Adam Busch with Johnny Depp
A diverse line up of artists and comedians including Black Keys drummer Pat Carney, members of the Strokes, Ke$ha, Sarah Silverman and Johnny Depp performed at last week’s Petty Fest LA. The first-ever West Coast edition of the Tom Petty tribute festival took place November 14 and 15 at the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles. All of the proceeds from the event will go to the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund and Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts.
As in past Petty Fest’s, the various artists were backed by the Cabin Down Below Band, featuring Matt Romano, Alex Levy and Austin Scaggs (the band’s name is a reference to a song on Petty’s solo record Wildflowers and a New York bar of the same name). The first person they played behind was Har Mar Superstar, who offered a version of “Don’t Do Me Like That” while urging the crowd to sing along all night.
Har Mar Superstar was followed by Nicole Atkins, Harper Simon and Jenny O and Jesse Malin, who performed “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” “The Waiting” and “You Wreck Me,” respectively. Atkins told the crowd about her parents bar, which had been badly damaged by Hurricane Sandy.
The show also features appearances by Guster’s Ryan Miller, Alberta Cross, members of Little Joy and the Eagles of Death Metal. who got together for a rocking version of “Running Down a Dream.” In one of the more noteworthy moments of the night, the Black Keys’ Patrick Carney and Ke$ha took the stage for a unique take on “Last Dance with Mary Jane.”
But the odd collaborations did not end there. Comedian Sarah Silverman joined the superjam for “Don’t Come Around Here No More,” before Johnny Depp took the stage sporting a blue Duesenberg guitar. The actor stuck around for a six-song run, staying on stage longer than any of the night’s other guests (with the exception of the Cabin Down Below Band). Depp even managed to get an impressive solo alongside Common Rotation singer Adam Busch during “It’s Good to Be King.”
The show wound down with Nick Valensi, Albert Hammond Jr. and Fabrizio Moretti of The Strokes joining the Cabin Down Below Band for “I Need To Know” and “Honeybee,” with Valensi and Moretti staying on for “American Girl,” which was the last song of the set. As expected, the night’s entire line up came out for an all-star sing-along encore of “Free Fallin.”