John Mellencamp: “Sad Clowns and Hillbillies Tour 2017”
Ravinia, Highland Park, IL, USA August 27th, 2017

Review and Photos by Anita Maree Brodersen


John Mellencamp with Carlene Carter

John Mellencamp with Carlene Carter (credit: Anita Maree Brodersen)

With a clear sky and crisp breeze in the air, the popular outdoor venue of Ravinia was nearly sold-out as the crowd waited for John Mellencamp to take stage. He brought along on tour Carlene Carter as his opening act. Daughter of Carl Smith and June Carter, Carlene held her own on stage with guitar in hand performing songs including “Every Little Thing”, “Easy From Now On”, and “My Dixie Darlin”.

Mellencamp is on tour promoting his latest album “Sad Clowns and Hillbillies” which features duets with Carlene. The fans were ready to hear new songs and of course circle back to his classic hits that put in on the map. He started the show off with “Lawless Times” followed by “John Cockers” and “Minutes to Memories”. He also performed a Robert Johnson cover “Stones in My Passway”. Then came a string of classics that the crowd sang along with like “Check it Out”, “Pop Singer”, “Rain on the Scarecrow”, “Crumblin’ Down”, “Authority Song”, “Pink Houses” and “Cherry Bomb”. He told the crowd one song he does not like performing is “Jack & Diane”, but as he started the song his fans decided that if he did not want to sing it, then they would. And that they did! Ha! I can only assume that the entire town of Highland Park could hear his Ravinia fans singing each word to this smash hit.

Back when John Mellencamp was aka Johnny Cougar who would have thought the huge success that would follow this singer/songwriter. Still to this day he is selling out venue after venue. At Ravinia he made his debut performing not one but two nights. He never wanted to be no pop singer but darn – his music still makes you “Hurt So Good”! (Hats off to his entire band also!)

Anita Maree Brodersen

John Mellencamp (credit: Anita Maree Brodersen)