Tag Archives: Old guys rockin’!


Last weekend, Emily and I had the opportunity to see John Mellencamp in concert.  Like about everyone who grew up in the 80s, we really enjoy his music and had great memories of the “glory days” in school when his music meant so much to us.

We stopped and actually had good BBQ...a rarity outside the South
We stopped and actually had good BBQ…a rarity outside the South

We did a ricochet trip to Charlotte, NC…we basically drove in, heard the concert, spent the night and returned the next morning.  Maybe it was a bit like our care-free time of growing up…or more likely my cheapskate kicking in so we didn’t have to pay for another night at a hotel.

A pig...eating pig
A pig…eating pig

Anyhow, the concert was in a mid-sized arena…maybe 5-6k people attended.  At first, we were the youngest people there which sort of surprised me.   Soon enough though we were in a sea of people of all ages.  Mellencamp is 63 and has been playing for a long time so I guess his music has appeal across many years though I am sure his most famous period was when I was a teenager.

Ready for the concert
Ready for the concert

John puts on a good old-fashioned rock-and-roll show.  It’s not full of flames and lights and dancing all over stage, but it’s loud enough and his songs are just plain awesome!  He mostly played his famous songs, Jack and Diane, Hurts So Good, Small Town, and Authority Song.  Emily, not being a true fan apparently, had never heard of his absolute best song, Rain on the Scarecrow.  I know it is probably not as well known as many of his others so I was surprised (and nearly brought to tears…except I don’t cry), when he fired up that song during the concert!  It was fantastic!

With my sweetie...
With my sweetie…

On stage with him, he had a fantastic violinist and another musician who played “everything else” including piano, accordion and harmonica.  It was sort of classic Mellencamp sounds but I guess I never really thought about what went into his music.  I loved it!

Mellencamp stage
Mellencamp stage

Unlike many current musicians, John Mellencamp sounded great live and pretty much exactly like he does on his produced versions (geez…I struggled with what to say there…cassettes, LPs, mp3s…he’s been around for it all!)  I was a little surprised when he lit up a cigarette on stage, but I guess that’s an 80s throwback thing too maybe.

I almost forgot…the concert  was opened by Carlene Carter which seemed like a huge surprise as she is most definitely in the  style of her mother and grandmother…i.e. older style country.  I really enjoyed her songs and singing as well, but it was a surprise.  We later found out that she and John and working together on a project so it did make sense…her opening was a nice bonus!

Friends, if you are a child of the 80s and get the opportunity to hear John Mellencamp, buy some tickets and enjoy an fun evening!  Sing as loud as you can and take your kids so they can be thoroughly embarrassed…but show them how rock and roll was meant to be done!

Back-up singer for Bryan Adams

Where has the time gone?  I swear we have been busy…in fact, too busy to even write anything I guess.  Really, my problem is that I have been in recovery.  You see,  a few weeks ago, Bryan Adams came to Charleston for a concert in the excellent Clay Center.  He asked me to sing back-up for him during the concert.  Actually, he wanted me to sing along from the audience…you know…to lead the common folk who were in the crowd.

At the Bryan Adams concert

When Bryan first announced his concert, Emily’s brother asked if we wanted to get tickets.  Of course we wanted to go and reminisce about our early days of dating.  I forgot how many awesome Bryan Adams songs there are!  This concert was a huge reprisal of all of his very best songs.  It was awesome!  Some concerts are not much fun when the musician focuses on new songs that no one cares about or the really bad old songs…but not Bryan Adams!  Every song for 2 hours was a classic song from my teen years!  He didn’t need any technology to sound great.  His live concert was just as good as his recorded work.  It was amazing!

Bryan Adams in concert
Bryan Adams in concert

The best part is that we had seats at center stage, six rows back.  The concert was acoustical and simple and a perfect date for Emily and me.  I tried to take some pics to share our date with you, my friends.  My iPhone 4 has a camera that was woefully inadequate for taking pictures from even 6 rows back.  So, not only is my voice in recovery, but so is my wallet.  You see, my iPhone ticked me off so much that I got a new phone…I switched from Apple and bought a Samsung Galaxy S4…love it!  No more bad pics I hope!

Bryan Adams Bare Bones Tour
The background is a portrait of Bryan Adams

Anyhow, if you get a chance to see Bryan Adams in concert, go.  It was a lot of fun and he has so many great and classic songs that you will know, even if you don’t remember that they were his songs!