John Mellencamp and his band hit the road this past fall, treating audiences to an exhibition of Mellencamp's artwork to compliment his musical and lyrical prowess. Paintings and original images are projected on a curved, wall-to-wall screen behind the singer while he performs on a square stage turned 45 degrees to point into the audience.
Nocturne Productions worked closely with production designer Steve Cohen to realize the video components of the show. Cohen created a set that is both innovative and attractive, allowing Mellencamp to perform at the tip of the stage where the audience surrounds him. A single posterized camera highlights a solo acoustic section of the show, while the visual material created by both Mellencamp and Cohen fill the background for the rest of the set.
Steve Burkholder of Nocturne handles the complex projection set up. Using a combination of high-end Folsom products, including a Screen Pro Plus and Screen Shapers, the images are fed from a Maxedia media server and are seamlessly projected across the upstage surface using three Barco FLM-20+ projectors.
Backed by his longtime band, Mellencamp performs selections from his latest CD Freedom's Road, along with new unreleased material and a selection of the hits the audience wants to hear.
Nocturne Productions is proud to support the Mellencamp tour as they make the effort to visit secondary markets to reach their dedicated audience. During a recent pre-show interview at Penn State, Mike Wanchic, who is celebrating 30 years as guitarist with the band, put it best: "You gotta go to these other cities to meet your real audience. We're not some Hollywood wonder child—we're a band of the people."
The tour continues across the US and Canada through March 2008.