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Author Topic: Review of sorts of the Ottawa Concert  (Read 3829 times)
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« on: October 03, 2018, 05:15:10 pm »

Being a fan of someone for a long period of time is a testament to their ability to write great music. Since I was about 11, I realised that listening to an artist on a record is one thing, but they really cut it for me if they can perform it successfully live. Through various circumstances over the years I haven't been able to see Mr Mellencamp, John [if I can be that bold] play live, despite having tickets for up to 6 shows, but relegated to relying only on You Tube playbacks of Farm Aid etc. My interest never waned, so when the opportunity to visit a variety of friends came up in Canada and I found out he was touring Canada at the same time, it became the perfect time to catch some shows too.

So onto my first show - Ottawa - despite being really unwell, I went along on a cold and slightly rainy night. Security was tight, but it was nice to feel safe in a venue this size. There was a buzz amongst the patrons, many were well into their beverages and I made it to my seat before the 8pm 'curfew'. The first 15 or so minutes we were treated to a glimpse into the career of John, kinda like being at the movies, without the popcorn and comfy recliner seats. A few complained about this being the "most expensive movie ticket ever" but the majority of people sat and listened with interest.

So the show itself - I will not go through a set list, as it should be something you look forward to hearing and finding out when you attend. Needless to say I found it hard to take it all in and am glad that I have more shows to see in order to be able to appreciate every band member's talent and of course, be able to further appreciate and take in the singing prowess of John.

The lighting / stage: the stage had the Plain Spoken CD backdrop, of which various colours were projected on to it, creating various moods etc. The lighting itself, was creative and and highlighted not only John, but his spectacular band members. 'Keeping it simple', but effective, makes it easy to be fully engaged with the music and the artist, not a distraction.

The music: many of the hits, reworked in some cases, which was a pleasant surprise and a few off Sad Clowns [would have liked more, but hey... its a huge catalogue to choose from Wink ]

The band: All dressed to the nines. My favourite parts were when they all would come to the fore front of the stage, bar Dane, to start or highlight part of a song and then would move back to let John do his thing. Clever use of the stage.

Mr Mike Wanchic - singled out as a long time mate of John's, but somewhat unassuming on the stage, but clearly gifted at what he does. The banter between him and John reminded me a little of Elvis and Charlie, who used to hand him his scarves, play guitar and sing harmony with him. I look forward to being seated on that side of the stage to be able to take in the breadth of his skills.

Mr Andy York - the way he played was down right mesmerising. There were changes in guitars and kudos to the roadie who came out to fix his strap, that's team work. It was a pleasure to watch the emotions on his face as he played and clearly still loves what he does.

Mrs Miriam Sturm - the energy from this lady is amazing. At one point she was jumping up and down like at an aerobics class. The talent of this lady is a wonder to behold, her solos or time spent with various band members and John showed a passion for the music not lost on those of us watching.

Mr Dane Clark - 2 drum kits to choose from. It clear this man has unbelievable rhythm and yes 'we were diggin' them drums'. As an audience member you spend a lot of time 'hearing' not seeing the drummer, from my vantage point I could just see his head, but no matter - the beat got us up and dancing on many occasions.

Mr John Gunnell aka Jon E Gee - very much like Miriam, was getting down to the business of dance and rhythm. Despite the fact he was on the other side of the stage, I was happy when he ventured to the middle to strut his stuff - clearly still lovin' the music and time on stage.

Mr Troye Kinnett - the man of many talents. I found my gaze wandering across to him [which is easy, considering I am almost blind in my left eye]. His piano work was so passionate and yet at times, so delicate and moving. My Dad used to play the accordion so I greatly appreciate anyone who possesses the skill to do that too. Teaming up with Miriam, was to put it plainly, gold.

Last, but definitely not least Mr John Mellencamp: He sauntered on stage, smoking as usual, dressed casually in overalls - as the lady who sat behind me screamed, "damn, how can you make overalls look so damn sexy!?" - true. It doesn't matter how long he has been an entertainer, he just has the ability to move us, maybe turn us on, make us laugh, sing along or get us to dance as part of the show. His songs, if you listen carefully to the lyrics, have meaning to all of us in different ways. I was not disappointed with John's stage presence and was happy that he ventured all over the stage, doing his best to make eye contact with as many as possible. That brings the 'personal touch' to a show that will send people home happy. That man CAN dance! I enjoyed his stories and loved to watch his enthusiasm during the faster tunes and the delicate passion on his face when singing the slower ones.

I am guilty of pulling out my phone a few times to take a few shots and during 'Jack and Diane' but the drunk guy next to me streaming a good portion of the show 'live' - not cool. I can understand how annoying it would be from an artist's perspective.

To sum up - lots of singing and dancing was had. There was a wide spread in ages there, but from my observations, people exited really happy. The floor crew were quick to start packing up! The concert paraphernalia is reasonably priced and of a good quality. [Not sure about the guy trying to sell t-shirts outside - is that legal?]. Thanks for the great memories I take from this, my first show, I look forward to being able to take more in for the times to come. I thank and appreciate all the efforts from the VIP crew / roadies / sound and lights crew / management etc.  
« Last Edit: October 04, 2018, 06:04:26 pm by Swell67 » Logged
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