Sunday, March 29, 2015

NASCAR, the Irish and John Mellencamp...

Crossing the street from Lowe's, I saw that Home Depot has fashioned a shopping cart to resemble a racing car.

Both stores have championship drivers in the NASCAR Sprint series, but so far, I have NOT seen a Jimmy Johnson racing cart.

This lap goes to HD.

These stores tend to open across from each other which makes it easy for a comparison shopper like myself to browse both, looking for the best deal.

Online of course is the way many shop these days - me included - but I like roaming around in a true brick and mortar store.

Often I walk out with items I didn't even know were Must Have things.

My fluorescent tube lights in my shop now have been replaced with strips of LEDs.

They are brighter, use less electricity and the label says they last 22 years.  Yikes.

Walking around downtown after attending an event at the Circular Church on Meeting Street, I headed over to the Mills House with a few friends for a drink and a snack.

Oh, did I mention it was March 17, St. Paddy's Day?

The colorfully-lighted Hibernian Hall was a vivid reminder with its brilliant green lights.

(Wonder if they've switched over to LEDs?)

That was a pleasant visual surprise and, as we sat on the Mills House patio, we were serenaded by the deep full male voices next door, singing familiar Irish diddies.

They sure knew a lot of therm!

We chose not to sing along but waved a thank you later as the men streamed past us to join their patient wives who had sat out the male songfest.

And, speaking of singing. this was the third time I had seen John Mellencamp perform.

He's still got it! Oh yeah.

He explained to the crowd at the PAC (North Charleston Performing Arts Center) that we would hear old songs and new songs.

Songs we knew all the lyrics to so sing along.

And there would be some old songs that  he had re-arranged so they would be familiar ...yet new.

An acoustic Jack & Diane for example.

I followed all of that and he did as promised, backed by a tight band that always knew what was coming next.

He brought back his opener - Carlene Carter - to sing along with him.

This was a salute to the Royalty of Country music, the Carter Family.

Her mom is June Carter Cash, her step-daddy was Johnny Cash and her grandmother the legendary Maybelle Carter.

Mellencamp stepped back to give her the spotlight.

Nice guitar backing!

Then he joined her for several duets.

The sound and lights were terrific.

That's a trademark of all of his shows I've seen.

He travels with very talented people and it's very obvious and delightful.

I remember the accordion player and the lady with the violin from previous performances.

Again, the lighting was superb all evening.

My calendar is filling up with shows the next several months, leading into Spoleto.

Charleston is fortunate to see bigger and bigger names passing through and stopping for our enjoyment.

I'm doing my part to help keep this trend going.

I support live music by buying a seat for the shows.

I also try to contribute to this growth with my event-oriented blogging.

The recent sell out at the PAC for Santana speaks volumes to the talented performers as they plan their tour dates.

"Hey, let's take a look at Charleston, S.C."

(Click on the photos for more details.)

This was my first Mellencamp evening using my digital camera with a 20x zoom lens. There was a lot of dancing as we stood from our seats over and over.

I have the bruises to show from it.

Be sure to check out his newest (2014) studio album "Plain Spoken."

He's Dylan-esque some critics opined.

I'll see Bob Dylan Friday April 17 at the PAC.

Support live music.

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