Carlene Carter and John Cougar Mellencamp Performing at Connor Palace


Last night at Connor Palace, singer-songwriter John Cougar Mellencamp played a nearly two-hour set that showed off the full range of his extensive catalog. Opening the show with "Lawless Times," a waltz-like song from his new album Plain Spoken, Mellencamp, who sported a scruffy goatee and wore a black suit, sounded (and even looked a bit) like Tom Waits as his voice became gravelly for some of the set's more introspective tunes. His stellar six-piece band turned up the volume for anthems such as "Rain on the Scarecrow" and "Paper in Fire," and he had the capacity crowd on its feet for closing tunes "Pink Houses" and "Cherry Bomb." Country singer Carlene Carter opened with an acoustic set during which she capably switched between acoustic guitar and piano as she related personal stories about her family (she's the daughter of folk/country icon June Carter). (Jeff Niesel)

Photos by Joe Kleon