Norah Jones, Will Forte + More Celebrate Tom Petty at Petty Fest
The fifth annual Petty Fest, where musicians, actors and comedians pay tribute to the music of Tom Petty, took place at New York's cozy Bowery Ballroom on Thursday night, Oct. 6. Singer Norah Jones was joined by the likes of former 'SNL' star Will Forte and Kings of Leon drummer Nathan Followill, each of which put their own spin on Petty's catalog. The house band featured Austin Scaggs, contributing editor of Rolling Stone.
RollingStone.com reports that Forte offered his half-serious take of 'Learning to Fly' and espoused the virtues of Petty, post-performance, saying, "He writes these hits, but it’s like he’s not even trying to, they’re just songs he likes."
The Sheepdogs, who were the winners of the first-ever "Choose the Cover" contest for Rolling Stone, performed as well, trying their hand at Petty's 'Breakdown.' Alia Shawkat of 'Arrested Development' turned in her version of 'Won't Back Down.'
Jones did not take center stage for much of the night, instead opting to serve as a backing vocalist. She did sing 'Learning to Fly' with actor Justin Long.
The Strokes' Fabrizio Moretti and Followill each sat behind the kit for versions of 'You Don’t Know How It Feels' and 'Mary Jane's Last Dance,' respectively.
The show closed with a singalong -- no surprise there -- of 'Free Fallin.''
Indie singer Regina Spektor was also there, as a spectator (or spektator?) but she did not get behind the mic. Instead, she summed up Petty beautifully, saying, "He writes these songs that make you think you could write them, but you couldn’t."