For many music fans, including this one, the unexpected collaboration at a concert can be an event that you talk about for many, many months, perhaps even years, to come. When a headliner is rocking out at a show, it’s awesome, but when the artist brings out a famous friend to trade lyrics, it can elevate a great concert to legendary status.
Collaborations are the norm at most festivals and co-headlining shows, but they are rare at gigs with a single headliner. Examples of co-headlining collaborations include when Bob Dylan and Paul Simon would play a three-song mini-set on their 1999 summer tour and when Dylan and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers toured in 1986 and frequently collaborated onstage.
With his experience touring with Dylan, Petty has always been keen on the idea of collaborating with others. Over his career, Petty has collaborated onstage with Neil Young, Bo Diddley, Foo Fighters, and George Harrison just to name a few.
That being said, fans who attended Petty’s 2006 gig in Auburn, WA, were in for quite the surprise. When Petty launched into the crowd-pleasing tune “The Waiting”, nobody was expecting Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder to make an impromptu entrance and launch into the first verse of the song. Though Pearl Jam and Petty played two co-headlining shows earlier that summer, the bands never interrupted each other’s sets, which is what makes Vedder’s appearance so surprising.
As Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers are finishing up yet another tour and having bands like Crosby, Stills & Nash, The Black Crowes, and My Morning Jacket open for them, you never know whom Petty will bring out to join him.