John Mellencamp has announced ambitious plans for his fall theater tour, which kicks off October 29 in Mellencamp's hometown of Bloomington, Indiana. Speaking to Billboard.com, the veteran rocker said the show will feature three distinct musical formats, each with a different on-stage setup. The performances will also include a screening of It's About You, a documentary film about the making of Mellencamp's new album, No Better Than This.
"It'll be like Alan Freed, like the old Moondog shows," Mellencamp told Billboard. "When you went to see his shows, there was a movie, like The Girl Can't Help It or something, and then three or four bands played."
Instead of featuring multiple bands, however, Mellencamp will stage his own performances in three distinct parts. "I'm gonna come out and play with upright bass and cocktail [drum] kits and a lot of acoustic instruments," he explained. "I'll play for, like, 40 minutes that way. Then the band will leave and it'll just be me with an acoustic guitar for 40 minutes, and then there'll be 40 minutes of rock 'n' roll. You'll get three different types of John Mellencamp, and you'll get a movie."
No Better Than This will be released on August 17. Produced by T-Bone Burnett, the album was recorded using a reel-to-reel recorder and a single microphone, at a variety of historic locations. Among those locales were Sun Studios in Memphis, and Room 414 of the Gunter Hotel in San Antonio, Texas, which is the site where blues great Robert Johnson made his first recordings in November 1936.
Tour Dates are as follows:
10/29 - Bloomington, Ind. - Indiana University Auditorium 11/01 - Cincinnati, Ohio - Music Hall 11/03 - Nashville, Tenn. - Ryman Auditorium 11/05 - Kansas City, Mo. - The Midland by AMC 11/06 - St. Louis, Mo. - Fabulous Fox Theatre 11/08 - Indianapolis, Ind. - Clowes Memorial Hall 11/11 - Indianapolis, Ind. - Hinkle Fieldhouse 11/13 - South Bend, Ind. - Morris Performing Arts Center 11/16 - Fort Wayne, Ind. - Embassy Theatre 11/17 - Cleveland, Ohio - Palace Theatre 11/19 - Detroit, Mich. - Fox Theatre 11/20 - Pittsburgh, Pa. - Heinz Hall 11/22 - Minneapolis, Minn. - Orpheum Theatre 11/23 - Minneapolis, Minn. - Orpheum Theatre 11/26 - Chicago, Ill. - Chicago Theatre 11/27 - Chicago, Ill. - Chicago Theatre
Thanks for the report to Russell Hall, Gibson.com