AXS.com: John Mellencamp Comes To The Devos Hall In Grand Rapids, MI: Review
John Mellencamp brought his Plain Spoken Tour to the Devos Hall in Grand Rapids, Michigan on June 2, 2015. Carlene Carter, the daughter of June Carter Cash, opened the show with a nice long set that evening. She shared anecdotes and stories between songs that had the crowd laughing and entertained. She played songs such as "The Storms Are on the Ocean" and "Black Jack David." She also talked about her mother June passing away and sang a tribute song for her mother, stepfather Johnny Cash and her sister Rosey called "Lonesome Valley." Carlene was entertaining and charming and a real treat for the audience.
Fans eagerly awaited for John Mellencamp to make his entrance to the stage. He came out with the same charm and confidence he has always had. Mellencamp owned the stage. He started off playing two songs from his Plain Spoken album from 2014 including "Troubled Times" and "Lawless Times." He was soon playing old favorites like "Small Town" and "Jack and Diane." He played an acoustic version of "Jack and Diane" encouraging the fans to help him sing it. Mellencamp has a way of speaking to the audience that really draws them in and makes them want to hear everything he has to say. The audience seemed to enjoy singing along and even messed up one the verses causing Mellencamp to tease them about it. It was clear the audience was having a great time.
Mellencamp went on to play songs like "Paper and Fire", "Rain on the Scarecrow", "Crumbling Down" and the "Authority Song." All big hits in his younger days and had the fans singing along.
Mellencamp took a moment and talked about working with Stephen King and invited Carlene Carter back on stage to sing a few numbers from the musical they have collaborated on. Despite being music that most of the fans were unfamiliar with, it was very charming to see Mellencamp and Carter singing together.
Mellencamp continued to tell more heartwarming stories about his grandmother who called him "Buddy" and his son, as well as, some nostalgic memories he has had with his band members. He followed this with more fan favorites like "Check it Out" and "Pink Houses."
John Mellencamp is an amazing singer and storyteller. He kept the audience hanging on every word and singing and dancing with his music. As a performer he has gotten better than ever and his shows are a great experience for the fans.