John's 2011 No Better Than This Fall Tour has been announced! The 16 shows in October and November will take John into cities across the Eastern, Southern and Midwestern regions of the U.S. and Canada. The "evening with" format begins at 7PM with the hour-long documentary movie It's About You, followed by John's performance at 8 PM.
MELLENCAMP'S NO BETTER THAN THIS TOUR DATES SET FOR BOSTON, MONTREAL, INDIANAPOLIS, SAVANNAH, MORE THIS FALL
TICKETS ON SALE AUGUST 5
Concert dates for the next leg of John Mellencamp’s No Better Than This Tour, that began last year in Indiana, have just been announced with performances set this coming October and November in Eastern, Southern and Midwestern markets in the U.S. and Canada. Of special note is the fact that this latest string of No Better Than This Tour dates concludes with a performance at Clowes Memorial Hall in Indianapolis, the site of one of the tour’s earliest stops last year. The Indianapolis Star called that performance "the most forward-thinking road show in Mellencamp’s Hall of Fame career."
Mellencamp’s No Better Than This Tour is just back from a run of dates in Ireland, England, Germany, France, Netherlands, Denmark, Switzerland and Italy. For the most part, the fall dates take the current tour to most cities for the first time since it began. Among these are Montreal, Columbus, Greensboro, Louisville, Hamilton (Ontario) Grand Rapids, Reading, Newark, North Charleston, Knoxville, Green Bay, Rockford and Milwaukee. The 16-date tour begins on October 25 at Boston’s Citi Performing Arts Center Wang Theater and will be making a stop in Savannah, GA at the Johnny Mercer Theater on November 11.
This Savannah show is of extra significance in light of the fact that sessions for Mellencamp’s critically acclaimed No Better Than This album began less than half a mile away at Savannah’s First African Baptist Church. Mellencamp and producer T Bone Burnett would go on to record the rest of the album at Sun Studio in Memphis and in Room 414 of San Antonio's Gunter Hotel where Robert Johnson recorded in 1936. The sessions were documented on a 55-year-old mono tape recorder using just one vintage microphone at each location.
As a reflection of the diversity of styles and material that have been a hallmark of Mellencamp's eclectic career, the No Better Than This concerts are formatted into three segments. These showcase John Mellencamp in an acoustic context, fronting a small combo recalling blues/country and rockabilly roots and with his full rock band. Musicians backing Mellencamp include Michael Wanchic (guitar), Andy York (guitar), Miriam Sturm (violin), John Gunnell (electric and upright bass), Dane Clark (drums and percussion) and Troye Kinnett (accordion/keyboards).
Each of the No Better Than This tour dates will be preceded by a screening of It’s About You, the documentary by filmmakers Kurt and Ian Markus, shot on Super 8, over the course of 2009’s Bob Dylan-John Mellencamp-Willie Nelson tour of minor league baseball stadiums. The hour-long film, both a SXSW Film Festival and Nashville Film Festival selection, chronicles the creation of the No Better Than This album that was recorded on that tour’s off days. The film will be shown at 7 PM at each of the No Better Than This Tour venues so ticket holders are advised to arrive in time to see it.
As was the case with its album namesake, No Better Than This concerts have been the subject of an impressive number of laudatory reviews. A selection of excerpts from those follows.
"Mellencamp's goal in reconfiguring these songs was clear: to establish that underneath the pop-radio polish lurked deep truths about American life. ..he went about his business without abandoning his natural animal magnetism, Mellencamp succeeded. - Los Angeles Times
"Mellencamp gloriously proved that not only is he one of America’s treasures, an incredible singer-songwriter and guitarist, he’s also a master at putting together a set." - Dallas Morning News:
"..a concert that seesawed between facing mortality — full of songs about death — and a stubborn determination to live fully." - New York Times
"..he maintains remarkable vocal strength. It's an instrument that's perfectly suited to a catalogue of songs that aim to provide a voice to a cast of uncelebrated working-class figures." - Richmond Times-Dispatch
"His voice, grainy and loaded with gravitas, remains as compelling and as affective as it was the day he recorded ‘Pink Houses’ in 1983. It’s a voice that’s as distinctive as any of his arguably more famous peers, from Dylan to Springsteen to Petty, and like those
artists, it’s attached to a man who has kept integrity high on his priority list. Johnny Cash once referred to him as one of the ten best songwriters, and Mellencamp’s newer material didn’t disappoint in a live setting." - American Songwriter
"..it was a generous show, giving the fans what they wanted, but also allowing the leader to indulge in a more old-school style. - St Paul Pioneer Press
"This concert was superb from beginning to end, with Mellencamp and his crack band taking a stripped down, neo-folk approach until the last quarter, when he unleashed his rock 'n' roll persona. I'm loath to call anything the best, but if I have to choose, this was the concert of the year in Pittsburgh." - Pittsburgh Tribune
John Mellencamp No Better Than This Tour (Fall 2011 Leg)
Tickets on sale Friday, August 5 at 10 AM Local except as indicated
Oct. 25 - Boston, MA - Citi Performing Arts Center/Wang Theatre *
Oct. 27 - Montreal, QC - Place Des Arts**
Oct. 29 - Hamilton, ON - Hamilton Place Theatre
Nov. 1 - Grand Rapids, MI - DeVos Performance Hall
Nov. 2 - Columbus, OH - Palace Theatre
Nov. 4 - Reading, PA - Sovereign Performing Arts Center
Nov. 5 - Newark, NJ - New Jersey Performing Arts Center
Nov. 6 - Greensboro, NC - War Memorial Auditorium
Nov. 9 - North Charleston, SC - North Charleston Performing Arts Center
Nov. 11 - Savannah, GA - Johnny Mercer Theatre
Nov. 12 - Knoxville, TN - Knoxville Auditorium***
Nov. 13 - Louisville, KY – Louisville Place Theatre**
Nov. 15 - Green Bay, WI - Weidner Center For the Performing Arts
Nov. 16 - Milwaukee, WI - Riverside Theater
Nov. 18 - Rockford, IL - Coronado Performing Arts Center
Nov. 19 - Indianapolis, IN - Clowes Memorial Hall
* Tickets on sale Friday, August 12 at 10 AM Local
** Tickets on sale Friday, August 5 at 12 Noon Local
*** Tickets on sale Friday, August 19 at 11 AM Local