Falling in Love with Music All Over Again: A Songwriter Salute to Tom Petty

tompettyWith almost 12 solid hours of music from noon to midnight yesterday, Mile of Music is officially in full swing. Picking out a favorite from last night is nearly impossible, but if I had to it’d definitely be The Mile Jam: A Songwriter Salute to Tom Petty.

Artists Cory Chisel, Adriel Denae, Greg Waters, Christopher Gold, and former Ramones drummer Richie Ramone, teamed up to bring Appleton the best and only cover act you’ll see this weekend.

Though this event marked one of the first open only to VIP pass holders, I got the opportunity to attend due to dumb luck a magical intervention that was surely orchestrated by the hands of fate. (Also, a very thoughtful coworker. Thank you Kimberly!)

And, man oh man, what a great start to the Mile of Music it was. I’ve never seen so many talented musicians in one room in my life. Chisel’s raw likeability and slick sense of humor made him a perfect host, the house band was amazing, and OH MY GOD RICHIE RAMONE WAS THERE!


A blurry picture of Richie Ramone brought to you by my crappy smartphone camera.

It was truly a transcendental experience seeing him play an old Ramones tune, “Somebody Put Something in My Drink.” Though there was no shortage of talented performers on that stage, Ramone was unparalleled in showmanship.

He touched and hugged crowd members, threw out his sticks (nearly hitting me in the head, I might add), and generally owned the stage with a swagger than can only be perfected by years of being really, really famous.

As for the rest of the night, Chisel & Denae lead a rousing version of “Listen to Her Heart”, Mark Watrous was awesome on “Refugee”, the house band was awesome at everything, and there was even a simple yet devastating acoustic cover of, “You Wreck Me.”

The night ended with a huge production of “Free Falling”, which is one of those songs you forget exists until you hear it and then don’t care that anyone ever wrote another song in the history of everything.

Seriously, I could talk for hours about how great the performance was, how you should go see every single artist that was onstage, or how awesome it was that Stone Arch made specialty brews just for the Mile of Music. (If you were wondering, I enjoyed half of a “Mile of Music Pale Ale.”)

But I won’t, because the most amazing was, well, the music, man. (Yes, I know how I sound.)

Mile of Music is quickly establishing itself as the premiere event for original music in the area. But even though it’s inherently anti-covers, the Tom Petty tribute captured perfectly the heart of the festival.

Performers didn’t use these songs to gain brownie points with a crowd, they used them to show their wide swath of diversity. No two songs were alike in the same way no two people have the same experience at a concert.

Ultimately, that’s what seeing music live is all about. We’re momentarily united with a crowd through an intense love for an art form so deeply rooted in our consciousness we remember the first song we ever heard as surely as we remember the first time we fell in love.

Basically, I’m saying I emerged from the performance with a new found love and respect for creation blah, blah, blah. Whatever. I’m sure it’ll happen about eighty more times tonight.

If you haven’t been out to M.O.M. yet, get on it!

Heading Out Tonight?

Check out our Mile of Music preview for the big names and our list of 11 hidden gems you’d be crazy to miss. And if you see Redleg Rebellion playing the streets tonight, tell them we sent you!


  1. Gary Werner says

    Thanks for the enthusiasm. It’s good to know the local music scene is alive and well.
    About Tom Petty, I was never really a fan until I saw the recent TV documentary about, hmm, I think it was actually about Jeff Lynne (ELO). It showed a lot of footage of the Traveling Wilburys, which Tom Petty was a part of. That’s what did it for me. Dang, I had that on my DVR and now I can’t find it.

Make a Comment! (We know you want to)