ACL Fest 2017: Musicians pay tribute to the late Tom Petty

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Music legend Tom Petty died Monday at the age of 66, so it’s no surprise that musicians are dedicating parts of their sets at Austin City Limits Music Festival to the late great legend. Here’s a roundup of the ones caught by Austin360’s ACL Fest team.

Tom Petty at a 1999 Erwin Center show. Rebecca McEntee/American-Statesman

Asleep at the Wheel, the classic kickoff for every weekend of ACL Fest, played Petty’s hit “I Won’t Back Down” during their noon set on Friday.

RELATED: See photos from Tom Petty’s last Austin performance

Music writer Peter Blackstock caught an unknown band playing Petty’s “Wildflowers” during soundcheck. It may have been the Revivalists, who did both that song and “Refugee” back-to-back at the end of their set later in the day.

Blackstock also caught Lukas Nelson &  Promise of the Real playing “American Girl” at the end of their Friday afternoon set on the Miller Lite Stage.

Earlier in the week at a show in Hollywood, Nelson also performed an acoustic version of “Breakdown.”

Andrew McMahon and the Wilderness dedicated “Cecilia and the Satellite” to Petty.

Here’s the Revivalists playing “Wildflowers” followed by “Refugee” late Friday afternoon.

Perhaps the best Petty tribute came Saturday night, however. Right before Tove Lo took the Barton Springs stage, the large screen flashed a message: “Look to the skies! There is a special performance by the Red Bull Air Force Skydiving Team!” And a special performance it was. Skydivers dropped from a plane to the tune of “Free Fallin.”

Josh Klinghoffer, guitarist for Saturday night headliners the Red Hot Chili Peppers, opened the band’s encore solo and did performed Petty’s “A Face In The Crowd.”

The Killers, Sunday night’s ACL Fest headliner, opened their set with “American Girl” and then played “The Waiting” later. Lead singer Brandon Flowers said he wished the band knew more Petty songs.


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