Setlist History: Tom Petty's Final Concert

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers performed their final show together on September 25, 2017 at the Hollywood Bowl.

The sparkling gig was their third sold-out night in the row at the historic venue in the Hollywood Hills, and the last of 53 for their 40th Anniversary Tour.

The Grammy-award winning singer/songwriter would die just a week later at 66 years-old from an accidental overdose of drugs, including Fentanyl, which he was using to treat a hip injury.

"Unfortunately Tom’s body suffered from many serious ailments including emphysema, knee problems and most significantly a fractured hip. Despite this painful injury he insisted on keeping his commitment to his fans and he toured for 53 dates with a fractured hip and, as he did, it worsened to a more serious injury," they wrote.

"On the day he died he was informed his hip had graduated to a full on break and it is our feeling that the pain was simply unbearable and was the cause for his over use of medication," the statement continued.

"We knew before the report was shared with us that he was prescribed various pain medications for a multitude of issues including Fentanyl patches and we feel confident that this was, as the coroner found, an unfortunate accident."

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers playing "You Wreck Me" for the last time together.

Watching clips from the final show at the Bowl, it's hard to see Petty struggling. He seems happy, comfortable, and grateful to his fans and everyone who had supported both he and his long-time band.

In many ways he exemplified the old adage, "the show must go on."

But also, perhaps, he knew it would probably be his last huge tour, so he was giving it all he had. Before it set sail he told Rolling Stone he wanted to spend more time with his family and was feeling his age.

“I’m thinking it may be the last trip around the country,” he told the magazine in December of 2016.

“It’s very likely we’ll keep playing, but will we take on 50 shows in one tour? I don’t think so. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was thinking this might be the last big one. We’re all on the backside of our sixties. I have a granddaughter now I’d like to see as much as I can. I don’t want to spend my life on the road. This tour will take me away for four months. With a little kid, that’s a lot of time,” he explained.

The final tour's set was practically the same for all 53 shows: usually about 18 songs.

15 tracks were played at all 53 gigs; classics like "Refugee," "Learning to Fly," and "Free Fallin'."

"Walls" "Crawling Back To You," and "You Wreck Me" got in mix over 40 times. "You Got Lucky" was played 35 times. But the other 10 tunes not in the regular set were played less than 10 times. "Breakdown," for example was only dusted off three times on tour, including in the finale.

The last time Tom Petty played Breakdown and Don't Come Around Here No More.

"The Waiting," the favorite of yours truly, wasn't played at all on that last lap. Strangely he played it just once after 2008.

The last tune Tom played in front of an audience, the last encore of that night at the Hollywood Bowl was "American Girl," a song he wrote when he lived in Encino near the Hollywood freeway.

In the Going Home (1993) documentary, Petty said the rhythm was inspired by the "Bo Diddley" beat and the guitars sounded so much like The Byrds that Roger McGuinn said he thought it was an outtake from a Byrds session he had forgotten about.

Tom Petty will never be forgotten. His songs will forever be woven in the American songbook of rock 'n roll.

Mike Campbell, Petty's guitarist and songwriting collaborator has his own band now called The Dirty Knobs. They have just begun to tour. Tickets available on The Dirty Knobs' website.

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