John Mellencamp Plays First of Two Nights at the Benedum (Mon., 5/22/23)

Monday, May 22 & Tuesday, May 23

John Mellencamp, who hails from Seymour, Indiana, is an authentic American singer-songwriter in the same vein as Dylan and Springsteen. After a somewhat frivolous beginning to his career when a manager forced the name John Cougar on him and he sang about his quest to find a lover who won’t drive him crazy, “I Need a Lover,” he worked his way back to his more authentic self and his real name. His songs shined a light on what was happening in the American heartland. Songs like “Jack and Diane,” “Small Town,” and “Rain on the Scarecrow.” A truly beautiful Mellencamp song is “Ain’t Even Done With the Night” with smooth vocals, saxophone, and subtle interesting drum fills. Mellencamp is touring in advance of his latest album, Orpheus Descending, set for release on June 2. He is be performing songs in his sets from the new LP. Orpheus Descending will be his twenty fifth album and also one of  his most personal records to date Top tracks include “Hey God” and “The Eyes of Portland” focus on social issues Mellencamp continues to passionately advocate for. “The Eyes of Portland” examines the empty “thoughts and prayers” condolences offered as a solution to major tragedies and complex situations. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame recently opened a new permanent exhibit titled Legends of Rock: John Mellencamp. In addition to his rock music main gig, Mellencamp is an accomplished painter. 8 p.m. both nights. Benedum Center, 237 7th Ave., Cultural District. 

John, Mellencamp. (Photo courtesy of John Mellencamp)

John, Mellencamp. (Photo courtesy of John Mellencamp)


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Rick Handler

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