Last modified: Monday, August 9, 2010
John Mellencamp to kick off 'No Better Than This' tour at IU Auditorium
What: John Mellencamp concert and documentary film
When: October 29, 2010. Film begins at 6:45 p.m.; live performance begins at 8:30 p.m. with doors opening at 6:30 p.m.
Where: IU Auditorium
Tickets: Tickets go on sale August 14 online at http://www.iuauditorium.com, in person at the IU Auditorium Box Office, as well as through http://www.ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster outlets, or charge by phone at 800-745-3000. The IU Auditorium Box Office is open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
EDITOR'S NOTE: A second Mellencamp show has been added for Oct. 30: http://newsinfo.iu.edu/news/page/normal/15218.html.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 9, 2010
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- John Mellencamp and his band will kick off the first leg of their "No Better Than This" tour at IU Auditorium October 29. The performance is presented by Union Board and AEG Live. The show -- an "evening with" Mellencamp -- is a rare opportunity to experience one of America's most iconic songwriters and performers in an intimate setting in a program that highlights all phases of his artistry.
The evening begins at 6:45 with a showing of It's About You, a documentary film by Kurt Markus. Shot on Super8 film over the course of last year's Bob Dylan-John Mellencamp-Willie Nelson tour of minor league baseball stadiums, the film chronicles the creation of No Better Than This, Mellencamp's Rounder Records debut album (scheduled for August 17 release). It also serves as a cinematic "think piece" on the state of the country at the end of the first decade of the 21st Century.
"We are thrilled that this legendary Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee has chosen to launch his tour among his neighbors here in Bloomington," said Doug Booher, director of IU Auditorium.
The tour, anticipated to continue through the Spring of 2011, will feature the classic Mellencamp material from over the course of his 35-year career and new music from No Better Than This.
The new album was produced by T Bone Burnett and was recorded in three historic locations in the American South: Savannah's First African Baptist Church, Sun Studio in Memphis and Room 414 of San Antonio's Gunter Hotel, where Robert Johnson recorded in 1936. The sessions were documented on a 55-year-old mono tape recorder using just one vintage microphone at each location.
"Mellencamp has never sounded looser or easier on a record," wrote Rolling Stone in a review of the album, suggesting the artist was "channeling spirits and stepping into period styles. They fit him perfectly."
As a reflection of the diversity of styles and material that have been a hallmark of Mellencamp's eclectic career, the concert is formatted into three segments that showcase Mellencamp in an acoustic context, fronting a small combo recalling blues/country and rockabilly roots and with his full rock band. Backing musicians include Michael Wanchic (guitar), Andy York (guitar), Miriam Sturm (violin), John Gunnell (electric and upright bass), Dane Clark (drums) and Troye Kinnett (accordion/keyboards).
"I'm very excited to have the opportunity at this time in my life to go on tour and present these songs in this manner," Mellencamp said.
Markus, whose still work has put him in the front ranks of contemporary American photographers, has been cited for his extraordinary vision for his work documenting the American West and is the recipient of Life magazine's Alfred Eisenstaedt Photography Award.