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Watch Tom Petty Play ‘American Girl’ at His Final Concert

Less than one week before news of his cardiac arrest and shocking death, Petty wrapped up his 40th anniversary at the Hollywood Bowl

Andy Greene Oct 03, 2017

Tom Petty's final gig took place at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles on September 25th. Photo: Davidwbaker/Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY-SA-4.0

We’re still attempting to digest the stunning news of Tom Petty’s cardiac arrest and shocking death, news that’s all the more surprising considering that he finished a 40th anniversary tour with the Heartbreakers just seven days ago. The final gig took place at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles on September 25th, the culmination of a 53-date tour (their longest since 2002) that began in late April. Like every show on the tour, it ended with “American Girl.”

“If I was a fan and they didn’t play ‘American Girl’ or ‘Free Fallin” I’d be disappointed,” Petty told Rolling Stone shortly before the tour began. “But I want to continue with the vibe we had at the [2013] theater shows where we represented plenty of popular songs, but also give the longtime fans some really deep stuff, and we can change the show as much as we want from night to night.”

A fan near the front of the stage at the Hollywood Bowl captured the complete encore of “You Wreck Me” and “American Girl.” You can watch the whole thing right here. He had played “American Girl” well over 700 times by that point, but he still went into it full throttle and was clearly having a blast. After an extended instrumental coda, Petty and the group took a bow and lingered on the stage to soak up the final applause of the long tour. “Thank you so much!” he told the screaming crowd. “Thank you! God bless ya. Goodnight!” He then signed a few autographs for fans and walked offstage with a big grin on his face.

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Watch Tom Petty perform “American Girl” at his final concert below: