John Mellencamp in Concert
John Mellencamp has been bringing his brand of American heartland rock to fans since the late ’70s, when his raw, rootsy sound set him apart from the arena rockers in vogue at the time. The Midwestern twang that adds to his signature vocal style also informs his songs, as he details the ups and downs of the everyday working folks he grew up among. The rough-and-ready roots-rock sound he perfected on milestone ’80s albums like ‘American Fool’ and ‘Scarecrow’ has remained a crucial touchstone for Mellencamp’s concerts, regardless of where he falls in the roots–rock spectrum at any given phase. And when he delivers classics like “Jack & Diane,” “Pink Houses,” “Small Town,” or “Hurts So Good,” he digs deep for a gritty, from-the-gut delivery that connects with his audiences in an immediate, visceral way. From his 2017 Sad Clowns and Hillbillies tour with guests Emmylou Harris and Carlene Carter to his 2018 Other People’s Stuff tour, Mellencamp’s latter-day outings have shown that the veteran road dog only gets tougher and more determined.