ferrone comprise a band of talent second to none; much like Bruce Springsteen's mighty E-Street Band, these men have been playing together for decades and their camaraderie shows. I'm always amazed that musicians this age still have the onstage stamina of a 22-year-old. While the show isn't filled with major theatrics (lighting is about as fancy as it gets), the music boldly stands front and center.

The nearly two hour set list is comprised of some of Petty's bigger hits. Fans will be thrilled to hear live versions of such classics like "I Won't Back Down," "Refugee," and "You Don't Know How it Feels." While the exclusion of "American Girl" and "Learning to Fly" was disappointing, these addition of the tender "Angel Dream" and full throttle "Born in Chicago" more than make for the missing hits. A lot of the songs tend towards a more bluesy feel (much like Petty's current sound), and should please those looking for something a little different, yet familiar.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Live in Concert is presented in 1.78:1/1080i high definition widescreen. The transfer is represented well in both depth of detail and vibrancy of color. While it's not reference quality, I really have little to complain about. The soundtrack is presented in a dynamic DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio mix. Fans will be stoked to hear such a full, rich mix, with vocals and instruments spread over the entire speaker system. This is a nearly perfect concert replication and needs to be turned up LOUD. And if the full surround isn't your thing, there's also a LPCM 2.0 stereo mix included.

Sadly, though, no bonus features.

I highly recommend Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Live in Concert (Blu-ray) to those who are curious about Petty's back catalog. It may not be a Petty greatest hits package, but this raw roots-filled set is a great place to start.

The Verdict

Worth every penny, be it a rental or a purchase.

Review content copyright © 2012 Patrick Naugle; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice
Judgment: 92

Perp Profile
Studio: Image Entertainment
Video Formats:
* 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080i)

Audio Formats:
* DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (English)
* PCM 2.0 Stereo (English)

Subtitles:
* None

Running Time: 109 Minutes
Release Year: 2003
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks
* None

Accomplices
* IMDb: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Live in Concert, Part 1
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt1117902/combined

* IMDb: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Live in Concert, Part 2
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt1460523/combined

* Official Site
http://www.tompetty.com