Bands Pay Tribute to Tom Petty: Wilco, Coldplay and More

Tom Petty
Aaron Rapoport/Corbis via Getty Images

Tom Petty on the bus during his 1983 summer tour in Florida.

The death of rock icon Tom Petty shocked the music world, with countless artists grieving his passing and acknowledging his influence on their music. A number of them performed some of his songs in homage, either on social media or in their own shows in remembrance of him. Here are some of the best tributes to the late, great rocker.


At a concert in Portland on Monday -- the day of Petty's death -- Coldplay led the crowd in a tribute performance of his hit "Free Fallin'," which had the entire audience singing along. Lead R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck joined the British rockers onstage for the uplifting tribute. 

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Alternative rockers Wilco played "The Waiting" in honor of Petty and The Heatbreakers at their concert yesterday in Irving, Texas. "The Waiting" peaked at #19 on the Hot 100 in June of 1981 and was the lead single off their album Hard Promises. 

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Imagine Dragons

In a video posted on their Twitter, Imagine Dragons jammed to "I Won't Back Down," one of Petty's most beloved hits from his 1989 solo bow Full Moon Fever. The acoustic cover of the song was shot in their dressing room at their Mountain View, Ca. show last night, with singer Dan Reynolds holding one of his daughters on his lap as his bandmates strum three guitars and harmonize around him.

<blockquote class="twitter-video" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">jammin to a legend tonight pre-show. RIP Tom Petty <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Imagine Dragons (@Imaginedragons) <a href="">October 4, 2017</a></blockquote>
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The National

The National also paid homage to Petty on social media with the melancholy "Damaged By Love" off Petty's third (and final) solo album, 2006's Highway Companion. Singer Matt Berninger is accompanied by guitarist Bryce Dessner as he croons "Eyes down at my door / And she holds out her hand / I love you so deep / But you can't understand."

<blockquote class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned data-instgrm-version="7" style=" background:#FFF; border:0; border-radius:3px; box-shadow:0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width:658px; padding:0; width:99.375%; width:-webkit-calc(100% - 2px); width:calc(100% - 2px);"><div style="padding:8px;"> <div style=" background:#F8F8F8; line-height:0; margin-top:40px; padding:50.0% 0; text-align:center; width:100%;"> <div style=" background:url(data:image/png;base64,iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAACwAAAAsCAMAAAApWqozAAAABGdBTUEAALGPC/xhBQAAAAFzUkdCAK7OHOkAAAAMUExURczMzPf399fX1+bm5mzY9AMAAADiSURBVDjLvZXbEsMgCES5/P8/t9FuRVCRmU73JWlzosgSIIZURCjo/ad+EQJJB4Hv8BFt+IDpQoCx1wjOSBFhh2XssxEIYn3ulI/6MNReE07UIWJEv8UEOWDS88LY97kqyTliJKKtuYBbruAyVh5wOHiXmpi5we58Ek028czwyuQdLKPG1Bkb4NnM+VeAnfHqn1k4+GPT6uGQcvu2h2OVuIf/gWUFyy8OWEpdyZSa3aVCqpVoVvzZZ2VTnn2wU8qzVjDDetO90GSy9mVLqtgYSy231MxrY6I2gGqjrTY0L8fxCxfCBbhWrsYYAAAAAElFTkSuQmCC); display:block; height:44px; margin:0 auto -44px; position:relative; top:-22px; width:44px;"></div></div> <p style=" margin:8px 0 0 0; padding:0 4px;"> <a href="" style=" color:#000; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px; text-decoration:none; word-wrap:break-word;" target="_blank">Damaged by Love singing Petty songs all day long. Thank you for all this incredible music.</a></p> <p style=" color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px; margin-bottom:0; margin-top:8px; overflow:hidden; padding:8px 0 7px; text-align:center; text-overflow:ellipsis; white-space:nowrap;">A post shared by Bryce Dessner (@brycedessner) on <time style=" font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px;" datetime="2017-10-03T18:23:05+00:00">Oct 3, 2017 at 11:23am PDT</time></p></div></blockquote> <script async defer src="//"></script>

Fleet Foxes

Fleet Foxes frontman Robin Pecknold wasted no opportunity to pay tribute to Petty at the band's show at the Chicago Theatre last night. Pecknold emerged onstage by himself for the show's encore to discuss the madness of the Las Vegas massacre before jumping into a heartfelt rendition of "Don't Come Around Here No More," off Petty and the Heartbreakers' 1985 album Southern Accents.

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Candlebox's lead singer Kevin Martin honored Petty during his show at the Viper Room in Los Angeles on Monday, mere hours after his death, also performing the classic "Free Fallin'." Martin was joined by Candlebox bandmate Robin Diaz on drums, Tommy Black of Scott Weiland and The Wildabouts on bass, Puddle of Mudd's Matt Fuller on lead guitar, and Erik Himel of Mumiy Troll on rhythm guitar.