It can often be hard for a band to move on following a member’s death. While some may reform under a different name (such as New Order), others may perform alongside guest musicians as a way to make a cautious return to the live stage (such as the remaining members of Soundgarden). Well now The Heartbreakers are the latest group to undertake such a task, with the group returning to the stage for the first time since singer Tom Petty’s death over the weekend.
As Pitchfork notes, group members Mike Campbell, Benmont Tench, and Steve Ferrone hit the stage for the first time since Petty’s October passing on Saturday as part of the Light Up The Blues benefit concert in Austin, Texas.
Organised by Stephen Stills, the benefit gig saw the group’s members joined by a wide variety of big-name musos, including Neil Young, Sheryl Crow, Patti Smith, Burt Bacharach, Judy Collins, and Beck, who performed unannounced.
Footage from the evening shows The Heartbreakers teaming up with the artists to help perform Beck’s ‘Guess I’m Doing Fine’, Patti Smith’s ‘Because The Night’, and even their original tune ‘I Won’t Back Down’.
While there’s not word yet as to whether this the start of a more frequent return to the live stage for the musicians, Mike Campbell has recently been named as one of the replacements (alongside Crowded House’s Neil Finn) for Lindsey Buckingham following his recent firing from Fleetwood Mac.