Tom Petty last played Austin in May at the Erwin Center

Tom Petty at the Erwin Center on September 17, 1999. Rebecca McEntee/American-Statesman

[This article has been updated.]

Tom Petty’s last show in Austin was exactly five months ago, at the Erwin Center on May 2. The legendary rocker, 66, died Monday night, longtime Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers manager Tony Dimitriades has confirmed, after premature reports of his death surfaced earlier in the day.

“On behalf of the Tom Petty family, we are devastated to announce the untimely death of of our father, husband, brother, leader and friend Tom Petty,” Dimitriades said in a statement. “He suffered cardiac arrest at his home in Malibu in the early hours of this morning and was taken to UCLA Medical Center but could not be revived. He died peacefully at 8:40 p.m. PT surrounded by family, his bandmates and friends.”

At the Erwin Center, “Petty and his longtime band the Heartbreakers held what at times felt like a mass-worship rock ’n’ roll service to a full arena of fans who’ve clearly loved his music for decades,” we observed in our review of the show.

READ MORE: Tom Petty goes 40 years deep at Erwin Center

“Throughout, Petty was a gracious and appreciative host, thanking the crowd repeatedly and profusely during song breaks from start to finish, as the house lights frequently shined on the sea of smiling faces so he could see them all.”

Tom Petty at the Erwin Center on May 5, 2012. Rodolfo Gonzalez/American-Statesman

Austin guitarist Gary Clark Jr. opened the show for Petty, a one-off appearance on the 40th-anniversary tour of Petty and his longtime band, the Heartbreakers.

PHOTOS: Tom Petty at the Erwin Center on May 2, 2017

Petty’s concert history in Austin dates back to 1978, when he appeared with the Heartbreakers at the now-shuttered Austin Opera House. A total of 10 appearances at the Erwin Center followed, along with shows at Bass Concert Hall, the Paramount Theatre and the 2006 Austin City Limits Music Festival.

The ACL Fest show was remembered largely for a rainstorm that erupted midway through the band’s headlining set. Petty and the Heartbreakers waited it out, then retook the stage and played on for the large throng of fans who’d stuck around through the rain.

Tom Petty at the Erwin Center on September 17, 1999. Rebecca McEntee/American-Statesman

Author: Peter Blackstock

Music writer for the Austin American-Statesman and Twitter: @Blackstock360

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.