During their headline set at Austin City Limits festival on Sunday (October 8), The Killers played renditions of Petty’s tracks ‘American Girl’ and ‘The Waiting’.
“It was just like somebody stabbed you in the heart when you heard that he died,” frontman Brandon Flowers told the crowd.
Watch fan-shot footage of the covers below:
Petty’s death was confirmed by Tony Dimitriades, longtime manager of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. Dimitriades confirmed Petty’s death on behalf of the performer’s family.
Petty formed The Heartbreakers in 1976, and their self-titled debut album was released the same year. It featured Petty’s classic song ‘American Girl’. Petty’s breakthrough came with his band’s third album ‘Damn the Torpedoes’ in 1979. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers last released an album in 2014 in the form of 13th LP ‘Hypnotic Eye’.
As well as his career with the Heartbreakers, Petty also co-founded supergroup the Traveling Wilburys with Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne and Roy Orbison.
Along with the tributes from Petty’s musical contemporaries, his daughter Kimberly Violette also shared her experiences of her father, recalling how she had been present at Petty’s last ever gig at the Hollywood Bowl two weeks ago.
“One week ago today I was watching my dad play we showed up rushed to our seats”, she said.
“I got stoned had a beer the lights went dark ,sat watching realizing I grew up on these songs. Everyone grew up on these songs. This is real American Art made from the roots of real people who deeply love life, my father loves music more than anything and always put music first.”