Bend, Oregon

Les Schwab Amphitheater

August 27, 2010

[Richard Bacon]

Review by Richard Bacon

Since no one has reviewed Bob & Mellencamp at Les Schwab Amphitheater, I
feel it is my duty to serve. It could be that the set list was predictable. It
certainly wasnıt the crowd, venue and climate as it was pleasantly cool (65
degrees) with full moon rising and not a square foot of grass to spare.
Mellencamp combined old with new, acoustic and full band and the crowd was on
his side. Job well done. He had a slight ³coughing² issue and an assistant
appeared with bottled water a few times. Too many cigarettes? Well, itıs widely
known his kids (Hud & Speck) have an online campaign to ³force² his divorce from
the cancer stick...we shall see. How Bobıs made it this far; well, God only
knows.  When the large clock (planted stage-side) hit 8:30 pm, John and band
made their hasty exit and all awaited The Bob. Out came the crew with lit Heat
Lamps, the black backdrop, the faux Oscar and then silence. ³Ladies and
Gentlemen...² came the announcer and the roller coaster was set in motion.
Rocking straight ahead with Rainy Day Women, it was a bluesy, bass-thumping set
from thereafter. It was pretty cool to see Bob playing lead guitar soloıs here
and there (Arthritis be damned!). Charlie Sexton was the lead anchor but
certainly had his quirks. I mean; what was up with that black ³choker² around
his neck? And what was with the OCD-ish knee-bending/squatting, staring at his
pedals, whipping his plugged chord like a lasso over and over?  Best moments:
Bob; center stage, harmonica/mic at the ready singing/blowing his heart out. And
the giggles from the band when Bob just wasnıt quite ready to end the song (as
they were ending). At 69, he still has it and my 25 year old daughter says ³I
get it², which says it all. A perfect encore version of ³Rolling Stone² had
everyone exiting with smiles and goose bumps.  Thanks, Bob. See you down the

Richard Bacon
Bend, Oregon


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