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Review: Refugee honors Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers at Mulcahy’s (Includes first-hand account)

They really brought the music of Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers to life thanks to their moving vocals. Front-man Mike Epstein on lead vocals and guitar was transformative as Tom Petty. Aside from Mike Epstein, Refugee is comprised of Dominick Rosato on lead guitar, Andrew Nadien on keyboards and backing vocals, drummer Phil Weiss, Hillary Epstein on backing vocals and keyboards, as well as Matt Lauro on bass.

Refugee opened their set with “I Need to Know,” which was well-received, and they immediately broke into “Listen To Her Heart” and “Mary Jane.” The highlight song from the first half their show was Tom Petty’s signature tune, “Free Fallin’.”

Another gem was Mike and Hillary Epstein collaborating on the classic duet, “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” which was sheer bliss. They took on the vocals of Tom Petty and Stevie Nicks quite well.

After “You Wreck Me,” Mike Epstein closed his set with “Runnin’ Down a Dream” and the infectious “American Girl,” where the audience was reciting the lyrics verbatim.

The Verdict

Overall, Refugee was superb at Mulcahy’s Pub and Concert Hall. They paid a fitting homage to the late Tom Petty and his iconic band. Refugee is worth seeing live whenever they are in the area, especially since Tom Petty’s songs will never go out of style. Refugee’s show at Mulcahy’s garnered an A rating.

To learn more about Refugee, The Ultimate Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers Experience, check out their official website.

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 21,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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