July 23: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: 40th Anniversary Tour

Thomas Earl Petty was never going to make it on his looks. That was the thing you’d notice, looking at the cover of 1979’s “Damn the Torpedoes” through the eyes of a teenager. The skinny kid with the prominent nose, the weak chin. Just imagining how that played in late-’60s Gainesville, Florida made you almost feel sorry for the guy. Then you heard ‘Don’t Do Me Like That,’ ‘Refugee,’ and ‘Hear Comes My Girl,’ and everything came clear. You went and got the early stuff because, holy shit! and then 1981’s “Hard Promises” came out and you got the record for nine bucks, one less than the label wanted to charge, because Tom Petty made a big stink about it. And then you found out the dang thing was worth $12 at least, with ‘The Waiting (is the hardest part)’ up first and strong steady rock right through the twangy (and underrated) ‘The Criminal Kind’ on side two. You realized he didn’t need looks. Eighty-million odd record sales later, everyone knows. He just kept going. 8 p.m. Royal Farms Arena, 201 W. Baltimore St., (410) 347-2020, royalfarmsarena.com, $49.50-$149.50 (Edward Ericson Jr.)

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