When Tom Petty died earlier this month, it was if the last connective tissue in an increasingly divided America had been finally severed. Oodles of tributes from fans poured in. Oodles of tributes from fellow musicians poured in. Petty was called a fixture, a fact, something that was always there but now wasn’t. It sucked. Tom Petty ruled.
Milwaukee felt the sting of Petty’s death, too. The musician headlined Summerfest’s amphitheater more than anyone else—most recently back in July, when he performed his 14th and 15th show there. But Summerfest wasn’t Petty’s only Milwaukee haunt. Way back on March 14, 1983, Petty and his Heartbreakers rocked the hell out of Milwaukee’s MECCA Arena. In a recently uploaded YouTube video, you can hear that show in its entirety. It’s a doozy: Long After Dark opener “A One Story Town” kicks things off; new hit “You Got Lucky” makes an appearance; old hits like “I Need To Know, “Here Comes My Girl,” “The Waiting,” “Breakdown,” and “Refugee” all get trotted out; covers like “Hang On Sloopy” and “Shout” pop up; and one of the best rock and roll songs ever written, “American Girl,” closes things out. Listen to the nearly two-hour show below. R.I.P.