With the loss of Tom Petty on Monday night, the music world continues to mourn the death of an all-time great songwriter. We’ve recently seen tributes from the likes of Coldplay, The National, and Wilco, and expect the coming days and weeks to be filled with more stirring renditions.
Last night saw one of contemporary folk rock’s most accomplished acts, Fleet Foxes, take their turn to pay respects. As Stereogum points out, the performance came at the Chicago Theatre to open the encore, with just bandleader Robin Pecknold playing the tune solo on his acoustic guitar. In its original version, the song is notable for its deep-80’s synth vibe, with its accompanying Alice In Wonderland-inspired video becoming an iconic clip in MTV’s early days.
In the hands of Pecknold, though, the tune takes on a much more somber and reflective tone. Maybe that’s just the way all of Petty’s songs will come across over the next few days as music fans continue to make peace with the loss of a hero. But credit must be given to Pecknold, who takes a song that wouldn’t fit in the Fleet Foxes oeuvre and makes it very much work.
Check out the video of Fleet Foxes covering Tom Petty’s “Don’t Come Around Here No More” above.