Indiana-born singer-songwriter and Rock and Roll hall of famer (2008) John Mellencamp hit the ground floor running last month at the Morris Performing Arts Center in South Bend as he kicked off his 'Plain Spoken' tour.
Mellencamp is scheduled to rock the nation with 80 shows scheduled through August, including back to back performances on Tuesday, Feb. 17 and Wednesday, Feb. 18 at The Chicago Theatre, and prove just how relevant his music still is with his sultry tales of middle America.
At his opening performance, he noted some of those early tales that included "Pink Houses," "Small Town," "Jack and Diane," "Paper in Fire," "R.O.C.K. in the USA," "Crumbling Down," "Small Town," coupled with a powerful introduction to his new album that includes two new classics to start the show in "Lawless Times" and "Troubled Man."
One of the highlights included an acoustic version of "Jack and Diane" as it carried a karaoke feel as fans chimed in like a choir to pound out the lyrics behind the musical genius.
Violinist Miriam Sturm captivated the audience with her impeccable sound exemplified especially in her solo during "Rain on the Scarecrow."
Opening act Carlene Carter lends her powerful raspy soul as she joins Mellencamp during "Away From this World" and "Tear This Cabin Down." Carter, whose mother is the late June Carter Cash, delivered a 30 minute set prior to the legend blending in some powerful acoustic blues/country numbers that seemed a perfect fit.
It's only fitting that Mellencamp, still making his home in Bloomington, decided to start his tour in his home state and continues to carry the swagger and confidence that made him a legend, never straying far from his musical roots. Next stop-sweet home Chicago!
Mellencamp's Jan. 21 Setlist | Morris Performing Arts Center
Lawless Times, Troubled Man, Minutes to Memories, Small Town, Stones in My Passway, Human Wheels, The Isolation of Mister, Check It Out, Longest Days, Jack and Diane, The Full Catastrophe, Away From this World (Carlene Carter), Tear This Cabin Down (Carlene Carter), Rain on the Scarecrow, Paper in Fire, If I Die Sudden, Crumbling Down, ROCK in the USA, Pink Houses and Cherry Bomb.