On the surface, the two rock legends don’t have much in common. Petty has made a name for himself with his jaunty folk-rock and hard-rock, the buoyancy of which is counterbalanced by melancholic lyrics that speak to the poetics of Middle American existence; Winwood, on the other hand, is known for his transition from precocious soulster with the Spencer Davis Group, to hippy groovemaker with Traffic and Blind Faith, to ambassador of gentlemanly blue-eyed soul. These are very different musicians making very different music, but what makes the Petty/Winwood double bill perfect is the sheer fact that both artists represent the pure diversity of rock ‘n’ roll at a time when we need its unifying qualities the most. If an originally African-American music can lead a boy from Birmingham, England to share a Madison Square Garden stage with a kid from Gainesville, FL, it can do so much for us in these times of fundamentalism and hyper-militarism. Damn the torpedoes, bring us a higher love!
Wed., Sept. 10, 7:30 p.m., 2014
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 10, 2014