Apparently, 2,800 John Mellencamp fans don't even know how his biggest hit goes (review)
By Chris Baker
Apparently, even 2,800 of John Mellencamp's most loyal fans don't know how his biggest hit goes.
As the Heartland rocker strummed the opening chords to "Jack & Diane," early in his two-hour set Friday night, the sold-out crowd at the Landmark Theatre roared along, eagerly singing every word. After his first verse, they collectively belted, "Oh yeah, life goes on, long after the thrill of living is gone!"
Mellencamp stopped the song and chuckled.
"Songs generally have two verses then a chorus," Mellencamp explained, patiently. "You guys are jumping ahead and singing the chorus. So we'll do the second verse then I'll cue you."
The crowd loved it. Clearly it wasn't the first time an audience had jumped the gun. Mellencamp played on, seemingly amused and wholly unfazed.
So went the evening, with Mellencamp playing a bit, then giving the crowd advice or sharing stories and words of wisdom. He outlined his set early on: "We're going to do some songs you know, some you don't know. Some you can sing along to and some you can dance to."
The crowd echoed Mellencamp's crispy folk-rock voice on old favorites like "Small Town" and "Pink Houses." They sat listening while he played newer tunes like "Longest Days." They boomed during an energetic fiddle/accordion duet. And they danced when it came time for "Crumblin' Down."
The evening provided a melting pot of rock, folk, country, patriotism and protest you'd be hard-pressed to find in a younger generation of rock 'n roll. A guest appearance by opener Carlene Carter (daughter of June) sprinkled in some angelic female vocals.
Mellencamp's band wore matching black and white suits. The guitarists played red, over-sized hollow bodies. A handful of yellow and blue lights shrouded the minimalist set in subdued light. At first glance, you might have thought it was a scene from the Enchantment Under the Sea dance.
But that seemed to be the vibe Mellencamp was going for -- a middle-America barn dance from a bygone era of good ol' rock 'n roll. You know, when a sport was a sport and groovin' was groovin'. The tour, after all, is dubbed "Plain Spoken" after an upcoming album of the same name.
And that's exactly what it was. John Mellencamp: Plain-spoken and simple, like good ol' rock 'n roll.http://www.syracuse.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2015/05/john_mellencamp_landmark_theatre_review.html