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Petty gives 'good old American rock 'n' roll show' July 17, 2005 BY BRIAN ORLOFF It was fitting that early on, Petty, sporting a blue velvet blazer, jeans and brown cowboy boots, announced to the crowd that he was going to give them a "good old American rock 'n' roll show," before launching into his 1976 hit "Breakdown," with its slow building, bluesy melody and his trademark rasp of a voice. After all, Petty and his band have built a career around Americana-tinged story-songs like "Free Fallin'," which unfurls its tale of heartbreak over a California landscape, and, of course, "American Girl," which closed the show. Petty's a magnetic front man With a stocked catalog of fan favorites to unveil, Petty did a fine job pacing the set, arranging his hits in clusters so he could fold in more obscure material, or even a new tune. The excellent "Melinda," a haunted-folk ditty only recorded on a live DVD, proved the strongest of Petty's most recent tunes. Anchored by pianist Benmont Tench's fiery, jazz-piano lines with occasional bleats of organ and guitarist Mike Campbell's frittered mandolin playing, Petty and the Heartbreakers expertly played with the tempo, stretching out the taut structure with eerie, melodic passages. Unfortunately, the other new song, "Turn This Car Around," seemed rather stale a Petty retread, of sorts half-formed and depleted of heart.