SO HERE IT IS. CONCERT REVIEW TIME.
June 10th, 2015
Detroit Opera House
A Girl's Dream Come True
(Warning: This is more bragging than an actual review. Sorry!)
Where do I begin!? Well, maybe I should introduce MYSELF then. I'm a 15 year old girl, and I'm turning 16 very soon. My wonderful mom had bought me tickets to see John Mellencamp, but the seats were a birthday surprise...
At last we arrived at the venue and I discovered my seats. There was an isle right there in the middle, and my seats were directly facing the isle. I was literally like 10 feet away from the stage and I had a perfect straight line in front of me and the microphone. Just the best seats in the house... or at least, I THOUGHT so...
I didn't stay much for the opening act because this was my first time seeing John... so I was outside taking mental checks and making sure I was still conscious for this concert. After all, I might only be 16 but John Mellencamp is my love. And damn did it sure feel like it today!
Carlene Carter was great. She had all the rhythm and soul I was looking for in real music. I would totally write more about her, but like I said, I missed most of her act. Face it- we were all here to see John, and when the lights grew dim and the voices stopped... we KNEW it was time. Time to rock and roll!!!!!!!
His band began playing the raw, bluesy rock tune to "Lawless Times"... off his totally radical new album, "Plain Spoken"! The band was nailing every note, just drawing the audience in for so much more. Just when we thought we couldn't get enough, John Mellencamp walked on stage very nicely dressed and a handsome smile on his face!
I erupted into loud, fierce screams. NEVER in my life did I think that I would stand before this man. Especially so close! Normally I would cry at the sight of John Mellencamp so darn close to me, but I was extremely dehydrated so the tears refused to come out. So, I rocked out instead, fist pumping in the air like a random punk rock concert or something! I was having the time of my life until the 3rd song came.
I was determined to get him to notice me. I screamed, shouted, danced... you name it. The lights were even on. Now, I hardly remember which song was playing, but I do remember him making eye contact with me... chills went down my spine and I help my breath, and he totally winked at me!!!!!!!
I collapsed into my chair, unable to catch my breath. "MOM, did you see that!?" I nagged on my mom's arm, nearly sobbing, "HE WINKED. AT ME!!!"
She looked at me funny. "No, I didn't see that." She chuckled, thinking I was seeing things or something. Oh no. I KNEW he was looking at me. I was probably the youngest kid there! Of course he had that special wink, just for me, right!?
After a few more songs, I continued to dance and scream, and he would make more eye contact with me. Each time my heart would melt a little more and a little more!!!! Finally, he looked directly at me and smiled- and I lost all my control. Nearly falling to the floor, I sat in my seat and a few tears managed to come out. I wanted to faint right there. Everybody around me laughed and said, "Aaaawww"... but I was in such a state of shock that- I don't know- even as I'm typing this I'm getting those damn butterflies again!!!!!!!!!
So the concert proceeded, and each time a song would start, I would inch my way closer to the stage. Finally, I was about 4 feet away from the stage. Two men were standing in front of me as well as a woman. But literally, that was it. I was standing in the middle isle, RIGHT in FRONT of the damn microphone!!!
John continued to make eye contact with me, noticing that I was getting closer. I would hold my hands together and just dream of being closer and closer to him... and when I opened my eyes he would be right there, staring at me with those beautiful blue eyes (just like mine!)
He began telling the story of how his grandma lived to be 100. I listened to the story, and all he had to say was just pure wisdom and truth. Ahhh that is why I fell in love with him. How he is just TOO honest and humble and- well let's not get carried away here. Anyway, he told us that his grandma said, "And me and Buddy are ready to come home!" And I cracked up!!! Oh, poor John. Nobody's ready to go home quite yet hahah!!!!!!!!!!! He said, "I have a lot more sinning to do!" I laughed so hard at that that I actually snorted. Out loud. Right in front of John. Oops. I hope his earpiece was tight in his ear.
(Speaking of earpieces, he was having a bit of a problem earlier with one and he was like, "I hope I'm not dying" Haaaahahaha.... he makes me laugh SO MUCH. Where the hell does he get his humor from? First he's talented, then he's so haaaandsome and how he's hilarious? No wonder my knees were getting weaker as I got closer to this man!!!!!!!!!!)
Then he began to play "Longest Days" which was extremely soulful and meaningful. I remember hearing this song for the first time and crying. And now, he was standing right before me, and this beautiful song was tugging on my heart. I had to cry. The emotions were too much to handle. I don't think John planned on making a 16 year old cry today but he sure did. That song is packed with extreme passion, emotion, and plain wisdom. I'm sick and tired of people sitting during these slower songs. This was one of his best songs, right here, without a doubt, and I couldn't just sit. Heck, I remember after I cried, I looked directly into his eyes and we stared for a moment before he looked away and a last tear rolled down my cheek...
I stayed pretty close to the stage until the guards told us we had to go back to our seats. I obeyed reluctantly, and started complaining to my mom, "The guard kicked us out of there! No!" I began to get sad. He wouldn't notice me as much back here. I stayed in the back for some more songs until a few of us decided to return back closer to the stage.
These two men right in front of me were blocking my entire path to see John. All I really wanted was John to touch my hand. That was all. I told everyone around me how angry I was at these total a-holes and how my dream would come true if I just got to be right there by the stage, Finally, some cool guy approached the two jerks and told them that they better let me get up there or else.......
And they agreed. AGREED!
I walked the last few feet until I reached the stage and I was touching it. There I was. Right in front of the microphone with the actual CLOSEST SEAT IN THE HOUSE!!! Front row and everything. My jaw dropped. We were in the middle of "Rain On The Scarecrow". John noticed that I made it up to the front and winked at me, followed by a very sweet smile! That's when I cried again and I buried my face into my arms, just hoping I would get the chance to touch his hand...!
At the end of "Scarecrow", he walked directly in front of me and looked down at me. Now I know John is not very tall, but to a very small 16 year old, YES he was TALL. I looked up at him, and he looked down. I slowly inched my hands out for him. Other woman around me cheered me on. My eyes never left his, and he bent down... and the tips of his fingers gracefully touched mine.
WELL.. I"M SURE YOU KNOW MY REACTION BY NOW! I immediately began to cry, even though I was so dehydrated... and the butterflies in my stomach were literally EATING me. I touched my hand- the hand he touched. I thought this was a dream come true. Ah but no... John had much more in mind!!!
He smiled at me again, and my eyes met his. Y'know what? I think me and John made more eye contact at this single concert alone than I ever did with my mom in my ENTIRE LIFE! But this is only HALF of what was to happen!
Earlier, before I had made it up close to the stage, I had brought my trusty Sharpie along. Venues won't allow you to bring posters? Screw that. I wrote "I love you!" on my hand in hoped that he would see it. And sure enough, in the middle of one of his songs, I held out my hand shyly, hoping he would catch a glimpse of it. Oh, it was more of a glimpse. He read it, walked over to his microphone stand, and winked at me with an actual twinkle in his eye. Woah. Let be backtrack that. A DAMN TWINKLE IN HIS EYEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!
Now please, excuse me, but I have the worst memory in the world. I cannot remember which song was playing. I think it was the ending of "Crumblin' Down".
Yet another unforgettable moment happened! John walked up to the edge of the stage. He stood in front of me again. It was pretty obvious that I was his favorite crowd member as he favorited the middle of the stage and as you know- the non-stop eye contact!!!! My heart skipped a beat. He bent down. Right in front of me with this huge grin on his face. I'm sure my heart stopped beating by now. I looked right into those amazing eyes of his... and he reached out his fist in front of my face!
Now now now, girls are very emotional creatures. I had to gather myself for a moment. I could feel my legs getting weak and I began to tilt backwards. Luckily, some nice girls behind me pushed me forward and gabbed my hands, screaming things like, "TOUCH HIM!" and "HE WANTS YOU!"
I snapped back into reality and looked at his tattoo-covered fist again. At the time, it didn't register to me that he wanted a fist bump. The only thing I could think of was to grab his fist with both of my hands and never, ever let gooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I squeezed his hand for the few seconds we hand. He looked down at me and I felt so small, but I KNEW I was the lucky one that night. I closed my eyes very tightly and embraced the moment as our hands slowly began to let go. I felt like life was a dream. This COULD NOT be real. But it most certainly was.
Let me have a moment to catch my breath. Sorry. You can tell that my love for John really doesn't end. Oops. So... the concert continued with some 80s hits like "Authority Song". The raw guitar sounds and pounding drums... EVERYTHING about his band was stellar in my opinion. (Actually, it's a fact that his band is pure awesome.) In the middle of "Authority Song", he broke it down and began singing, "Land of A Thousand Dances". The crowed took turns "helping" him out! Then, he started talking about girls. Oh damn. All the girls and how they made him feel. Honestly I tried so hard to avoid eye contact at that moment because I was blushing so badly. I held my face to the palm of my hands. "Stop blushing." I told myself. And he would look at me again. I decided to talk to the woman around me for a second to calm the emotions in me out a bit.
And then he finished "Authority Song" and moved on to a couple more 80s hits such as "Pink Houses". I placed my hand on my heart and sang all the lyrics with my eyes close. I knew this song better than the Pledge of Allegiance! As the song progressed, I decided to stop staring at John and look at his other talented band members for once. I looked at some of his band members and they stared back, some even smiling. I smiled back, shaking my head trying to contemplate how LUCKY I was that night. Heck, and there's STILL MORE!
He began to introduce his band after the song was over, and then started to tell us all about old times. He told us how everybody loves to tell about old times, and how his 21 year old son thinks that 2 years is old times. John says, "I take naps that are 2 years long!" I cried with laughter!!! Wow! But he's got a point. I'm 16. 8 years ago I was only half my age. 8 years for John is like a blink of an eye. He told us how life changes as we reach certain ages. I listened to every word he had to say, and not just because I love him and he had me casted under his magic spell that night... but because he is telling the cold, hard, TRUTH. That man, like I said before, if full of honesty and wisdom... and I want to be just like him. He's my inspiration and he has the answer to everything I'm looking for!!!
So I looked into his eyes longingly and deeply while I listened to him talk to us. He glanced at me over and over. He was saying how older folks remember the past and important lessons learned over time. Suddenly, within seconds he had turned around and faced me, and bent down to get nearly eye level with me. OH. OH- GOSH- I never blinked or looked away. I walked up closer to him. And he spoke DIRECTLY. At. ME. "And the younger ones!!!!" His face lit up and he smiled the biggest and dreamiest smile of the night, accompanied by a faint laugh...
He was referring to me. He was saying how younger people like me have so much to learn about old times still. I. Could. Not. Believe. He. SPOKE. To. Me. To be honest, I'm surprised I didn't wet myself. Honestly! You can laugh at me all you want but I am totally in love with John Mellencamp and it will never end. Some may understand it. Others won't. But to have him actually SPEAK to me... okay, I have tons of rights to brag there. Ha ha ha!!! In your face!
So John finished off the night with one last song... "Cherry Bomb". I knew this was the last because I could totally see the setlist in front of him. I was just aching for one more moment with him... but I decided to wait a little bit more before I did anything. He started to smile at other fans and gave them a few winks, and even touched another fan's hand briefly, but he was right back in front of me again soon after. I held my breath and thought to myself... "Would he touch my hand just one more time? Does he like me enough to touch me again???" I looked up to see John standing several inches from my face. I saw his shoes, then I looked up his legs (sorry) until I looked all the way up to see him looking down at me again. I reached my hands out one more time and desperately cried out for one more touch. Immediately, without any hesitation, he reached that same beautiful hand out and he held mine tighter and tighter. I then used both my hands and squeezed his, but I was so freakin' exhausted I began to slip. Fortunately, he wasn't letting me go just yet. He gently took my hands and swayed them back and forth, back and forth, back and forth! My heart officially melted on the floor. When he let go of my hands, I'm sure you know what happened next. He smiled a tremendous smile just for me and stared at me for what seemed like a true eternity. I just don't know how I didn't pass out after that!!? Must be that magic spell he had me under!!! AAHHH!!!
And the show finished shortly after, with John acknowledging the crowd and looking off at every person in the audience. I was small, barely noticeable in this room full of hundreds of people... but he saved the very last look for me before he took his final steps off the stage for good.
Man, was it really over!!!???
Well, I seemed to have left out a lot of what actually happened at the concert. Hey, I warned you that majority of it was just be bragging and screaming! I sincerely apologize. So I will put some details down, as much as I can remember with my horrific memory.
So John was singing a great acoustic version of "Jack and Diane", and people missed one of the verses. John stopped the song. I literally knew this was going to happen. HOW can you forget "Suckin' on chilli dog"? Even with my bad memory I can remember that! John told the crowd that they messed up and he would redo it again. Oh yeah, life goes on, even if you don't know the lyrics to John Mellencamp's biggest hit...... Haha.
John also did a splendid version of "The Full Catastrophe" where just one lonely piano accompanies him. Let me just say one thing. And one thing only. Sexy. Yes. His voice is just the sexiest thing on that song. The rasp, the deepness... and when he pulls out a cigarette and lights it, it completes the whole scene. Why does John have so much class? Why can't more people be as cool as him?
Carlene Carter hit the stage again to do two more songs with John that were done in a play with Steven King a while ago. I have not seen this play or anything, so these songs were new to me. Looks like I have some research to do 'cause those songs were AMAZING! Ugh. He has way to many underrated songs. WAY TOO MANY.
He also talked a lot during this concert. And the crowed talked right back. One drunk screamed, "I Need A Lover!" And John pointed out that he had a beer in his hands... Oh gosh haha!!!
So overall, that was the concert and all that I can remember of it. I know... that was a little too much to handle, wasn't' it? I can't believe I'm almost 16 years old. And this was my very FIRST John Mellencamp concert EVER. I can't wait to get old so I can talk about old times like John.
Anyway, thank you for taking the time to read my long, crazy review.
JOHN MELLENCAMP, YOU ROCKED DETROIT! Detroit Rock City! Motor City!
THANK YOU JOHN MELLENCAMP for all that you have done to me and all the other hardcore fans out there! I will NEVER forget this!
With much, much love,
P.S. Next time you come to Detroit I WILL be there so look out! Crazy girls everywhere again!