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04/29/2019 - “I don’t think that anybody in 1975 imagined that we would still be doing this today,” John Mellencamp stated near the end of a 25 minute documentary video that served as an overview of his long career which preceded his performance at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland Thursday night, adding “The longevity of this is surprising.”

But over four decades later, the artist initially branded as John Cougar by his record company against his will has more than established his own identity, and earned universal respect for a career that’s seen over 40 million album sales worldwide on the way to induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Read More

04/22/2019 - John Mellencamp, even at age 67, is still kind of a punk.

Not a punk in the mohawk, slam-dancing, Sex Pistols way, but in the way old-timers used to eyeball a certain sort of long-haired, cigarette-smoking loudmouth and mutter "damn punk" at what he saw as a harbinger of society's collapse.

At his packed concert at Spokane's First Interstate Center for the Arts Saturday night, Mellencamp proved to still be the kind of guy who revels in stirring shit up. Whether it was calling the folks screaming during the show's quieter moments "motherf—-ers," or including point-blank political commentary in favor of Black Lives Matter (including taking a knee) and the working poor in his between-song banter and videos, Mellencamp still loves to fight authority, as one of his biggest hits says, and he comes out grinnin'. Read More
04/22/2019 - Before he took the stage Saturday at the First Interstate Center for the Arts, John Mellencamp sent fans on a trip down memory lane via a documentary detailing the ups and downs of his lengthy career.

“I don’t think in 1975 anybody would have imagined that we’d be doing this today,” he’s heard saying as photos of a young Mellencamp flash on screen. “The longevity of this is surprising. It’s all been a happy accident.”

The documentary touched on the health scares that led to Mellencamp taking a break from life on the road and the impact of Mellencamp’s music over the years. Read More
04/16/2019 - John Mellencamp is our voice.

He wears coveralls with the sleeves rolled up, showing off his tattoos. Onstage, he chews gum, his hair slicked back. And he talks like us too, his voice with a plain Midwestern accent, a quick joke and the occasional f-bomb.

He looks like, sounds like, seems like 1,000 guys sitting in 1,000 small-town bars.

But unlike most of us regular people, Mellencamp has the uncanny ability to say things in a plainspoken way that expresses and explains our lives in a universal way. Read More
04/01/2019 - Mellencamp came to the stage with “Lawless Times”, a song about the current state of life in the U.S. from streaming music to the Catholic church. John has always been regarded as a musical spokesman for the Midwest, but the reason his music resonates across the nation is that he writes about the human condition in America. Read Vicky Sullivan's Sarasota Post review after the jump. Read More
03/30/2019 - For a few minutes after the house lights went dark Friday night at Ruth Eckerd Hall, some 2,100 fans could’ve been forgiven for wondering: Wait, where is John Mellencamp going?

Before Mellencamp took the stage in Clearwater, he screened a cinematic 24-minute film looking back at his career and philosophy on music, replete with sweeping shots of combines, cornfields and slo-mo brush strokes on canvas – a Koyaanisqatsian tone poem on artistic expression in America. Read the complete Clearwater show review after the jump. Read More
03/25/2019 - It really wasn't supposed to work out this way. John Mellencamp was hoping to become a painter. To help pay for art school he would sing in bands and ultimately he was discovered in the mid-seventies. Soon he would be marketed as a hot commodity leading to eventual rock stardom. That tale was told during a short documentary film shown before John's first of two sold-out concerts at the Ryman Auditorium on March 19, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. Read the complete Ryman Auditorium review after jump. Read More
03/14/2019 - Not many concerts come with a kind of spoken-word user’s manual, but John Mellencamp’s show Tuesday night at Stifel Theatre did. “Here’s the way this is gonna go down tonight,” he said a few songs into his 100-minute performance. “We’re gonna do some songs you know, some songs you don’t know, some songs you can sing along with and some songs you can dance to.”

He noted there would also be some quieter moments and said, “If you’re one of those (expletives) that need to scream during the quiet section, can you please go out in the hallway and do that?” That’s the kind of announcement nearly every concert could use. Read More
02/26/2019 - There was no opening act on this tour, and this marked his second out of three consecutive shows at New York's Beacon Theatre.

The concert began with a video presentation about Mellencamp's journey and how he came from humble beginnings in Indiana. This clip underscored that his motivations derive from his ability to create, whether it is on canvas as a painter, or with his music. Read More
02/26/2019 - As John Mellencamp’s concert tour continues to roll across the country, the rocker has been making it clear where he stands on “take a knee” protests.

During Monday night’s show, the first of three at New York City’s Beacon Theater, Mellencamp knelt onstage at the completion of his song, “Easy Target,” which offers the singer’s views on society’s treatment of minorities and the poor.

“Well, let the poor be damned, and the easy targets too,” Mellencamp sang. “All are created equal, equally beneath me and you.” Read More
02/22/2019 - One cue that this wouldn’t be the typical concert was its billing as “The John Mellencamp Show” and the note that it would start promptly at 8 p.m.

The lights at the Providence Performing Arts Center dimmed at exactly that hour Friday night for a 15-minute biographical film about the 67-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer featuring clips of interviews, American Bandstand and MTV appearances and his disembodied voice talking about an industry that made him change his name, tried to direct his music and contributed to his heart attack at the age of 42.

The film stoked the audience for the arrival of Mellencamp and his six-piece band. Read the complete Providence show review after the jump. Read More
02/18/2019 - On February 15, 2019, John Mellencamp and his bandmates brought their storytelling show of rock, folk, and blues to Peoria, Illinois. The largest city on the Illinois River, with a population of approximately 120,000, Peoria dwarfs the “small town” of Mellencamp’s origin – Seymour, Indiana – but it shares with Seymour the qualification of “where they are not,” as in the advice Mellencamp recalls Pete Seeger giving him for creative longevity, “Go where they are not.” Read David Masciotra's complete Peoria, IL show review after the jump. Read More
02/11/2019 - After more than forty years of making music, John Mellencamp has solidly come into his own. In Mellencamp’s early years, his management tried to mold him into a rock star and tagged him with a series of names that he’s still shaking off Read More
02/10/2019 - On Thursday, John Mellencamp took the stage in South Bend to promote the release of his 24th studio album, “Other People’s Stuff.” Mellencamp has been writing and performing his own songs for over 40 years, since his first professional album in 1976. The setlist was well-organized with a few songs to introduce the tone of the show, a nostalgic section, a part for rumination on life and the passage of time, some political commentary, an anti-authority segment and feel-good closers. Read the complete Morris Performing Arts Center review after the jump. Read More
02/10/2019 - There is something almost weirdly dispiriting about hearing a theater full of people decades past high school sing along to a chorus of a song that goes “Life goes on long after the thrill of living is gone.”

Yet John Mellencamp led that chorus from his biggest hit from 37 years ago, “Jack & Diane,” Friday night at the Riverside Theater to a nearly packed house. It’s to his credit that Mellencamp has become a legacy rocker who doesn’t so much romanticize his and his listeners’ lives as reflect them without much in the way of aspiration—and that his music retains enough resonance among enough of an audience so long after being an MTV mainstay to fill the Riverside. Read More
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