Free Fallin’: A Tribute to Tom Petty was determined it wouldn’t back down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This Saturday, the band will perform in Foster Park as part of the Kokomo Summer Concert Series, and it’s the only national act to remain on the bill for the series after COVID-19 caused every other originally-slated band to cancel.
“Honestly, it’s the only band of our original Summer Concert Series that stayed on board to come and play, so it’s kind of exciting to say, ‘Hey, we actually booked these guys originally to come here, and they’re still coming. How great is this?’” said TA Weber, Kokomo Summer Concert Series organizer.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers was one of the biggest chart-topping bands in rock history, putting out hit after hit and performing sold-out shows across the world from 1976 to 2017.
The band won the Billboard Century Award in 2005, three Grammys — Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Duo or a Group (1992), Best Rock Male Vocal Performance (1996), and Best Long Form Music Video (2009) — three MTV Video Music Awards, and the Legend Award during the Radio Music Awards in 2003.
Some of the band’s greats hits include “American Girl,” “Breakdown,” “Listen to Her Heart,” “I Need to Know,” “Refugee,” “Don’t Do Me Like That,” “Even the Losers,” “Here Comes My Girl,” “The Waiting,” “You Got Lucky,” “Don’t Come Around Here No More,” and “I Won’t Back Down.”
Free Fallin’: A Tribute to Tom Petty will perform Petty’s greatest hits, complete with instruments and costumes to create an authentic Petty experience. Last year, the tribute band performed in nearly 20 states, and this year’s tour is shaping up to be Free Fallin’s biggest yet, according to the band's website.
Free Fallin' has been performing for 13 years and has played over 600 shows.
Due to the familiarity of Petty’s music, Weber said the show will be one all generations will enjoy.
“I’ve always been a Tom Petty fan. Even when I was a kid I was a Tom Petty fan, and it’s songs that you know, even if it’s just in passing, in a commercial, or in a movie. It’s almost just like Tom Petty is woven into the fabric of just like, of music, and I think everyone will recognize virtually every single one of the songs they perform,” said Weber. “I think that’s something people enjoy. This is going to be music that they’re fully aware of that they’ve heard, many of them thousands and thousands of times. It just kind of resonates with people.”
Opening for Free Fallin’ will be Flannel Jane, which performs ‘90s covers.
In addition, Weber said there will be food and drink vendors in the park. The concert is free and takes place Saturday, Sept. 19, in Foster Park. Flannel Jane will take the stage at 6 p.m. with Free Fallin’ performing around 8 p.m. The Kokomo Summer Concert wraps up on Sept. 26 with Carver Center Summer Celebration featuring Soul Pocket with special guests Rob Dixon Band and Justaband.