karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Fog)
I was there far too early because doors only opened at 7 and I had a seated ticket but there wasn't really anything I could have done productively in an hour or so so I just sat and watched people turn up, most of whom were at least my age but many were older. There were a few with '92 t-shirts and that had at least been the last time he was in Europe. Doors opened and I got myself a hoodie because it was a bit chilly and I was only wearing a t-shirt.
The evening started with a road/tour documentary shown on a huge screen which was great for the background info on what was going behind the scenes of the tour and the recording of the last album. Showing live footage was a bit weird, though, because that's what we'd be seeing later. Anyway, I didn't mind it.
The man himself came on stage at 8:45 and didn't stop until almost two hours later. As soon as the stage lights flashed on and the first chords rang through the speakers, the audience jumped out of their seats and off we went on a tour de force through most of Mellencamp's back catalogue with a number of songs thrown in I'd never heard before. Mellencamp's charisma and ability to engage the audience became immediately apparent, making them dance and sing along with the rock numbers and completely quiet during the slow and thoughtful songs and the occasional anecdotes. His band was also superb, playing their hearts out and providing one of the best backing grooves I've ever heard. When one (or two) band members played a solo, Mellencamp would step into the shadows so the focus was completely on them.
There were superb versions of Jack and Diane, Small Town (thoughtful and acoustic) and R.O.C.K in the U.S.A. was the stomping finish. There was no encore but everyone in the audience was happy and exhausted with a huge smile on their faces when the lights came up.

April 2016

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