Watch "Free Fallin'" and "American Girl" from Tom Petty's Final Performance

(Image credit: Rick Diamond/Getty Images)

Last winter, after watching the excellent 2007 documentary Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Runnin' Down a Dream on Netflix (opens in new tab), I decided it was finally time to see Tom Petty in concert; somehow, I'd managed to stupidly "avoid it" for decades.

So, as soon has the band's 2017 tour dates were announced, I "obtained" tickets to their July 1 show at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. It was billed as a 40th-anniversary, career-spanning tour, so the timing seemed perfect.

While I honestly didn't dig the whole jam-band vibe (the 13-minute performance of "It's Good to Be King" was about 6.75 minutes too long—and you can apply that same formula to all the night's extended jams—and there were many), it was a fine concert, full of fine playing on fine-looking guitar after fine-looking guitar.

Maybe they could've played more of the late-Seventies Damn the Torpedos-era stuff, but that's nitpicking. After all, Petty was never one to reminisce; he was always looking ahead, or at least caring about the now, which is probably why the band seemed most "into it" while performing “Forgotten Man,” a track from their most recent album, 2014’s Hypnotic Eye.

Anyway, that tour—which Petty announced was going to be his last major trek (so that he could spend time with family, especially his granddaughter)—finally wound down late last month on the West Coast, not far from his home. In fact, their final performance took place Monday, September 25, at LA's legendary Hollywood Bowl, the same stage where Petty's Wilburys bandmate, the late George Harrison, made history in 1964 and 1965 with his "other" band.

Below, you can check out a few performances from that fateful night, including "Free Fallin'" and the night's actual final songs, the mega-kickass "You Wreck Me" and "American Girl."

"American Girl" was a fitting, albeit unintentional, farewell; it was, after all, the song that represented the first taste of Petty and the Heartbreakers—at least for a large segment of the population. Enjoy the two clips below; to hear the entire set from that night, step right this way. Farewell, Tom Petty.

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Damian Fanelli
Editor-in-Chief, Guitar World

Damian is Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World magazine. In past lives, he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor. He's written liner notes for major-label releases, including Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'The Complete Epic Recordings Collection' (Sony Legacy) and has interviewed everyone from Yngwie Malmsteen to Kevin Bacon (with a few memorable Eric Clapton chats thrown into the mix). Damian, a former member of Brooklyn's The Gas House Gorillas (opens in new tab), was the sole guitarist in Mister Neutron (opens in new tab), a trio that toured the U.S. and released three albums (opens in new tab). He now plays in two NYC-area bands.