Petty Fest at Metro 4/23/14: A Benefit Show For Sweet Relief, Sponsored By Jameson



My boss is probably a little pissed at me because I sang myself hoarse last night screaming and clapping along with all 27 or so songs that were played. I don’t care. It was a night to celebrate one of America’s greatest treasures, Thomas Earl Petty, and I wasn’t about to let the threat of a day not being able to speak above a whisper stop me from having a good time. After stops in LA and Seattle, it was finally Chicago’s chance to host The Cabin Down Below Band and their cast of all-star guests, and it was an event no one will soon forget.

The main players took the stage and launched into their opening number, “Cabin Down Below.” Immediately any doubt of them not being up to the huge task of honoring Petty flew out the window. You may think of them as a “cover band,” but these cats can play with anyone. Especially their lead guitarist who had the double duty of paying tribute to Petty as well as Mike Campbell, and he did both as admirably as one could hope.

The guest stars all showed up with their game faces on. It’s all in good fun, of course, but for the most part everyone seemed to take getting the songs right pretty seriously. I was surprised by some of the performances-people I thought could easily phone it in or get by on their name alone ended up being some of the best of the night. Case in point, Danny Masterson and Adam Busch from the show Men At Work. Not only did they knock “Yer So Bad” out of the park musically, but Busch’s stage presence was incendiary. I was shocked (SHOCKED!) by how good they were.
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