Prais­ing Tom Petty

Lo­cal mu­si­cians to play ben­e­fit con­cert hon­our­ing late rock­star

Prince Albert Daily Herald - - ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT - PETER LOZINSKI

There will be lot of fa­mil­iar faces in the crowd on Hal­loween, feel­ing a whole lot bet­ter about the pass­ing of rock icon Tom Petty.

A group of mu­si­cians from across Saskatchewan are putting on a se­ries of trib­ute shows to pay homage to the late rocker while rais­ing money for char­ity.

The idea to hold a char­ity trib­ute show was first put for­ward by Regina mu­si­cian and show pro­ducer Val Halla. Lo­cal mu­si­cian Shayne Lazarowich gave her a call and pitched the idea of putting to­gether a se­ries of shows.

Each show is named af­ter a Tom Petty song. Since the P.A. event falls on Hal­loween, it’s been named ‘Zom­bie Zoo.’

Funds raised from all five shows will be split be­tween four char­i­ties: The Red Cross hur­ri­cane re­lief fund, Mu­sic Heals, the Heart and Stroke Foun­da­tion and the Na­tional Com­pas­sion Fund Las Ve­gas.

Find­ing artists to par­tic­i­pate wasn’t a chal­lenge.

“We might have to start a lit­tle ear­lier than panned be­cause there are so many peo­ple who want to be in­volved, which is cool,” Lazarowich said.

“The idea is to come out, play some songs, it’s not a huge com­mit­ment to play a few songs, but I re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate all the mu­si­cians do­ing it. Ev­ery­one is per­form­ing pro bono.”

The Hal­loween theme is also work­ing it­self into a con­test for best cos­tume. You don’t have to dress as Tom Petty, though “that would be pretty cool,” Lazarowich laughed.

One of the artists com­ing out to both the Prince Al­bert and Saska­toon shows in Gord Vaade­land.

He is also MC-ing the night, and will per­form songs solo and with his band, One Bridge Town.

For Vaade­land, it was an easy de­ci­sion to sign up for the trib­ute con­cert. He went to Mil­wau­kee this sum­mer with his part­ner to run down the dream of see­ing Tom Petty live.

“We’re glad we did,” Vaade­land said. “When he an­nounced the tour, it was re­ally some­thing we wanted to do. So when Shayne was look­ing for per­form­ers he came and asked me be­cause he knew I was a big fan.”

Along with Vaade­land and One Bridge Town, the Prince Al­bert con­cert will fea­ture Soul­fa­ther, LJ Tyson, All Mighty Voice, Gary O Xper­i­ment, Soul Shake­down, Mary’s New Car, Life is Good, Cal Halla, Shayne Lazarowich, Sab­rina De­myen and Liza Brown.

While a lot of rock and pop leg­ends have been lost over the past few years, none stick out in terms of re­sponse as much as Tom Petty, at least in Vaade­land’s mind.

“I haven’t seen this sort of re­ac­tion to an artist pass­ing away since Johnny Cash in 2003,” he said.

‘Some mu­si­cians be­come leg­ends when they die. Some are al­ready leg­ends be­fore that. Then, there’s this whole other level, and that’s the realm where Tom Petty ex­ists. He’s up there with the all time greats.”

Vaade­land thinks Tom Petty will be a part of the mu­si­cal con­ver­sa­tion for years to come.

“Thirty to forty years from now we’re still go­ing to be talk­ing about and lis­ten­ing to Tom Petty,” he said, “and peo­ple are go­ing to be talk­ing about how they were in­flu­enced by Tom Petty. It’s be­cause of his long term-im­pact, hav­ing hits in the ‘80s, ‘90s and 200s, do­ing things his own way and tak­ing on the record com­pa­nies.

“All the things he did brought him to an­other level. That’s pretty rare.”

The Tom Petty Zom­bie Zoo Hal­loween Show is sched­uled for Tues­day, Oc­to­ber 31 at the Rock Trout Café. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8. Tick­ets are $15 in ad­vance or $20 at the door. The show is ex­pected to sell out. Tick­ets are avail­able at the Rock Trout Café.


Tom Petty, pic­tured here, passed away on Oc­to­ber 2

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