&nbBy Markos Papadatos - Digital Journal
This tour was in support of his latest studio album, the critically-acclaimed
Sad Clowns & Hillbillies. Acclaimed songstresses Carlene Carter and Emmylou
Harris served as his opening acts.
Similar to his show at the iHeartRadio Theater in New York, Mellencamp opened his set at Forest Hills Stadium with "Lawless Times," and it was followed by "John Cockers" and "Minutes to Memories," both of which featured his trademark raspy voice.
He showed his perennial ability to rock on the endearing classic "Small Town," which garnered an enormous response from the Forest Hills audience, as blue lights dimmed from the stage. Mellencamp continued with "Stones in My Passway" and the autobiographical "Pop Singer."
While "Check It Out" was impressive, the highlight vocal of the night that captivated Forest Hills Stadium was his solo, acoustic version of "Jack & Diane," where every audience member was singing along with him.
Carlene Carter was delightful singing Martina McBride's part in "Grandview," and she stayed on stage and joined Mellencamp and Emmylou Harris on a stunning collation of "My Soul's Got Wings," which was a harmony masterclass.
Miriam Sturm from his band showed her prowess on violin on the haunting "Easy Target." It was followed by "Overture," "Rain on the Scarecrow," and "Paper in Fire," prior to taking his fans on a trip down memory lane to 1983 with the spitfire "Crumblin' Down."
After the infectious "Authority Song," where everybody was dancing along, he closed with his signature song "Pink Houses," where he was joined with Carlene Carter, and "Cherry Bomb."
Overall, John Mellencamp was superlative at Forest Hills Stadium in Queens for one fun night of rock and roll. It is evident that his hits are timeless, and they will stand the test of time, and his new music was remarkable. He was able to put on a bad-ass live show in Forest Hills that garnered an A rating.