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Author Topic: Soaring Eagle Casino 4/15/2016 FAN REVIEW!  (Read 8673 times)
MrSickboy50
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« on: April 16, 2016, 10:37:15 pm »

CONCERT REVIEW TIME!!!
John Mellencamp
Soaring Eagle Casino
Mount Pleasant, Michigan
April 15th, 2016
8:00pm

NOTICE: If you're looking for an in-depth review of how John's band played and the music, don't even bother to read this. This is just a review where I basically explain how happy and lucky I got. Just explaining how fun the concert experience was for ME! So don't tell me that I didn't talk much about how the concert went... I warned ya. And you know, I'm beat down and worn because I danced the WHOLE show. I'm writing this the best I can. This review is also LONG, by the way!!!

It was the night I had anticipated for MONTHS. I had a countdown on my phone since the beginning of February and I had planned to meet my Mellencamp friend Roberta for the first time as well. I had looked forward to this show every single day, and John Mellencamp was on my mind the whole way. (Now if case you don't know me, my name is Brianna and I'm a 16 year old girl who is a pretty HUGE Mellencamp fan. I wouldn't consider myself the biggest... LOL... (don't we all say that...) but I am a tad bit obsessed!)
So when the the concert came, my heart had skipped a beat beyond what I could imagine. This was only my second Mellencamp concert ever, so I was still quite new to the whole Mellencamp concert experience, however I saw him the previous year on the Plain Spoken tour so I knew what to expect as far as the setlist goes. And I know all his songs, of course LOL. I just remember the feeling of sitting down in my seats, Row 1 in L1 (a section up close to the left) and watching Carlene Carter play her beautiful songs. I love her, I mean she is SO talented and I knew her songs and cheered her on. I discovered her music through John Mellencamp and boy am I glad I did. She played that piano and guitar PHENOMENAL that night. Even though her act was dramatically cut short because we were at a casino, her songs made it worth it. I mean it was just the greatest feeling seeing her live again and to actually appreciate her music and enjoy it... She fits so well musically with John Mellencamp and his band; their music both has the same passion, vibe, and soul in it. I can't wait for their new duet album together! I mean... she's the BEST opening act I ever saw at a concert... that's saying a LOT. I may be biased, though! Smiley
And then it was intermission time. This is the worst part of the show, ain't it? Just having to wait for John to come on and you can hardly wait and you just want the show to start already, right? Well, me and my friend Roberta had the TIMES OF OUR LIVES during intermission time. Listen to me here... before the show, I told Roberta, "You know, something awesome ALWAYS happens to me at shows. I always get lucky at concerts." And we just walked on wondering what that may be...! 20 minutes later, we were sitting here all alone in this section by ourselves, just laughing and enjoying the moment together. You know, just talking about how cute we thought John was and how excited we were to see him for our first and second times. That's when a security guard started to approach us, and I got a little nervous. "What the hell did I do? I didn't try to jump on stage or anything!?" I thought LOL. But he bent over and talked really close to us and said the greatest words of the night:
"Would you two be interested in going up into the front row?"
Apparently they needed to fill up some empty seats. We turned our heads, looked at eachother, and DIED. "OH MY GOD YES YES YES YES YES YES YES OH YES!" I begged, so excited I couldn't contain it! He started to walk over to the front and motioned his hand for us to follow, and in a second we plopped down in the front row, near the center of the stage. I told the guard that he was my saviour and my hero and the best person in the world (at that moment in time LOL). And that's when I lost it ALL. I bent over and started sobbing and moaning and freaking the hell out, unable to register what just happened to me. I really made it in the front row, didn't I? Something awesome always DID happen to me! I turned over and gave Roberta about 15 high-fives and we laughed with pure excitement... but the nerves of the concert were really eating me up as the lights began to grow dim. It was time to rock and roll!!!
The band hit the stage as the audience roared with delight! I screamed my head right off as the first chords to "Lawless Times" belted out. Being front row to see how all the magic happened was more than enough for me. John wasn't even out yet. But as soon as he did make his way to the stage, I jumped up from my seat and SCREAMED on the top of my lungs (what 16 year old girl wouldn't to their favorite artist!?) I suddenly looked around me and noticed that everyone else was sitting down... and that's when I was informed that I had to sit down as well. What? You're going to tell a young girl to sit down at a rock and roll show? At a MELLENCAMP show? "You're outta your mind..." I thought.
I did, however, sit on the very edge of my seat and kicked my feet and arms into the air like wild! Listen, I know there aren't a lot of diehard Mellencamp fans out there. Most folks just want to hear his hits, but I know "Lawless Times". And I LOVE Plain Spoken. Hell, I was gonna dance, and I didn't care what the folks around me though of it. Part of being a true fan is showing off your love and pride to the band. When the audience is engaged, it pushes the band forward to try harder as well to keep the audience's devotion and happiness. It makes everybody's day when we're all having a good time!
John was sporting a black suit and dress pants on, with a dark brown leather belt and shoes on. He had a white t-shirt underneath. He looked classy, and really, he's the best damn looking 64 year old I've ever seen. And the best sounding one, too! His voice was absolutely WONDERFUL- now this whole review is biased but I must say he impressed me a lot. He hit so many impressive notes, and showed off his vocal range well. The band was tight too; with their very fine, established rock and roll sound. You know, nothing makes me more angry as when people try to compare John Mellencamp now to his John Cougar days. Everybody matures, ages, and experiences life. You can't expect his voice to sound the same after 30 years, y'know? Lets be glad he's still here with us to perform these songs for us and make us happy! I am grateful for all he does for his fans!
The second song he did was "Minutes To Memories", a beautiful rendition of a meaningful, deep song. if you listened carefully, you could hear the whole audience singing along with John and his band. The fans poured their hearts out, as did I. I continued to wiggle around in my seat, trying the fight the urge to jump on stage and dance with him (I had actually written "Let me on stage" on my hand for him to read!)
"Stones In My Passway" followed up third, and John did not hesitate to use that stage to dance! You know, he was just fantastic the way he got down in the groove of the beat and shook off a little! The raw, natural talent that erupted from the stage was astonishing. Unbelieveable. And downright ADDICTING to listen to. I was directly in front of Miriam Sturm and Andy York, his violinist and one of his guitarist. You should've seen the look on their face when they saw me jamming out to their songs. Whenever a solo would come, they would walk right up to the edge of the stage where I was and it seemed as if they were playing just for me. After I'd dance, I'd look up at their faces and they'd just smile back at me, reassuring me that we were all having the times of our lives that night! They chuckled at me several times that night- it was clearly evident that they enjoyed and my enthusiasm and spirit throughout the whole show. It made my night to see their smiles!
The show followed up with more hits like, "Small Town," "Jack and Diane", "Paper and Fire", and "Check It Out".
When the Overture (mid-break) came, John had walked off stage to the left, where fans were only left to wonder what he would do out of their sight. Some of the fans on the left, however, saw him plain as daylight. He took out a cigarette and took many long, deep puffs outta that thing. And he did it quick, too, pounding the cigarette down as fast as he could. Hey, it wouldn't be a Mellencamp show without his cigarettes, right!?
It was then that I heard the whole damn entertainment hall explode with the music of "Rain On The Scarecrow". John had returned to the stage with his suit off, exposing him in a thin white t-shirt with his sleeves rolled up and many tattoos to show. I really had a hard time believing he was in his 60s, really, I wasn't kidding when I said that before! I mean, concerts are concerts, and you could be blind and still enjoy them. But it really does help a lot when the singer is a foot away from you and is as hot as hell. (John, you NEVER fail to make me smile!) Hey, I'm a mega fan. I think he's handsome. That's what mega fans do!
Back to the song... you know, "Rain On The Scarecrow" may sound just like a cool little rock song from the 80s, but if you actually dig deep into the lyrics and meaning of the song, you'll find some of the many scary and alarming messages that are being told. Some fans may not understand that this song is much more than just an anthem for the annual "Farm Aid" concerts and such, but really... to see and hear the passion of that song in real life, front row, live in front of me, was an experience to last a lifetime. It really was. I indulged in music the whole concert that night, dancing my heart out to every song and fought back exhaustion the best I could. It's not every day that you get to experience John Mellencamp and his band play their hearts out for you. To hear that song live- even though it wasn't my first time- was too much to explain with words. You just had to've been there. I may sound crazy but you must trust me on this!
This was also the song that I held out my hand, and John walked over to me and clearly read my hand (remember it said "Let me on stage!"?) I watched as he stopped to stare at my hands, then he walked always to his microphone again. Alright... I'll spoil the fun, but, I didn't go on stage. At least, it never happen YET! Who's to say that it may not happen at a future show? I truly believe that if the show wasn't at a casino, he may have let me up on there. The setlist was cut short by 5 or 6 songs due to that fact that it was at a casino. He was supposed to play more songs off his new album, and other songs like "Longest Days" and some duets with Carlene Carter. Those were cut short though. But the quality of the songs and concert made it well worth it!
During the next few songs, I remember at some point, I was staring right it to John's eyes. I mean, we just stared at each other briefly but it felt like a year! And that's when he winked at me, and it wasn't just a little wink- I mean he deliberately gave that wink just for me. Roberta and I just turned to each other and FREAKED OUT. I mean, did he really just do that!!!? I admit that I screamed... I can't help it! I felt so lucky! This wasn't the first time John winked at me. When I saw him live last year in Detroit, he winked at me several times to the point that I lost count! Though he only winked at me once during this whole show, it meant a LOT to me. Especially because I noticed that he was not very happy-looking throughout the show. I don't understand why he looked so upset!? I mean, he didn't smile once during the whole concert. It genuinely made me upset deep down inside! But to have him wink at me, oh I could see a small smile on his face just starting to form- even though it was hardly there, it really gave me some hope that maybe his fans were helping him have the best time he could have. I truly felt like it was my duty to show off my intense love for him and his music that night!
John followed up with some great dancing songs such as "Crumblin' Down", "Authority Song", and "Pink Houses", which when I looked around, I noticed the whole room was dancing! Roberta had previously asked the guard sitting next to us if we could dance he said, "I wouldn't recommend it". Really? No damn way. We could hardly sit in our seats. Imagine this... we were at a rock and roll show- a John Mellencamp show at that and we were forced to sit for the whole 16 songs or so. Now that was unfair and practically torture! Listen, I don't even care if John Mellencamp told me to sit down at his show. I traveled 3 hours to that show, plus bought a hotel room, and paid over $400 for two of your tickets... you're going to let me stand up and dance at your show. Wink
Finally, during his last song "Cherry Bomb", I did it. I stood up and jumped. Danced the whole damn time. And the best part, was that I was touching the stage now. TOUCHING IT!!!!! Then I thought to myself, "Hell, if I ain't getting on stage with him, the least I could do is touch him". He looked over across the room at me, holding his microphone and singing oh-so magically. It seemed liked a god darn dream when he approached me. I could hardly contain myself- and I leaped with joy when he was right up in front of me. My heart nearly failed on me when he took out his hand and bent down just a little bit for me to touch him. And it did it. I took both of my hands and squeezed on to his hand as hard as I could!!! I remember feeling the bracelet and ring on his hand, and the touch of his skin... it was sensational I tell ya! Though, his hand was surprisingly cold. I'm not sure if it was just because my hands were so hot, but this wasn't the first time I touched his hand either (I know I'm do damn lucky you don't need to remind me.) His hands were very warm at the last show. But who really cares anyways? At least I get to brag that I have John Mellencamp's DNA all over my hand! Wink I wasn't lying when I told you I am a mega John Mellencamp fan. Nor was I lying when I told you that something awesome always happens to me at concerts!
Now, I won't get into much detail about how I managed to find John Mellencamp's tour bus after the show (his Airstream) but it was pretty damn easy. It was right by the entertainment all. Security was extremely strict, and there were black walls to hide his bus from being seen. That didn't stop me, Roberta, and a few other diehard fans though! We stuck around for HOURS in the cold, shivering our asses off just waiting to see our hero, and maybe get something signed by him. As we were waiting, Miriam Sturm came out at walked right in front of us. A small crowd cheered and clapped for her as she stopped to greet them. We caught up and got her attention right way.
She recognized me immediately and we rushed over to give each other a hug! It meant so much to me- she was so sweet and kind to me! I told her I didn't have a clue what to say because I was star-struck and she laughed, then she asked me what my name was. I replied with, "Brianna", and she smiled really, really, big and said, "Oh Brianna it's a pleasure to meet you! Oh really it is an honor!" I sorta felt like the famous one for a minute there- here I was meeting THE Miriam Sturm and she was telling me that she was honored to see me! It felt like a dream for sure. We then stood beside each other and she put her hands on my shoulders and we took about 3 or 4 awesome photos together. She was really delighted to see me. I remember my mom telling her that I was John Mellencamp's biggest fan and I said, "I don't know about that; everybody says that they're his biggest fan but I mean, I guess you could say that I am his youngest!" And everybody including Miriam laughed around me! I had such a joyful time talking with her. It was really the highlight of the night. You could so tell that John's band was very active and engaged with the fans, and genuinely enjoyed speaking with each and every one of them! I couldn't have been any happier.
We still stuck around and waited for John though, and at one point, we heard some commotion. A guy we were with who was a also a big fan spotted John by his tour bus finally, dress up in his black suit again and talking to a few guys. He shouted for John to sign something for him, but he didn't even turn his head. I even shouted "PLEASE!" But the security was pushing us away. John went back inside his tour bus, and never looked at us once (who's to say he didn't see us inside the tour bus though!?) Still, I had a blast seeing John one last time by this bus. It was totally worth the security hating us for awhile LOL.
It's understandable why John would be tired, and not willing to sign autographs and such. You know, they've got places to be and things to do, and whatever that was that was on John's mind was making him upset- or so it seemed. I've seen John smile at previous concerts a lot more, that's why I feel like somehting else was wrong that us fans don't know about. Or maybe he was just tired. Either way, he did a hell of a fantastic job putting on a wild show for us Michigan fans despite the mood he was in. This was a unique show and I loved it a lot- you never know what to expect when you go to his shows! The intimate and personal feelings that you experience as his shows is something I just can't summarize very easily. No other concert has made me feel so thankful and happy to be there- and the whole show was just as magnificent to experience!!! I am very happy that I got to share this experience with my fellow Mellenhead Roberta whom I just met for the first time at this concert and we had a true blast together! John's music has the power to connect so many.
THANK YOU John Mellencamp, Miriam, the whole band, and Carlene Carter for helping my night be the best it can be. It was totally worth the long drive and the expensive tickets. Hell, I got in the front frow for free, what am I complanin', y'know? LOL I am experiencing a LOT of "Post Concert Depression" now because I'm sad that the show is over and I'm back home and all the damn fun is over. Listen, I don't mean to bring up negative thoughts here, but I don't know how much longer I will be able to see John. I'm 16 and I've only seen him twice... if I had the chance I would've seen him at LEAST a dozen more times, but I was born too late. I only recently became a Mellencamp fan and I missed out on a LOT of tours and fun. But I am truly grateful to even have gone to some of his shows; I am just so depressed that was born too late. It sucks being an old soul. I truly hope John never retires any time soon. I am ready for another tour in the future and I promise ya I'll have the time of my life again. Haha!
I love you, John Mellencamp. It doesn't take a whole lot to figure that out, though! Smiley

Just another Mellenhead,
Brianna Hojnacki
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I'm 19 years old and proud to be a hardcore John Mellencamp fan. - Brianna Hojnacki
jpstar21
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« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2016, 10:51:21 pm »

Do you know what time he came on stage?
Thanks so much
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timvoor
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« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2016, 08:58:20 am »

Quite disappointed in the John Mellencamp Show on April 15th.  An hour long set by John!?! Big Bummer. 

It sure would have been nice to at least know that Carlene Carter was going to open for him, so we wouldn't have been so rushed only to find out that John wasn't even starting till almost 9:00.  This is the 4th time we had seen John (once in South Bend, once in Fort Wayne and once in Grand Rapids), and this was by far the worst show of the four.

I know there are certain logistics for a concert at a casino, but I wish we would at least have gotten a hint that we were not going to get a complete show.
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MrSickboy50
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« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2016, 10:04:51 am »

I'm pretty sure Carlene Carter started at 8pm and John Mellencamp came on between 8:45pm and 9:00pm
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I'm 19 years old and proud to be a hardcore John Mellencamp fan. - Brianna Hojnacki
mtotch123
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« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2016, 10:01:32 am »

Hey Brianna,

I was one of the few waiting in the parking garage!  You SO deserved to get that front row seat!! Congrats!!  And isn't Miriam the BEST!!!!!  She really treats you like an old friend!! LOVE HER!!!!!

Ya..casino security kicked us out before John showed up...oh well.....casinos are weird huh?  Ya, the shows are shorter and all that....but any chance we have to see John play...we grab it .... BUT...first time I've SAT through a Mellencamp concert!  Crazy!  Truly!

I've had my share of Mellenmoments and they are something you will never forget! 

-"somedays I still don't know what to do"-

Mary in Michigan


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MrSickboy50
MrSickboy50
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« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2016, 05:37:49 pm »

Hey Brianna,

I was one of the few waiting in the parking garage!  You SO deserved to get that front row seat!! Congrats!!  And isn't Miriam the BEST!!!!!  She really treats you like an old friend!! LOVE HER!!!!!

Ya..casino security kicked us out before John showed up...oh well.....casinos are weird huh?  Ya, the shows are shorter and all that....but any chance we have to see John play...we grab it .... BUT...first time I've SAT through a Mellencamp concert!  Crazy!  Truly!

I've had my share of Mellenmoments and they are something you will never forget!  

-"somedays I still don't know what to do"-

Mary in Michigan




Oh hi there fellow Michigander and Mellenhead! Smiley Sometimes I feel like the only one in this whole state who loves him hahaha!!!
And thank you SO much for your kind words! Front row WAS a blast! It DID suck having to sit down the whole show, didn't it? That was also my first sitting down the whole time at a Mellencamp show. They told us that we had to sit down so everyone could see but everyone's height is still the same whether we're standing or sitting... if I were in the back for example, it would make not difference whether I was sitting in my seat or or standing because I would still not be able to see anyways! Sitting down does not make everybody equal... people's heads are still taller than another. Making us sit down is stupid because it doesn't solve the "I can't see" problem and it only makes people more anxious to dance. Just let us stand up and enjoy ourselves!
And ME TOO! Even though I said on here that I would never see John at a casino again, I would if it was my last option. A crazy Mellenhead will do ANYTHING to be with John! The #1 Best Songwriter Ever!!! <3 Cheesy
« Last Edit: April 20, 2016, 05:41:02 pm by MrSickboy50 » Logged

I'm 19 years old and proud to be a hardcore John Mellencamp fan. - Brianna Hojnacki
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