Since its opening by Queen Victoria in 1871, the Royal Albert Hall in London has hosted some of the world's biggest concerts and events with the most famous artists on the planet.
Yet over the course of its illustrious near 150-year history, the Albert Hall has never hosted Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, an oversight that was rectified Monday night with an epic show that those in attendance will talk about for years to come.
"Ladies and gentlemen, we can't tell you how excited we are to be here in London tonight," Tom said after "I Won't Back Down." "It's been a dream of ours to play this hall for our entire lives, and we've got a lot of songs for you tonight."
With that, Tom and the guys launched into "Here Comes My Girl" off Damn the Torpedoes, and the band was off and running. The version of "Handle with Care" which came next, performed on a stage graced so many times by fellow Wilbury George Harrison, was particularly beautiful and poignant. Indeed, Mike Campbell's sweet slide guitar solo brought the sold-out crowd to its feet.
"Oh Well" - dedicated to its author Peter Green, "one of our British heroes" - was a rager, with Tom racing around the stages shaking maracas as the band roared.
Coming off stage after a phenomenal "Runnin' Down A Dream," Tom and the guys were all smiles, buzzing off the crowd energy in Royal Albert Hall and giddy after their debut in the landmark venue. By the time Steve Ferrone pounded out the last drumbeats of "American Girl," the room was ecstatic, giving Tom and the band a standing ovation and a fitting end to their first night at Royal Albert Hall.
Listen to Her Heart
You Wreck Me
I Won't Back Down
Here Comes My Girl
Handle with Care
Don't Come Around Here No More
It's Good To Be King
Something Good Coming
Learning to Fly
Yer So Bad
I Shoulda Known It
Runnin' Down A Dream