John Mellencamp – Minnesota State Fair – St. Paul MN – August 29th 2017

John Mellencamp Minnesota State Fair Grandstand 8/29/17

I have always considered John Mellencamp to be one of those American artists that is always a staple in your music collection like Tom Petty.  I have always enjoyed his music and have grown tired of it at the same time.  Not because its bad but because its so over played.

Having said that last nights show was very refreshing to me.  I found myself really enjoying the lesser known tracks like “Lawless Times” and “John Cockers“. I have always considered him a very gifted song writer. He has a way to bring you into a song that you don’t know the very 1st time you hear it.

He is touring in support of his latest release Sad Clowns and Hillbillies. However he did only one song from that record, a duet with Carlene Carter titled “My Souls Got Wings“.

Looking over the setlist, he included most of the hits you would expect like “Jack and Diane” but some were missing. I guess you can’t play them all but I would have liked to have heard one of his early hits like “This Time“.

If you are a fan of his, its worth seeing this tour.  His band is stellar and delivers the songs with cd quality.  My only complaint as a concert goer would be his attitude towards the concert experience. Before the show started an announcement was made to put your cellphones away and cameras are not allowed.  He should not be able to define a concert experience for his audience. Like Don Henley, I find myself scratching my head over his attitude.

There were many unhappy fans that the traditional video screens that accompany a state fair show were missing.  This was by request of Mellencamp.  Great artist but perhaps takes himself a bit too seriously.

Set LIst – Lawless Times – John Cockers – Minutes to Memories – Small Town -Stones in My Passway -Pop Singer – Check it Out – Jack & Diane – Grandview – My Soul’s Got Wings – Overture – Rain on the Scarecrow – Paper in Fire – Crumblin’ Down – Authority Song – Pink Houses – Cherry Bomb

Review and photos by Tommy Sommers