–by Keith Brake
This past Tuesday John Mellencamp brought “The John Mellencamp Show” to a nearly sold out Stifel Theater and Midwest Rewind was fortunate enough to be there. While this review will be rather abbreviated as I was only granted a photo pass for the first three songs, I was able to see enough to know that the rock icon is still on top of his game.
John had no supporting act for this show but rather a short film to help educate his fans on where he came from, his tribulations and successes and his views on life. I found the short film to both enjoyable and informative as it readied the crowd for the impending performance.
As the film came to a close and the band readied to take the stage, a request for all cell phones to be turned off was issued so the crowd would be fully focused on the performance. Unlike Jack White, Mr. Mellencamp did not make his guests check their phones at the door but it was understood that they were not to be taken out during the concert.
The crowd rose to their feet as the band took the stage and gave a rousing applause when John came into view. During my short time at this performance two things were quite obvious to me, one being that John still has that voice and sound that we have all come to appreciate. Secondly, this show seems to be designed for long time loyal Mellencamp fans. What I mean by this is that the focus is on the music, no big production and John does not seem to be too interested in doing much more than delivering his iconic songs to his loyals in the highest quality possible. If you know anything about Mellencamp this is the norm as he is well known for being very unapologetically nothing more than what he is, take it or leave it.
If you are a tried and true Mellencamp fan then I would say this tour would be right up your alley as John and his band will provide you with an evening of his music played to near perfection with very few distractions. In contrast to the last statement if you need to be wowed with large production and a stage full of grandeur, this is probably not your scene.
Remaining tour dates can be found at www.mellencamp.com and if you are a hardcore Mellencamp loyalist I would recommend finding a date near you and take in the evening as you will have an intimate, unimpeded evening with John and his band.
Thanks for your continued support of Midwest Rewind, until next time.