By Jenn Peake - The Daily Musician
American Rocker John Mellencamp not only played one heck of an amazing show on Saturday September 29th to a sold out crowd but he came back and did it again the very next night to a packed venue. Now as I sit here having a tea in my new John Mellencamp mug, I think back to how lucky I was to have been raised in a family that had such a love for music. People often say “oh you’re too young to know that singer” but I always surprise them with my vast knowledge of artists and songs. My mother raised me on a big mixture of music from ABBA, Elton John, Michael Jackson to John Mellencamp, Terri Clark and George Strait just to name a few. When I heard John was coming to Halifax, the first thing I did was call my mom and as soon as they went on sale we got tickets.
James and I covered the event on Saturday night and on Sunday I attended the show with my family. I don’t know just the right words to describe just how great he was. He came out in his coveralls, signature hair and told the crowd after the first few songs that tonight we would hear some songs we knew, some songs we didn’t know, some songs we could sing along with and some we could dance to.
His show was different than most concerts you attend, he didn’t have an opening act but instead played a homemade movie of his story from Johnny Cougar to John Mellencamp. The show was exactly 90 minutes and he left the stage and didn’t do an encore. Some people may say “I can’t believe he didn’t do an encore”, but I say “WOW, that was absolutely incredible”.
John started to play “Jack & Diane” and the crowd started cheering then singing. He sang the first verse and the crowd started the chorus… John stops playing while shaking his head, the crowd laughs and John says ” That’s not right, I was counting on you guys to guide me through this but I know there are two verses before that one”. I had to take a quick video just to hear the entire Halifax Forum singing. He stepped away from the mic during the chorus just to play and listen to all his fans singing to him. It was such a great experience.
As soon as the music started for ” Crumblin’ down”, everyone started running up to the stage to dance where they stayed for the last few songs! We rocked out to that song along with “Authority Song” one of my personal favourites. He rocked the Halifax Forum like it’s never been before, I hope he comes back again in the not so distant future.
As he finished his final song, every single person was on their feet cheering for him. He stood on the stage, saying thank you as the lights shined on the audience and he stood there for a good solid minute just taking it all in. I found myself doing the same, I was amazed as I looked around the forum to the packed house on their feet, giving John the praise he deserved for one fantastic show. Growing up to these musicians and their songs then getting to see them live will forever hold a special place in my memories. Thank you John Mellencamp for two incredible nights in Halifax. We can’t wait to have you back.