...write semi-true reviews about their tour kick-off show.
~from our local paper. JM's friend is the reporter.
On the 29th of October my kids were hosting their dress up Halloween party from 6-11 p.m. The night before I was up until the wee-wee hours of the morning working on costume finishing touches. The day of, I was busy buying food, preparing food and helping with last minute decorations. By the time the party started, I was ready to sit down or maybe even go to bed!
At 8:10, a good friend called my husband. He had scored excellent tickets late that afternoon for the Mellencamp concert which was starting at 8:30. Unfortunately for our friend, he hadn't checked with his wife about what she had on her plate for that night so he'd have to go alone unless my husband could join him.
My husband had spent six hours on the road and another four plus hours in meetings that day. He'd be up for some fun, except he said to our friend that really, I was the bigger John Mellencamp fan. I thought both my DH and our friend were pulling my leg. Seriously, the concert part of Mellencamp's show started in less than 20 minutes!
Twenty minutes later, my husband dropped me off close to the auditorium, I went through security and waited for our friend to show up.
My friend had scored INCREDIBLE tickets! Third row, center...just 20 feet from the stage. All the pictures here were taken by my friend with his iPhone.
My take on the concert would be that it was very dark and filled with sadness as the artist expressed his emotions on life and death; heavily emphasizing the death part. Mellencamp is at a very different stage in his life and it shows in his music. The concert was good, but it was not at all what the fans were expecting. Certainly the artist's intention was to share his "art". Several times as JM paused to reflect on a song, shouts from the crowd would beg to hear an old familiar classic. When those classics finally were played...and it was only a hand full of them, mostly they were changed up melodically. Jack and Diane sounded like it had a calypso influence. Odd. Different. But it worked! I liked it.
Overall I enjoyed this concert. I get where JM is coming from as a soul who has experienced death in ones close to me. It sounded like JM realizes he's not invincible and although not ready to call it quits, has made his peace with his part of the life cycle. I can't help but wonder what the reviewers in other cities will say about this concert? Will fans truly appreciate the art of this concert? I am recalling a few years ago when one of my DH's and my favorite rock band, Van Halen was "re-born" and we very much wanted to take our teenage son to experience Edward's guitar greatness. Being able to have our son hear those old favorites, live, cemented a new generation of Van Halen fans in our household; butter for the Van Halen bread. I don't think anyone taking their teenager to experience JM on this tour will walk away with the same feelings.
Three things that bothered me most about the concert didn't even have anything to do with the music. Living in this small-ish town that the artist does, I realize that JM has heart problems. Yet, when he took a three-minute break guess what smell filled the auditorium? Did I see him smoking? Not this time...pretty sure he did though. The other two items that annoyed me...he spit on stage and later took a piece of gum out of his mouth and tossed it away. YUCK! I guess I hold icons up to higher standards than us regular folk.
I didn't walk away from this concert feeling happy and loving life. I'm glad my friend's wife, who lost her mom just a year ago couldn't attend this concert. Maybe next time JM can be a little less of an "artist" and a little more of a "performer." For the fans you know. Just saying...
Would I like to own JM latest album? Yep. Like I said, I can relate to this stage in his life. That part makes me feel like even an icon has the same feelings about the world as little old me.