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SWAGGER, NOT STYLE

The worldwide headquarters and hindquarters of freelance writer Chris Klimek

Being John Mellencamp

Chris Klimek

I live-tweeted last night's very fine John Mellencamp concert at DAR Constitution Hall, then tried in the cold light of day to organize my tweets into coherent, largely numbers-based recap of the show. Maybe better just to read the tweets, I dunno. But I know the gig was excellent; more generous and more somber than the 85-minute, hits-only set I somehow had it in my head that Mellencamp prefers. More than half the set was stuff released in the 21st century, and while I delighted to hear "Check It Out," which I thought for the first time sounds like an old Staples Singers jam, and "Cherry Bomb" -- all told, four songs from 1987's The Lonesome Jubilee, wow; plus and "Jackie Brown," too -- I thought the newest stuff was the best. I'm always interested in how old-timers with deep and much-beloved back catalogs balance their desire to perform new material with their fans' presumed expectation that they rock the hits. Anyway, go read.