The War on Drugs brought out fellow Philly legend Tim Heidecker for a cover of Tom Petty’s “Straight Into Darkness,” during a show in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, a township bordering Philadelphia. They also performed Heidecker’s”Hot Piss,” a track that the comedian performed with his own rock band The Yellow River Boys.
Heidecker performed guitar with the band on “Straight Into Darkness,” where they were joined by Hop Along’s Frances Quinlan and Jelloman’s Paul Vile, who is Kurt Vile’s brother. This is the second time The War on Drugs have done a tribute to the late Tom Petty, last year the performed a cover of the artist’s 1994 track “Time To Move On.”
While Heidecker is best known as one half of the influential Adult Swim Comedy: The Tim and Eric Awesome Show, he has been involved with numerous Philadelphia indie rock groups in the past. Heidecker has worked with many other musical artists in the past including Ben Folds, Regina Spektor and LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy. Earlier this year Heidecker participated in the Richard Swift tribute concert.
In addition, Heidecker is also politically active, and is a registered member of the Democratic Socialists of America, and has campaigned for figures such as John Kerry in the past. In 2017 Heidecker also released a set of tracks criticizing US President Donald Trump entitled, Too Dumb for Suicide: Tim Heidecker’s Trump Songs, which was released on the Jagjaguwar indie labael.
These past couple of years have been huge for the War on Drugs, who started off the year winning a Grammy Award for Best Rock Album for 2017’s A Deeper Understanding. The band could not attend the ceremony due to the tour, after beating out Queens of the Stone Age, Metallica, Mastodon, and Nothing More for the award. Earlier this year the band held their first performance at the Hollywood Bowl.
“We found out pretty early in the morning, around 11, so we had all day to kind of share the news. That night we got to play Laneway Festival, then we came back to our hotel and hung out on the patio,” frontman Adam Granduciel explained in an interview with Pitchfork.”It was a great day. It felt like everyone won a Grammy. Like our monitor guy Lowell [Laurence]—he felt like he won a Grammy.”
Graduciel also explained that Tom Petty was a major influence of his while growing up in an interview with the Grammy press in 2018. Petty passed away in 2017 of an accidental drug overdose.
“[Petty’s] one of my favorites. … He had a catalog of hits before I was of age. Then, when I was in my teens, Wildflowers came out [in 1994] — maybe to some it was like a new kind of Tom Petty, but it hit me so intensely when that record came out,” Granduciel explained.” It was like a reintroduction to a lot of different kinds of music for me. His band was so important to him. The Heartbreakers were what you imagine being in a band would be like — best buddies and great players and guys who took it all really seriously.”
Photo Credit: Sharon Alagna