Last weekend, Emily and I had the opportunity to see John Mellencamp in concert.  Like about everyone who grew up in the 80s, we really enjoy his music and had great memories of the “glory days” in school when his music meant so much to us.

We stopped and actually had good BBQ...a rarity outside the South
We stopped and actually had good BBQ…a rarity outside the South

We did a ricochet trip to Charlotte, NC…we basically drove in, heard the concert, spent the night and returned the next morning.  Maybe it was a bit like our care-free time of growing up…or more likely my cheapskate kicking in so we didn’t have to pay for another night at a hotel.

A pig...eating pig
A pig…eating pig

Anyhow, the concert was in a mid-sized arena…maybe 5-6k people attended.  At first, we were the youngest people there which sort of surprised me.   Soon enough though we were in a sea of people of all ages.  Mellencamp is 63 and has been playing for a long time so I guess his music has appeal across many years though I am sure his most famous period was when I was a teenager.

Ready for the concert
Ready for the concert

John puts on a good old-fashioned rock-and-roll show.  It’s not full of flames and lights and dancing all over stage, but it’s loud enough and his songs are just plain awesome!  He mostly played his famous songs, Jack and Diane, Hurts So Good, Small Town, and Authority Song.  Emily, not being a true fan apparently, had never heard of his absolute best song, Rain on the Scarecrow.  I know it is probably not as well known as many of his others so I was surprised (and nearly brought to tears…except I don’t cry), when he fired up that song during the concert!  It was fantastic!

With my sweetie...
With my sweetie…

On stage with him, he had a fantastic violinist and another musician who played “everything else” including piano, accordion and harmonica.  It was sort of classic Mellencamp sounds but I guess I never really thought about what went into his music.  I loved it!

Mellencamp stage
Mellencamp stage

Unlike many current musicians, John Mellencamp sounded great live and pretty much exactly like he does on his produced versions (geez…I struggled with what to say there…cassettes, LPs, mp3s…he’s been around for it all!)  I was a little surprised when he lit up a cigarette on stage, but I guess that’s an 80s throwback thing too maybe.

I almost forgot…the concert  was opened by Carlene Carter which seemed like a huge surprise as she is most definitely in the  style of her mother and grandmother…i.e. older style country.  I really enjoyed her songs and singing as well, but it was a surprise.  We later found out that she and John and working together on a project so it did make sense…her opening was a nice bonus!

Friends, if you are a child of the 80s and get the opportunity to hear John Mellencamp, buy some tickets and enjoy an fun evening!  Sing as loud as you can and take your kids so they can be thoroughly embarrassed…but show them how rock and roll was meant to be done!

5 thoughts on “Mellencamp

  1. Well you did it again, 4 hours of you tube. Mellencamp then on to the early songs of Bob Dylan and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. And it’s all your fault. The wife is P.O.’d because I wasted the whole afternoon. However I got to relive some of the “Glory Day’s” as Bruce Springstien would say. So THANKS….

  2. You guys are SO cute! That’s a fun date!
    I saw Mellencamp with Shmenky about 26 years ago when I was pregnant with Abby!!! It was quite the show then!

  3. I saw him back when he had Couger tacked on to his name but only for a set during Farm Aid and not an entire concert. I would go see him though if he were close by because like you, I am a child of Mellencamp.

  4. Isn’t it fun to realize that you and Emily will be okay when the kids are grown and out of the nest? You have things you like to do together and have those getaway nights that keep a marriage alive.
    I was never a giant fan of Mellancamp, but I am certain that his songs would take me flying right back to high school and great memories if I attended a concert. I probably know all the words and still don’t claim to be a fan. 😉

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