Late last November, with Live at the Fillmore (1997), we finally got to hear an official release culled from Tom Petty’s 20-night residency with his band the Heartbreakers at the legendary San Francisco venue a quarter-century ago. Here at Paste, we were so impressed with Live at the Fillmore (1997), in fact, that it made our Best Box Sets of 2022 list.
While many listeners are no doubt still digesting the 58 songs included in the deluxe editions—Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell and producer Ryan Ulyate carved something like a super setlist from professional-grade recordings of six shows—along comes a new mini-documentary that gives us yet another glimpse into one of the most ambitious multi-night stands ever undertaken by a rock band.
If you appreciate the box set—or if you’re just merely curious—the film crams a ton of perspective into its 11-minute runtime. Petty archivist Alison Tavel augments the audio from the box set with insights from members of the Heartbreakers, who reflect back on the band’s motives and expectations going into those dates, which Petty himself described as a career high point.
By 1997, the Heartbreakers were well-established as an arena act. Clearly, they relished the opportunity to bask in the historic vibe of the Fillmore, a place whose intimate confines inspired them to let their hair down and go for broke in ways that their usual road routine didn’t.
“At the Fillmore,” recalls keyboardist Benmont Tench, “we played like we played when nobody was watching.”
Along with Tom Petty’s official Instagram, Paste is happy to present an exclusive teaser for the film below.
Director: Alison Tavel
Producer: Adam Hohlt
Editor: Chris Gibson
Graphics: Deren Ney
Sound Mixer: Joe Durniak
Music Editor: Matt Musty
Archival Cinematography: Martyn Atkins
Photographers: Martyn Akins & Steve Jennings
Director/Producer: Alison Tavel
Line Producer – Jasper Bernbaum
Cinematographers: Sean Robinson, Evan Maricle, Tanner Hall
Sound: Gabriel Linkiewicz & Curtis Mansfield
Mike Campbell Interview shot at KORG USA & VOX Amplification
Special Thanks: Alan “Bugs” Weidel, Benmont Tench, Mike Campbell, Scott Thurston, Steve Ferrone, Tom Cusimano, Another Planet Ent Management, Homecourt Pictures, Petty Legacy LLC, Red Light Management, Versus Creative & Warner Records