This week a multitude of artists paid tribute to Tom Petty, who died of cardiac arrest on Monday at the age of 66. Such was the breadth of Petty’s long career influence and multitude of songs that you can already find a vast range of these live covers (on YouTube and elsewhere), from born-again country artist Miley Cyrus and her dad doing “Wildflowers” on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon last night to Coldplay inviting Peter Buck onstage in Portland on Monday for a spot-on version of “Free Fallin.’”
Fleet Foxes did a moving, pared-down acoustic “Don’t Come ‘Round Here No More” at the Chicago Theatre on Tuesday:
While Chicago’s own Wilco offered an appropriately jangly “The Waiting” at Texas’ Toyota Music Factory that same night. Father John Misty also went the Wildflowers route, with his “To Find A Friend” at the Orpheum in Texas.
On the opening night of the Lampedusa: Concerts For Refugees tour in Seattle, also on Tuesday, an all-star lineup of Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, Dave Matthews, and Patty Griffin also went acoustic for a spirited rendition of “Refugee.”
Some acts went straight to social media, like Imagine Dragons posting its cover of “I Won’t Back Down” on Twitter, and The National offering “Damaged By Love,” from Petty’s final solo album on Instagram.
Interestingly, it seems as if no big-name artists have gone in on one of Petty’s biggest hits, “American Girl,” yet. It was the last song he ever performed live, on September 25 at the Hollywood Bowl, so maybe he gets the last word on that one.