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Author Topic: Mellencamp reworks old hits in a mostly satisfying show  (Read 9510 times)
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« on: November 07, 2010, 01:43:11 pm »

Mellencamp reworks old hits in a mostly satisfying show

By Daniel Durchholz Special to the Post-Dispatch

It’s not like John Mellencamp to put on airs, but on Saturday night at the Fox Theatre, a slick, recorded introduction brought him onstage, touting his Rock and Roll Hall of Fame credentials and calling him “the poet laureate of the interstates.”

The intro is likely something he cadged from his recent touring partner Bob Dylan, whose stage introduction refers to him as “the poet laureate of rock and roll.”

Also like Dylan, Mellencamp has radically reworked some of his old songs in order to keep himself interested while sating the portion of the crowd he called “nostalgic people.” It usually worked, as on a truncated, a cappella version of “Cherry Bomb,” and on “Small Town,” which he performed solo, on acoustic guitar.

But sometimes the results weren’t so satisfying. Carried along by a rumbling shuffle beat, the protagonists of “Jack and Diane” seemed more like Jack and Jill tumbling down the hill instead of hanging out at the Tastee Freez. 

Still, it’s to his credit that Mellencamp mostly refuses to rest on his laurels. Much of the two-hour show featured recent songs, including a handful from his acclaimed new album “No Better Than This,” which delves deep into American roots music.

Among the new songs, the standouts included a stark, impassioned reading of “The West End,” a song he said was about what happens “when greed takes over”; the rollicking story song “Easter Eve”; and the weary but wise “Save Some Time to Dream,” which sounds like it could be his answer to Dylan’s “Forever Young.”

Though Mellencamp’s six-piece band was used sparingly throughout much of the show, the latter third was given over to full-tilt arrangements of his hits, including “Rain on the Scarecrow,” “Paper in Fire,” “Pink Houses” and “R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.”

Because he could set his own pace and wasn’t limited by time constraints, the Fox show was far more satisfying than Mellencamp’s two area appearances last year – with Dylan and Willie Nelson at GCS Ballpark in Sauget, and at Farm Aid, held at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater.

But the evening did start on a bit of a sour note. In place of an opening act, there was a screening of “It’s About You,” Kurt Markus’ documentary about Mellencamp’s 2009 tour and the making of “No Better Than This.” The film was fine, but the theater’s doors were held until after it had already started, creating an unnecessary rush for the seats once fans were admitted. The gaffe was an insult to everyone who made a point of getting to the Fox early enough to see it.
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« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2010, 02:05:47 pm »

Fantastic Show....even hung around for an hour afterwards trying to get a pic with John, got close but missed....anyway I have to agree the only negative comment is that the Orchestra section didn't get access to our seats until after the movie started.

Posting pics on Facebook:

Videos coming soon!
« Last Edit: November 07, 2010, 02:44:13 pm by mickey18 » Logged
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« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2010, 02:32:01 pm »

I thought is was pretty crappy they made of point of insisting everyone be early for the 6:45 show time then NO ONE got in the building until 6:30 and not one got in the theater until the movie started.    Idiots running the Fox!!   I would say the above is a fair review.    Not my favorite show out of the 9 I have seen but always good!
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