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Snow Pond Presents:

Being Petty: Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers Experience

Date: 4/20/24
Venue: Alumni Hall
Start Time: 7:30PM
Doors: 6:30PM 
Note: There will be a small intermission halfway through the show

Ticket Cost: $30

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Being Petty

Bruce Hilton is an award winning singer/songwriter who was enjoying regional success with Hilton Park, a folk trio that also featured his son, Conor. COVID brought about a long term hiatus for the band, and by 2021 Bruce was ready for a new challenge. He teamed up with drummer Larry Ladrie and started runnin’ down a dream… to put together the most kick-ass Tom Petty tribute band around. Renowned bassist Ben Butterworth was a perfect fit, seeming to channel Ron Blair and Howie Epstein through his fingers. With Ladrie as Stan Lynch, the baddest rhythm section in the northeast was in place.

Meanwhile, while Bruce was shopping for blonde wigs, his musical companion and friend of over three decades, Bryan Kelly stepped into the role of Mike Campbell, and immediately gathered thousands of dollars of gear to match Campbell’s tone. Bryan’s detailed focus on playing those iconic lead guitar parts to perfection was tireless; he knew true fans would expect no less.

In 1989 the real Heartbreakers added a sixth member… Scott Thurston played guitar, keys, harmonica and sang backups as a member of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers right until Tom’s death in 2017. Enter Bruce’s son, Conor. No one harmonizes with Bruce like Conor; in Hilton Park it was referred to as “blood harmony”. Even though only in his 20’s, Conor’s prodigal instrument and vocal skills were on par with the five seasoned veterans in the band.

Bruce (who by now had found a wig) was now looking for somewhere for Being Petty to perform, to get their proverbial feet wet. They were invited to open for Boston based Cars tribute, Panorama, in March of 2022. After months of rehearsals, they finally had a gig. The band was feeling good, the songs were tight, the show looked great… but would an audience of Petty fans agree?

That first show at Rascals in Worcester MA set all fears to rest. The audience was sold, and the drummer for the headlining band was so impressed he used his contacts with the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion to get Being Petty on the bill with 6 other nationally touring tribute bands for a one-day tribute band festival in August. From a club in Worcester to an 8,000 seat arena… not bad for a first night out?

Since that Spring of 2022, Being Petty has taken on Petty fans throughout the Northeast, adding a multimedia element to the show, more instruments, crew members, and fierce determination tempered by a humble gratitude that they get to perform songs from one of the greatest American songbooks night after night for fans just like them. With the addition of the incredible Nathan Robbins on keyboards as Benmont Tench, Being Petty is bringing the Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers concert experience back to his fans.

Being Petty believes that a tribute band should be 100% committed to respecting the artist and the fans. At every show, during every song, Being Petty continues to fulfill that commitment, honoring the musical and cultural legacy of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

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The Show:

The lights go down.

The giant video screen at the back of the stage shows a video montage of Tom Petty throughout the years as if coming from an old car radio, until the time is NOW and a group of silhouettes who could be Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers takes the stage. It's go time.

A Being Petty show is an event; a replica of a Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers concert. Non-stop, industrial strength rock 'n' roll, for 2 and a half hours. All the hits the fans came to hear, as well as some deep cuts to make the diehard fans drool, are presented with all the energy and skill one would expect at a real Petty show.

Cheer, dance, laugh, cry... you're not just listening to a band. You're part of an experience. The sights, the sounds, the mannerisms, and that iconic voice all bring the fantasy to life, close enough that the audience can bring themselves the rest of the way...

...to believe.

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Snow Pond Center for the Arts

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