John Mellencamp announces first European tour in 19 years
For the first time in 19 years, John Mellencamp is set to tour the UK and Europe with dates set for late June and July 2011. The No Better Than This tour is designed as a uniquely formatted “evening with,” and brings Mellencamp’s music to theatre-sized venues, a rare opportunity to experience one of America’s most iconic songwriters and performers in an intimate setting, highlighting all phases of his artistry.
The new No Better Than This Tour dates will take in Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Ireland, UK, France, Italy, Switzerland and tickets for the UK dates go on sale Friday 18th March at 9AM via http://bit.ly/eysNHL and 24 hour hotline 0844 811 0051.
The tour will feature both classic material associated with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee’s 35+ year long career as well as new music from No Better Than This, released last year by Rounder Records and produced by T Bone Burnett. The album has garnered great critical acclaim with Q stating, “Veteran blue-collar songsmith goes back to basics… with Mellencamp relishing his role as grizzled troubadour steeped in Rootsy traditions of America’s rural south.”
It 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. Rolling Stone‘s review of the album noted, “Mellencamp has never sounded looser or easier on a record,” suggesting the artist was “channeling spirits and stepping into period styles. They fit him perfectly.” The Americana Music Association recently honored Mellencamp with its Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting, presented by Rosanne Cash.
As a reflection of the diversity of styles and material that have been a hallmark of Mellencamp’s eclectic career, the concerts are formatted into three segments. These showcase John Mellencamp in an acoustic context, fronting a small combo recalling blues/country and rockabilly roots and with his full rock band. Musicians backing Mellencamp include Michael Wanchic (guitar), Andy York (guitar), Miriam Sturm (violin), John Gunnell (electric and upright bass), Dane Clark (drums and percussion) and Troye Kinnett (accordion/keyboards).
Of special note is the fact that the tour’s “opening act,” is a documentary film by Kurt Markus entitled It’s About You. Shot on Super 8 film over the course of 2009’s Bob Dylan-John Mellencamp-Willie Nelson tour of minor league baseball stadiums, it chronicles the creation of No Better Than This while serving as a cinematic ‘think piece’ on the state of the country at the end of the first decade of the 21st Century. The film had its theatrical premiere at this year’s SXSW® Film Festival in Austin, Texas. Markus, whose still work has put him in the front ranks of contemporary American photographers, has been cited for his extraordinary vision of his work documenting the American West and is the recipient of Life Magazine‘s Alfred Eisenstaedt Photography Award. Ticket holders are urged to get to their respective No Better Than This Tour venues on time to be on hand for the film’s start.
Mellencamp noted, “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.”
Log on to www.mellencamp.com for the most up-to-date concert and ticket on-sale information.
John Mellencamp No Better Than This Tour European Tour dates:
24 Copenhagen, Denmark – Vega
25 Berlin, Germany – TempoDrom
26 The Hague, Netherlands – Forum Theatre
28 Dublin, Ireland – Canal Theatre
1 Manchester, UK – O2 Apollo
2 London, UK – HMV Hammersmith Apollo
5 Paris, France – Olympia
6 Munich, Germany – Circus Krone
7 Stuttgart, Germany – Beethovensall
9 Vigevano, Italy – Castello Sforzesco
10 Rome, Italy – The Cavea
12 Udine, Italy – Castello
13 Zurich, Switzerland – Live at Sunset
Upcoming No Better Than This North American Tour dates:
1 Grand Prairie, TX – Verizon Theater
2 Austin, TX – Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theatre
4 Houston, TX – Jones Hall for the Performing Arts
5 Denver, CO – Temple Buell Theatre
9 San Francisco, CA – The Warfield
10 San Francisco, CA – The Warfield
12 Seattle, WA – McCaw hall at Seattle Center
13 Vancouver, BC – Orpheum Theatre
15 Edmonon, AB – Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium
16 Edmonton, AB – Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium
19 Saskatton, SK – TCU Place
22 Regina, SK – Conexus Arts Center
23 Regina, SK – Conexus Arts Center
27 Omaha, NE – Omaha Civic Music Hall
28 Ames, IA – Stephens Auditorium
30 Memphis, TN – Beale Street Festival