By Joel van der Veen
All John Mellencamp had to do to bring the house down at Mosaic Place Sunday night was strap on an acoustic guitar, step up to the mic and start singing, “Little ditty. . .”
The opening words to Jack and Diane drew a huge roar from the audience, and hundreds of voices joined in for the chorus, so quintessentially Mellencamp: “Oh yeah, life goes onnnn, long after the thrill of living is gone.”
When the song had reached its end, its writer stood back and observed: “Who would have thought that damn song would have lasted so many years?”
Mellencamp’s concert in Moose Jaw — his only stop in Saskatchewan on this leg of the No Better Than This tour — drew a massive crowd to Mosaic Place.
The 60-year-old singer-songwriter’s setlist included many of the hits that brought him stardom in the ‘80s and also provided him with a massive and loyal fan base. Throughout the ‘90s and beyond, he has continued to record and tour regularly to great critical acclaim.
Among the fans who traveled to attend the show were Glenn and Karen Stucker of Apex, N.C., who have now seen him perform three times within the past year.
Karen Stucker said she first saw Mellencamp on stage in Cleveland in 1979, when he opened for Heart. Her husband said that his music captures many of the struggles of working class America, from getting a job and raising a family to making a life for oneself.
“It’s music that a lot of people have always been able to relate to,” he said, adding that with the recession of recent years, the songs have begun to resonate with a new generation.
For more, see Monday's edition of the Times-Herald.