It's freezing cold in Melbourne today, back to winter with a vengeance, but I have a warm glow, recollecting last night's wonderful concert at the Rod Laver Arena.
The front row seats are obviously the best place to be at this enormous venue, so I felt cosily at home in my seat in row H, eight rows from the stage. I had an excellent view of the stage and was able to get some reasonably good photos of the event.
The three performances were all superlative, and started with a short set from Shane Nicholson, initially solo, then with his father in law Bill Chambers providing accompaniment on steel and whatever else he was playing. He was out of my range of view.
Shane mostly played songs from his new Familiar Ghosts album, which was fine with me, as I love it.
After a short break Sheryl Crow took to the stage. She was fantastic! Her act was gutsy, lively and thoroughly enjoyable rock 'n roll. She was accompanied by a big band which comprised a drummer, another percussionist, an ace lead guitar, a bass guitar, another guitar player, a keyboard and two backup singers. Understandably the sound was big and satisfying loud. It thrilled my rock child soul. It was the first time I've seen Sheryl Crow perform live, and hopefully not the last. I'd definitely go and see her play again.
The same goes for John Mellencamp. His act, on top of the others was the icing on the cake of a wonderful evening.
Being the archetypical rock musician he put on a great act, irresistibly foot tapping and body swaying stuff.
I love rock 'n roll played loud and hard, and John Mellencamp delivered in spades. It has an amazing effect on me - a sort of exhilaration infuses me and I get carried away to a happy place watching and listening to the music.
This is first time John Mellancamp has played in Australia for fifteen years, but he obviously had fans galore. Everyone sang along to the songs, and even though I have not listened to his early songs for many years, they all came back to me as he sang them.
He played a well spaced mix of old and newer stuff, both hard rocking and slow ballads. It included songs like Small Town, Jack & Diane and a few from his latest album Life, Death, Love & Freedom.
I emerged from the arena in a happy daze and even though I had to stand in queue for a taxi for at least half an hour, it was worth the effort.