Review by Andrew Lindsay with photography by Rob Hadley.

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For the final night of the British Summer Time Hyde Park headliner Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers are joined for today’s proceedings by Stevie Nicks,  The Lumineers, The James Hunter Six, Tyler Brant and the Shakedown, Catherine McGrath and  The Shelters.

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Catherine McGrath

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The Shelters

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Tyler Brant and the Shakedown

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James Hunter Six

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The Lumineers

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Stevie Nicks
As with Tom Petty, Stevie Nicks is still cutting the mustard. Touring hard as a solo artist over October 2016 – April 2017 and about to rejoin the rest of Fleetwood Mac for four big stadium shows later this month Hyde Park was a perfect opportunity to get back in the saddle.

Like Petty’s show, Stevie also presented a career retrospective going back 47 years drawing on solo work, selections from Fleetwood Mac and beyond.Framed between two ‘life-size’ giant oak trees Nicks appears to great acclaim and launches into ‘Gold & Braid’, an unused track from 1981’s Bella Donna. The rather more familiar ‘Gypsy’ and ‘Dreams’ soon follow and the audience fall under her spell.

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The stage is cleared – Nicks has a punchy eight-piece band with her – before we hear Darrel Smith’s gorgeous piano solo heralding Stevie’s re-emergence dressed in a fluffy white ensemble. ‘Enchanted’ segues into ‘Moonlight (A Vampire’s Dream)’ which she tells us was inspired by Bella and Edward’s love affair in the Twilight series. She is then back in black for ‘Stand Back’ as she dervish dances and twirling yet another shawl.Despite a ninety minute set she tells the audience that she does not have a whole lot of time for stories tonight. Even on her solo headlining tours she explains that she has a teleprompter that tells her to ‘get on with it’ so tonight show is more about musical stories than chat.

One story she does relate concerns 1973’s Buckingham-Nicks album. She explains that ‘Crying In the Night’ was written as early as 1970, working up to the album with Lindsey that was going to save her from being a waitress but which ended up disappearing into the ether. “Dreams do come true,” she tells the audience. “Because 44 years later you can sing a song you thought nobody would ever hear in Hyde Park in London, England.”
On comes the gold shawl for ‘Gold Dust Woman’ which features powerful wig out guitar jamming from Carlos Rios and long time collaborator Waddy Wachtel (who incidentally played on Buckingham-Nicks).

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The closing three numbers bring the show to a memorable climax.‘Edge of Seventeen’ is a particularly effective rocker with a classic rock guitar introduction and an organ solo adding much depth.  The number generates much ‘whoo whoo whoo’ from the 65,000 attendees.  The references to the white winged dove are accompanied by images of Prince as Nicks closes with an ad lib: ‘I know what it is like when doves cry’.

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‘Rhiannon’ is the first encore and she reminds us that she has played that at every concert since 1975; “it has never not been done”. The final song, Nicks tells us, was written in Aspen, Colorado, in 1973 about a snow covered city. It is ‘Landslide’. It is sung beautifully and accompanied sensitively by acoustic guitar and keyboards. When she gets to the bit about ‘Well I’ve been afraid of changing/Cause I’ve built my life around you/But time makes you bolder/Even children get older/And I’m getting older too’ you realise that it is not only doves that cry. Just before the encores Nicks declares that the Hyde Park show is a “big memory that I will take with me forever”. And so will many others.

Stevie Nicks Setlist:
Gold & Braid
If Anyone Falls
Gypsy
Outside The Rain
Dreams
Enchanted
Moonlight
Stand Back
Crying In the Night
Gold Dust Woman
Wild Heart
Bella Donna
Edge of Seventeen
Rhiannon
Landslide


Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
It was exactly forty years ago that Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers enjoyed their first taste of success. They had just scored their first ever top 40 single with ‘Anything That’s Rock n’ Roll’, appeared on Top of the Pops (then enjoying viewing figures of around sixteen million), headlined at London’s prestigious Rainbow Theatre and appeared on the cover of all three major music weeklies. In America they were still just a bunch of nobodies. So it was here in London that the band first experienced acclaim and recognition.  Forty years on they are back for more.

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Petty describes tonight as a retrospective: “We are celebrating our 40th year together so we’re gonna look at this show like a giant record, and we’re gonna drop the needle all over it”.  Tonight’s setlist proves to be identical to just about every other show on this 40th Anniversary Tour which kicked off three months ago. There is one notable exception but more of that later.

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Tonight’s show is also exceptional in that it is the only one of the entire tour to be played outside of North America. It is perhaps an acknowledgement of the contribution that the UK played in getting the band noticed.  Not surprisingly many in the 65,000 crowd traveled from the France, Germany and Italy and there is also a hefty contingent of Americans and Canadians. Petty’s shows back home sell out instantly.

Opening with the deepest cut of the evening ‘Rocking Around (With You)’ from the debut album (“England is the first place we ever played this”) the band move onto the more recognisable ‘Last Dance With Mary Jane’. This hits the spot and the vast crowd continue to ‘woo-woo’ long after the band have ceased playing.  The sing-along continues during ‘You Don’t Know How It Feels’ with Tom throwing some knowing hip sways on the lines: ‘My old man was born to rock/He’s still tryin’ to beat the clock’. And at the age of 66 he, and a good chunk of the audience, are doing just that.

Next is ‘Forgotten Man’ from Hypnotic Eye (quite a few in the crowd are either unaware or have forgotten that Petty still makes records).  Tom, noting the muted response, asks “Want to sing one together…?”  ‘I Won’t Back  Down’ and ‘Free Fallin’ are not only superb songs but also certified crowd pleasers and they get that job done admirably.

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“The next one”, Tom quips, “is a request.  But it was me who requested it?” Your reviewer requested ‘Something In the Air’ but was happy to settle for Tom’s pick: the sublime ‘Walls’ from the much undervalued ‘She’s The One’. We then hit the core three numbers of the show. First,  ‘Don’t Come Around Here No More’ after which Petty lovingly introduces each member of the band who are “closer than family” from the most recent (the Webb Sisters whose vocals so enriched Leonard Cohen’s last tours) through to his two teenage mates from Gainesvlle – Benmont Tench on keyboards (at thirteen “he just played the entire Sergeant Pepper album on organ”) and Mike Campbell (“one of Rock’s great guitarists”– and truly he is.  Special mention is also made to former Average White Band drummer and world class musician Steve Ferrone “the only black baby in Brighton for a number of years”).
There’s one more introduction to make and that’s to one of his greatest admirers. Widely expected, as she had appeared earlier on the bill, Stevie Nicks, “the honorary girl in our band” joined for an outstanding ‘Stop Dragging My Heart Around’. Both protagonists hammed it up playing the injured lover.  It was fun and a follow up ‘Insider’ would have been welcome and appropriate but it was not to be. Incidentally ‘You Got Lucky’ was the song dropped to make way for the Nicks duet.

Third in this centrepiece  is ‘It’s Good to be King’. Stretched out to twelve minutes, it features standout contributions from Tench and Ferrone as well as verifying Petty’s claim for Mike Campbell’s guitar playing.  Check out the version on Live Anthology to see what I mean.

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Two more from the Wildflowers LP follow – ‘Crawling Back To You’ and the largely acoustic title track on which the Webb Sisters show what they can do. Switching to more familiar territory, ‘Learning To Fly’ and ‘Yer So Bad’ fully engage the vocal chords of all those present before the sound engineer kisses the amps and turns them up as the band hurtle down the well trodden home straight. Notable is the masterly version of  ‘You Wreck Me’ which includes a nod to Chuck Berry’s Johnny B. Goode referenced earlier by Petty as the first tune he ever heard Campbell play.

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‘American Girl’ brings the night to a close and an end to 2017’s British Summer Time in Hyde Park. It was a glorious day, beautiful weather, great music, an enthusiastic and chilled out crowd. The event itself was well organised, pleasant security, decent loos and bearable queues. The only thing to spoil the party was the prohibition on bringing one’s own food and drink. Pity that.

Tom Petty Setlist:
Rockin’ Around (With You)
Mary Jane’s Last Dance
You Don’t Know How It Feels
Forgotten Man
I Won’t Back Down
Free Fallin’
Walls
Don’t Come Around Here No More
Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around
It’s Good to be King
Crawling Back to You
Wildflowers
Learning to Fly
Yer So Bad
I Should Have Known It
Refugee
Runnin’ Down a Dream
You Wreck Me
American Girl

For more images from today’s gig visit our Flickr page.


About Barclaycard presents British Summer Time Hyde Park
Set in London’s beautiful Royal Park, the event kicked off in 2013 with The Rolling Stones reliving their legendary 1969 gig, plus Bon Jovi, Lionel Richie, Jennifer Lopez and many more packing out the park for memorable summer nights.

Last year, the line-up had something for everyone from indie favorites The Strokes, to Blur, music icons The Who and a pop extravaganza led by a triumphant Taylor Swift. The event also held 3 star packed comedy nights on the main Great Oak Stage, which saw fans settling in with picnics on the Hyde Park grass for an idyllic evening.

Every year, each headliner is joined by a full supporting line up across 5 stages, from major superstars to handpicked developing acts performing for fans from across the UK and the world.

This year’s line up includes:
Phil Collins – Friday June 30th
Green Day – Saturday July 1st
Justin Bieber – Sunday July 2nd
Kings of Leon – Thursday July 6th
The Killers – Saturday July 8th
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Sunday July 9th

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