Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit paid their respects to Tom Petty on Sunday night, kicking off a six-day residency at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium with a 19-song set that included the Damn the Torpedoes hit “Refugee.”
The performance was the latest in a string of Petty covers from Isbell and company. Two days earlier, the group closed out a festival gig in Memphis with Petty’s “American Girl,” with the frontman himself performing a solo version of “Even the Losers” earlier in the night. Last week, 400 Unit guitarist Sadler Vaden appeared at a sold-out “Tom Petty Celebration” show in Nashville, with nearly a dozen bands hopping onstage to perform hits from the Heartbreakers catalog. Back in 2013, Isbell and Shires even remade “You Got Lucky” into a stomping, Celtic-inspired folksong during the Austin incarnation of Petty Fest.
The respect between the singers appears to have been mutual. Petty, whose side-project, Mudcrutch, shared a bill with the 400 Unit at the 2016 Summer Camp Music Festival in Chillicothe, Illinois, was an Isbell fan as far back as 2013, when he Tweeted a picture of a turntable spinning a copy of Isbell’s Southeastern.
Isbell will also return to the road in 2018, announcing a new string of dates.
January 18-20 – Birmingham, AL @ Alabama Theatre
January 21 – Little Rock, AR @ Robinson Center
January 23 – Cedar Rapids, IA @ Paramount Theatre
January 24 – Milwaukee, WI @ Riverside Theatre
January 27 – Indianapolis, IN @ Murat
January 29 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Heinz Hall
January 30 – Buffalo, NY @ UB Center for the Arts
January 31 – Albany, NY @ Palace Theatre
February 2 – Providence, RI @ Veterans Memorial Auditorium
February 3 – Brooklyn, NY @ Kings Theatre
February 5 – Red Bank, NJ @ Count Basie Theatre
February 6 – Baltimore, MD @ The Modell Lyric
February 8-9 – Atlanta, GA @ Fox Theatre
February 10-11 – Durham, NC @ Durham Performing Arts Center
February 13 – Ithaca, NY @ State Theatre
February 14 – Reading, PA @ Santander Performing Arts Center
February 16 – Richmond, VA @ Altria Theater
February 17 – Charleston, WV @ Municipal Auditorium