David Danylchuk fronts the band Perfectly Petty where he embodies the late rock star. (Perfectly Petty/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Tom Petty tribute band emerges after ‘taking time to get it right’

Perfectly Petty plays Chief Sepass Theatre in Fort Langley, Nov. 30

Nanaimo resident David Danylchuk said he was born with a blessing – a look that is strikingly similar to the late rock star Tom Petty.

Danylchuk had been a musician for a long time – instructing people how to perform as a teacher at a rock and roll school.

After friends urged him to start performing in a Petty tribute band and he viewed the 2005 documentary Running Down a Dream, Danylchuk’s career path took shape.

“It’s not hard to sing like him, but I was in a couple different cover bands – Pure Petty and one just called Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, but spelled differently,” Danylchuk explained.

While ultimately departing both of those bands, the actual Petty passed away in the fall of 2017 – leaving a legacy, and certainly an opportunity, behind for dedicated fans.

Danylchuk found his current incarnation of the tribute band, Perfectly Petty, shortly after. Now, just a litte more than a year together, the tribute singer thinks the group is about as good as it can get.

“We’ve only done a handful of shows, but we’re excited about it,” Danylchuk said. “We keep the songs presented in the form they were created in, but when you’re a cover band, you have to lift them up and embody the whole spirit.”

The Petty impersonator said his show contains a lot of imagery – a full experience filled with eye candy that pays tribute to the man and his music.

Hits like “Refugee,” “You Don’t Know How it Feels,” “Free Fallin,” “Runnin’ Down a Dream,” “I Won’t Back Down,” “Don’t Do Me Like That,” “American Girl,” and “Even the Losers” will of course be present in Danylchuck’s set, but he said artists that went into making Petty who we was will also be part of the show.

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“He almost always covered his heroes and mentors, so we’ve integrated some of their music into the set,” he said. “You might hear The Byrds, The Beatles, or Bob Dylan… and of course you’ll hear a Travelling Wilbury’s track or two.”

Danylchuk said his wife is the founder of Gold Dust Gypsy, a Stevie Nicks tribute band in which she portray’s Steve Nicks. Given Petty’s and Nick’s relationship, Danylchuk hinted that there could be a duet or two between them in future shows.

He and his wife Raphael currently run Roquemore Productions together and will be moving to Maple Ridge in the coming months to further their music careers; she also facilities Perfectly Petty’s costumes and set design.

Danylchuk added that the band’s keyboard player is a 20 year resident of Langley named Craig Dong.

“You might not know you love Tom Petty until go to the show – a lot of people come up and say “I didn’t realize that was him’,” Danylchuk explained. “We’re taking time to get it right, but people that come, they’re going to get their money’s worth.”

Concert goers and music listeners can find out at www.perfectlypetty.com.

Perfectly Petty plays the Chief Sepass Theatre in Fort Langley on Nov. 30 at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are available at www.rockitboy.com.

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Email: ryan.uytdewilligen@langleyadvancetimes.com

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