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This humble blog was started to document our travels around the country during the summer of 2006, We have opted to continue updating it due to the requests from family & friends. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Just memories for you now…

March 19, 2015

 photo 179_zpshwe6c6oa.jpg John Mellencamp

 photo 149_zpsvosrpuy3.jpg Carlene Carter & Michael

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Just memories for you now…

Growing up in Indiana, I was subjected to an almost constant barrage of the music of John Mellencamp. From his earliest incarnation as Johnny Cougar through his time as John Cougar Mellencamp to his current simply John Mellencamp phase, he was a constant part of the soundtrack of my life (and any Hoosier’s life). I never minded, in fact I always was a fan. I can’t even count the countless times that I have seen him perform live.

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From his humble beginnings, I recall and earlier Johhny Cougar show at a place called Muggins at 54th and College (currently the Jazz Kitchen) through his early success and shows at the Vogue, Market Square Arena, the Indiana Fairgrounds and more. I remember he played a five night set at MSA during the Scarecrow tour in 1985 and I attended every show. I have attended three Farm Aid shows where he was a co-headliner with Neil Young and Willie Nelson.

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I have even attended his very first art exhibition at the Indianapolis Arts Center in Broad Ripple where he first displayed his own artwork in public. I have been to other band’s shows where he joined the band on stage to perform a couple of times and I have seen him at the mall and at more than a few IU basketball games.

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Since moving to Key West 23 years ago, I have remained a fan and continued to go see his shows when I got the chance, which is a lot less often than it once was, but I still enjoy it. So when tickets went on sale for his current Plain Spoken tour at the intimate Broward Center for the Performing Arts I had to get VIP tickets.

John Mellencamp- “Pink Houses”

The Broward Center is a smaller venue with excellent acoustics that is most often used for touring Broadway shows and it is somewhat rare to see a performer of Mellencamp’s caliber in such a place. It is very similar to Clowes Hall in Indianapolis in that it is a great space with perfect acoustics and excellent sight lines from just about anywhere. 

 photo 1511024_931350446895176_6373155526452376400_n_zpsmwang628.jpg Carlene Carter & John Mellencamp

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Opening the show was a member of an American Music Royal family, Carlene Carter of the famous Carter Family Singers. She was fantastic, golden voiced and an amazing singer and performer. Rarely does an opening act captivate the audience the way she did, it was a wonderful and pleasant surprise.

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Mellencamp played a 22 song set that was remarkable in its breadth and diversity. Not settling for a greatest hits show, though plenty of hits were included. Mellencamp and his band delivered a show that provided ample evidence of his place in American music history. His newest songs hold up with his most famous and popular hits and his place as the voice of the American Heartland not only seems secure, but somehow it does not do justice to his amazing catalog of music.

“Cherry Bomb”

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