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Lynyrd1967
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« on: July 11, 2011, 04:52:08 am »

First of all: I'm a Mellencamp fan since I was 14. Now I'm 44.
Second thing: I'm Italian, from Rome and, as everybody knows,  it has been the first time for me, since I listen to John's music, that I have the chance to see him in Italy on tour.
I've seen him at the Wembley Arena in 1992 (the Whenever we wanted Tour) and so I was wearing proudly a black official t-shirt of that tour (I'm proud to say I was the one and only).
I guess Mike Wanchic recognized that t-shirt, when I met him yesterday at the sound check. He was embracing one  of his beautiful Gretsch guitars (looked like a G6112 Chet Atkins).
I was so excited that I couldn't even talk.
But... let's talk about the concert.
The location is nothing special (the Cavea, a small open space for about 3000 people) so we had to wait until 9.20 p.m. to see the programmed movie after sundown.
The event hasn't been a sold-out. Maybe the local promoter didn't make a good job, I don't know.
Very few people had the opportunity to understand the meaning of the film (Italians are not generally confident with English speaking).
No subtitles, no translation.... so the audience became impatient and started whistling and "booing". What a sin. They didn't want to watch the movie at all.
I understand them but I can't justify them.
In my opinion that movie intended to report a "coming back to the roots of American culture and music": it's exactily what JM does in every artistic project so I was glad, as a musician, to understand what does it mean, for an American artist, recording with the original analog equipment Elvis used before him at the Sun Studios in Memphis TN. I'd give a leg or a arm to feel that sensation of pure R'n'R.
The movie showed me why I love JM's music so much, the same way I love Woody Ghutrie, Bob Dylan, Bob Seger, Tom Petty and many others.
When I listen to "Small town" and "Rain on the scarecrow" I understand the almost "religious" love John feels for the "simple man who pays the bills and the pills that kill".

BUT!
ONE HOUR AND TEN MINUTES OF LIVE PLAYED MUSIC the first time he comes to Rome....
I must admit, by the moment I'm a Little Bastard too: I am disappointed.
John has not communicated with the audience but with his songs. Not a word except for the lyrics of his songs he have sung.
To me, the concert had his best moments when he has played acoustic: Yeah, He's still a young lion (the same way I wanna be) and I'm proud to be a fan of his and to say that he influenced me and my music since a kid of 14 years old listened to him for the first time on a rock'n'roll station.
But the audience wasn't me and they warmed up jumping from their seats only at the end, when the band started "Crumbling down", running down under the stage (I did it too).
After that song... "R.O.C.K. in the USA" and he flew away with his band!!!
After 1 hour and 10 minutes.
I don't know but I felt like there was something between him and the audience... I felt like in John's heart no spark could or would start the fire of a new love for a new audience.
He did his show and goodbye (without saying that neither).
Bob Dylan is a real funny guy, compared to him.
I love JM's music, I will keep to buy his records and follow him around Europe but, in my opinion, I won't have the chance to see him in Italy again 'cause I guess he won't come back here.
It's just a sensation, I can't read JM's mind, but I don't think he will miss Italy and, 30 years later his first (and last) italian TV appearence, Italian people (except the fans like me, obviously) won't miss him too.
Who's to blame?



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Alex
Tramp69
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« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2011, 06:39:01 am »

I feel so sorry for you. According to a fan who went to the show the night before he played there also only for 70 minutes. That is shame!

By the way: I used to have that same T-Shirt from the "Whemever we wanted tour 1992"! I threw it away a few years ago, donīt ask me why! Angry

It seems that JM doesnīt care at all about anything and anyone but himself. That is really sad.
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Lynyrd1967
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« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2011, 07:01:36 am »

I feel so sorry for you. According to a fan who went to the show the night before he played there also only for 70 minutes. That is shame!

By the way: I used to have that same T-Shirt from the "Whemever we wanted tour 1992"! I threw it away a few years ago, donīt ask me why! Angry

It seems that JM doesnīt care at all about anything and anyone but himself. That is really sad.

I don't see it in your pessimistic way.
I guess there were some negative cohincidences which played against the event.
The location, the lacal promotion, maybe personal prejudices about Italian audience. I don't know.
I just would let John know that, though he didn't came in Italy for more that 30 years, there are many loyal Italian fans who love him and his music. I don't want to criticize the man behind the artist.
Everybody may have a bad day.
I'm talking about the 44 years old young lion who waits for this moment a whole life and the whole matter leaves me like I had a "coitus interruptus".
That's all.
Long live John Mellencam and his music.

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Alex
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« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2011, 07:33:08 am »

Quote
so the audience became impatient and started whistling and "booing". What a sin. They didn't want to watch the movie at all.
I understand them but I can't justify them

Just a guess, But I gather when John hears booing he's not gonna go on stage in the best mood. Wink


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Lynyrd1967
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« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2011, 08:16:36 am »

Quote
so the audience became impatient and started whistling and "booing". What a sin. They didn't want to watch the movie at all.
I understand them but I can't justify them

Just a guess, But I gather when John hears booing he's not gonna go on stage in the best mood. Wink



You might be right but you too understand that Italian fans didn't wait 30 years just to see a 1 hour and 15 minutes movie, waiting patiently, after the projection, the dismantling of the movie screen and a drum leathers tuning. I liked the movie and the felling I guess JM intended to express in it ( I'm a first hour fan) but I can understand people who want to partecipate to a live music event and pay for this 65€ (not little money for common people who like R'n'R considering the hard times we're living in the world nowdays) and expect to see a live R'n'R show.
Honestly I suggest John to get back to the roots of American music with a 2 hours live concert showing us what a kinda fella he is and leave to each of his fans to buy a good "It's about you" DVD movie. I surely would just the way I did with the luxury edition of "On the Rural Route".
But when people go to a live show, as any musician knows (me too), they expect to scream their souls out in a live concert. In other case any musician can deserve people booing. I'm sorry to say that, John isn't immune to this rule. Wink
 
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Alex
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« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2011, 08:28:29 am »

So happy for you to finally see JM in your homeland, but sorry to hear that it wasn't all a positive experience.

Just a thought......if it was an outdoor venue and they had to wait for the sun to go down before starting the movie, would there have been a curfew?  I know a lot of local authorities have noise restrictions, so maybe this is the reason the show was so much shorter than they have been.
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Lynyrd1967
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« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2011, 08:46:42 am »

So happy for you to finally see JM in your homeland, but sorry to hear that it wasn't all a positive experience.

Just a thought......if it was an outdoor venue and they had to wait for the sun to go down before starting the movie, would there have been a curfew?  I know a lot of local authorities have noise restrictions, so maybe this is the reason the show was so much shorter than they have been.

I thought about it and I guess you're right. That's why I call into question the local promotion. If this was the problem (the curefew you're writing about), maybe the local promoters and John's tour staff could have chosen not to project the movie to leave more space to the live act.
Anyway... let's look forward now. I'm gonna listen to the Lonesome Jubilee and I'll look back to my yesterday's meeting with Mike Wanchic during the sound check.
I'm a guitar player too. What else better could have happened to me? Maybe singing R.O.C.K. in USA with John himself!!!!  Grin

 
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Alex
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« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2011, 08:53:55 am »

Quote
Maybe singing R.O.C.K. in USA with John himself!!!!  


Video of R.O.C.K in rome Smiley

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1YqcMPrnK9A&feature=youtu.be
« Last Edit: July 11, 2011, 09:02:05 am by Mellenfan71 » Logged
Tramp69
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« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2011, 10:08:37 am »

So happy for you to finally see JM in your homeland, but sorry to hear that it wasn't all a positive experience.

Just a thought......if it was an outdoor venue and they had to wait for the sun to go down before starting the movie, would there have been a curfew?  I know a lot of local authorities have noise restrictions, so maybe this is the reason the show was so much shorter than they have been.

Of course, that could be, but if this really is the case then thatīs one more argument against that stupid package with that movie. You donīt pay 80 Euros for a 65-minutes-boring-selfpraising movie and a 70 minute concert. Come on, everybody knows that the sun goes down late in summer and that there might be a curfew! It was obviously the same at the concert in Vigevano the night before.
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turmbird
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« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2011, 05:27:04 pm »

sorry guys, but itīs this discussion that is stupid not the package or the movie. i often wonder about how people see the relationship between artist and audience, and how people think that they have the right to demand anything just because they pay for a ticket. like "i paid a lot of money for it and therefore he should do this and that...", as if the artist were the employee.
that is ridiculous in my opinion. who are we to say how he should start a show, what songs he should play and how long? itīs his show that we attend and not our show in which he appears as a guest. he is the man and makes the decisions. itīs like paying for a sports event and thinking to be the coach or athlete. if a spectator knows it better, go and do it.

to all people who are so angry because of the film, I can only say that you dont understand Mellencampīs music. it may be too long, but apart from this, itīs a highly interesting movie with pictures and notes that are rare to see.
after all these years not touring europe, itīs simply a pleasure to see him live on stage again, may it be for one song or one hour doesnīt matter.
van morrison in a bad mood used to play only for 45minutes, who cares? we all saw dylan playing his songs in a way that nobody could recognize them, so what? i am glad they are all different and dont play a concert like a tv show. itīs live and this includes the artistīs feelings as well. i always liked Johnīs attitude of not fitting in and doing what people expect him to do.this is rock nīroll for me and not playing 3 hours of old hits.
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Tramp69
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« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2011, 02:40:58 am »

Nobody wants to tell JM what to do, neither do I. But JM doesnīt care at all about the people (fans) who made him what he is today. Without people buying his music and attending his shows, he would be nobody!

It is obvious, that he has totally lost contact to his fans. He is an arrogant musician, who makes great music but as a person I donīt want to meet him. I bet you guys all have read the book "Born in a small town" from Heather Johnson. Maybe only half of it is true, but ask most of the musicians who worked with him and they will mostly agree that he sure is a Little Bastard. And this tour through Europe proves it. Most of the shows in Europe werenīt sold out, I suppose because of the high ticket prices. He then often behaves like an arrogant asshole and wonders himself that he gets booed. And what happened last night? He cancelled last nightīs show in Udine! Of course I donīt know the reason for it but itīs pretty obvious that he is pissed that he canīt sell out his shows and that people booed him almost every evening, especially in Rome and Vigevano where he only played for 70 minutes! I would boo anyone, even Bob Dylan and Van Morrison, who plays that short, especially when there is a movie ahead that is almost longer than the show!

I bet he will never ever return to Europe (which is very sad) but for me he himself is to be blamed for that. This whole tour is the logical consequence of JMs marketing strategy of the last few years: The 4-CD-Box Rural Route was way overpriced, ticket prices were overpriced, the coast of CDs at his shows (25 Euros!!!) was overpriced! Suddenly he sells his songs to TV-commericials! For me itīs very clear that he just came over to Europe to make (more) money, not to to bring his music to his europe fans. He noticed that it didnīt work out and now he is pissed.

I used to be a huge Mellencamp-Fan and own all of his CDs. I even traveled to Seymour, IN, in hope to meet him in 1992  Wink, I even paid 65 Euros for the Boxset, but this tour, as great as the show itself in Berlin was, makes me as a longtime fan very angry and sad. Of course, I keep on listening to his music but I will never attend one of his shows because thatīs not the way you treat your fans.

Tramp69, a very dissapointed fan
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Lynyrd1967
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« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2011, 03:50:56 am »

Hi everybody.
I didn't want to feed an angry discussion.
I have appreciated the movie and the concert too.
I'm just saying that I consider the live act too short.
I didn't expect the old hits because I guess to know JM's attitude and I feel confident with it because I got used with Bob Dylan, who is very worse than John.
It's a matter of fact that JM doesn't like Italy. Udine cancellation is the main prove to this.
John could have imagined that he's that famous here buy the moment he never did a concert in Italy for about 35 years of his great career.
But the few audiences he got here are really his fans who never had the chanche to see one of his live shows (I don't talk about myself 'cause I did).
If I could walk in his shoes I would remember this and I would make the Italian audience sweat for 2 hours at least dancing with my music.
I'm trying to say to John, with the real affection of a not famous songwriter: remember, it's only Rock'n'Roll, don't take it so seriously. Though we were few to come and see him, we were so damn good.
So the next time you'll come and do a show here in Rome (I reallly hope I will) make us dance the night away, because after the show we're gonna be all Jack and Diane, trying to do the best we can to live a life of bills, thrills and pills that kill.
I don't wanna be dramatic, I loved the even itself but please, all of you, American rock'n'rollers who are reading me now: for almost everybody here it was the first time we had the chance to see him live in 35 years. So try to walk in our shoes for a little while.
Hope you understand the disappointment we're talking about here.
Bye to everybody and thanks 4 yer understanding.
Keep on rocking!
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Lynyrd1967
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« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2011, 07:44:42 am »

Forgot to post the tracklist. Wink
1) Authority Song
2) No One Cares About Me,
3) John Cockers
4) Walk Tall
5) Check It Out
6) Save Some Time To Dream
7) Cherry Bomb
Cool Jack and Diane
9) Jackie Brown
10)Longest Days
11)Small Town
12)Rain On The Scarecrow
13)Crumbling Down
14)If I Die Sudden
15)Pink Houses
16)Rock in the USA
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Alex
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« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2011, 08:20:04 am »

Just want to add my two cents to ths discussion: I am a long time italian fan and I was at the concert in Rome,  my 7th Mellencamp gig in my music listener career. I've seen him playing in Bloomington, in Cleveland, at the Farm Aid so I think I have a "benchmark" to compare last night experience at the Auditorium.

First of all who says that maybe there was a "curfew" problem is absolutely right but the curfew time is set at midnight and he finished well before that time.

The venue: the Auditorium's Cavea is a wonderful space right under the Auditorium's domes built by Renzo Piano. It's an excellent, albeit not huge, place to play and listen music. Several international artists play there every summer without complaining. So venue was not a factor.

The audience: I guess not everybody was aware of the way this tour was conceived. Some people tought they were going to listen to the 80's Mellencamp 30 years after. Shame on them but also shame to the organization who is responsible for the less than impressive number of people that gathered for the show. I've seen no billboards in the city, heard no radio advertising, the press simply ignored the concert. In fact the weekly local guide to the events taking place in Rome, published by the most important italian newspaper "La Repubblica", at the day Sunday July 10th they basically ignored the event and suggested the Cindy Lauper concert that took place on the same venue the day after!

The movie: while I've found the movie very interesting I'm also puzzled by the choice. First because you can't show a documentary without subtitles in a latin country. That's what fuelled the booing from some of the people. A behaviour  unexcusable and unpolite but not totally unpredictable.
But the real drag of the movie is that it basically played to the audience the same songs they were going to listen live! I can't believe nobody in the management noticed this...

The concert: I was totally satisfied by the show, the new versions of many songs we were used to listen in another "dress" but yes, the setlist felt short and not because JM is not entitled to cut his performance shorter but because the concert ended when the audience was starting to have fun.

The attitude: Mellencamp is not a "crowd pleaser", this is widely know. Even in different situations I've never heard him say to the public more than a few "thank you". But Sunday night he was clearly pissed off. Something must have happened otherwise I couldn't imagine him not addressing the crowd of a city where he never played.

To sum up I think of this as a wasted opportunity. JM had the chance to make himself know in a country where he never played, to start a link or quoting his own words: "to have fun and maybe have something that somebody might discover".

In the end HE was not discovered by the italian audience, and this for me, an italian that discovered him long time ago and who knows his talent is a deep sorrow.

Edoardo

PS my review of the concert, in italian, is in my blog : Cronosisma http://wp.me/pPm70-gh

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Lynyrd1967
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« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2011, 09:01:08 am »

Just want to add my two cents to ths discussion: I am a long time italian fan and I was at the concert in Rome,  my 7th Mellencamp gig in my music listener career. I've seen him playing in Bloomington, in Cleveland, at the Farm Aid so I think I have a "benchmark" to compare last night experience at the Auditorium.

First of all who says that maybe there was a "curfew" problem is absolutely right but the curfew time is set at midnight and he finished well before that time.

The venue: the Auditorium's Cavea is a wonderful space right under the Auditorium's domes built by Renzo Piano. It's an excellent, albeit not huge, place to play and listen music. Several international artists play there every summer without complaining. So venue was not a factor.

The audience: I guess not everybody was aware of the way this tour was conceived. Some people tought they were going to listen to the 80's Mellencamp 30 years after. Shame on them but also shame to the organization who is responsible for the less than impressive number of people that gathered for the show. I've seen no billboards in the city, heard no radio advertising, the press simply ignored the concert. In fact the weekly local guide to the events taking place in Rome, published by the most important italian newspaper "La Repubblica", at the day Sunday July 10th they basically ignored the event and suggested the Cindy Lauper concert that took place on the same venue the day after!

The movie: while I've found the movie very interesting I'm also puzzled by the choice. First because you can't show a documentary without subtitles in a latin country. That's what fuelled the booing from some of the people. A behaviour  unexcusable and unpolite but not totally unpredictable.
But the real drag of the movie is that it basically played to the audience the same songs they were going to listen live! I can't believe nobody in the management noticed this...

The concert: I was totally satisfied by the show, the new versions of many songs we were used to listen in another "dress" but yes, the setlist felt short and not because JM is not entitled to cut his performance shorter but because the concert ended when the audience was starting to have fun.

The attitude: Mellencamp is not a "crowd pleaser", this is widely know. Even in different situations I've never heard him say to the public more than a few "thank you". But Sunday night he was clearly pissed off. Something must have happened otherwise I couldn't imagine him not addressing the crowd of a city where he never played.

To sum up I think of this as a wasted opportunity. JM had the chance to make himself know in a country where he never played, to start a link or quoting his own words: "to have fun and maybe have something that somebody might discover".

In the end HE was not discovered by the italian audience, and this for me, an italian that discovered him long time ago and who knows his talent is a deep sorrow.

Edoardo

PS my review of the concert, in italian, is in my blog : Cronosisma http://wp.me/pPm70-gh


Ciao Edoardo. Grazie. thanks for your post. I totally agree with your point of view, with the exception for your opinion on the roman location, the Cavea, expecially if comparaded to places like the Apollo in London or the Olympia in Paris.

Anyway, every single word you wrote is my opinion too. Usless to say I am and I will always be a JM's fan, though I've been just a little bit disappointed by the leght of his concert in Rome.

A great concert, indeed.

For the interested ones I've posted some photos about John, Meg and John's family as simple tourists in my wonderful hometown. Wink
Alessandro
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Alex
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