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Twenty-nine years ago this week (1/18/80), Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers sold out downtown’s Golden Hall. It was the band’s first time in San Diego since playing SDSU’s Montezuma Hall two years earlier.

Concert reviewer Steve Esmedina (for Kicks magazine) wrote, “The qualities which distinguish the Heartbreakers, such as Petty’s passionate, richly romantic but street-wise lyrics and the band’s full arrangements and textures, were fully evident at Golden Hall.”

However, heavy-handed security nearly spoiled the show.

“When 4,000 hyperactive fans are forced to sit solid while witnessing a group which probably puts every new or old wave band seen in these parts lately to shame, then the fault in this case rests on the broad shoulders of overzealous security guards who greeted everyone who stood up with a blaring flashlight or a knuckle bonus-jack. Even when the best of bands play, it’s hard to have fun in such a situation.”

— Jay Allen Sanford

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