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John Cougar Mellencamp Played A Show In Cleveland Last Night Where He Threatened To Leave If The Crowd Didn't "Shut The Fuck Up" After A Fan Yelled At Him To "Play The Fucking Music"

Cleveland Scene - John Mellencamp’s audience at the Connor Palace Thursday night, which included the type of loud and buffoonish concertgoers for which Cleveland is becoming known, should consider themselves lucky that he finished the show.

The singer/songwriter/rocker, in town for two shows at Playhouse Square for his “Live and In Person” tour, put on a strong performance that featured some of his best-known songs over nearly two hours. It also featured portions that seemed designed to prove he is a serious artist, even if he should know he has nothing to prove.

But it all could have easily ended early. Signs posted in the lobby said that, “This show respects theater etiquette.” And early on, Mellencamp told the crowd that "I don’t like people screaming from the fucking audience."

Later, as people continued talking and after a boorish concertgoer yelled at him to “play the fucking music” when he dared to say something that could be construed as criticizing the U.S., he had enough.

“Listen, hey, you guys, if these people don’t shut the fuck up I’m just going to leave, OK?” Mellencamp said. “Because I’m not used to this crap. Look, guys, if I wanted to play in this type of drunken environment, I’d play outside or I’d play in an arena.”

If there were any quibbles, it’s that Mellencamp seems hell-bent on proving that he is a serious artist. His decision to open the show with a 30-minute series of classic movie clips (during which the boos and calls for Mellencamp to take the stage grew louder, because remember, this was a Cleveland audience) was an attempt to show some of his inspirations.

He also told the crowd that he envisioned the show as less a concert and more of a performance. It showed, right down to his decision to play in front of a picture of a set piece from the 1951 film A Streetcar Named Desire.

Setlist:
1. John Cockers
2. Paper in Fire
3. Minutes to Memories
4. Small Town
5. Human Wheels
6. Jackie Brown
7. Check It Out
8. The Eyes of Portland (acoustic)
9. Longest Days (acoustic)
10. Jack & Diane (acoustic)
11. The Real Life (Joanne Woodward spoken word recording with live instrumental backing)
12. Rain on the Scarecrow
13. Lonely Ol' Night
14. What If I Came Knocking
15. Crumblin’ Down/Gloria
16. Pink Houses
17. Cherry Bomb
18. Hurts So Good

First off, if you read this story and didn't laugh out loud reading that a fan shouted out "play the fucking music" when Mellencamp went on a political rant, then you have a giant dump in your pants. 

I spit out my Pirate Water and I wasn't even drinking any. 

Secondly, who the fuck does John Mellencamp think he is subjecting fans to a 30-minute classic movie scene montage before his set? 

Dude, you wrote "Small Town". Not fucking Ulysses. Take it easy. 

Thirdly, this was fucking Cleveland we're talking about. Ever heard of it John? On a Friday night? Crying out loud, these folks who forked over their hard-earned money to see this show came lubed up, and raring to hear the hits. Not be preached to. And not to feel like "they were at the theatre". They wanted good old days, sing-a-long rock n roll. Not theater.

Fourthly, how the fuck are you going to put on a concert for your fans and not play "Wild Nights"? (The extremely underrated smash off 1994's surprisingly great Dance Naked)

(Sidebar- don’t even get me fuckin started on this nonsense that did make the set list-

11. The Real Life (Joanne Woodward spoken word recording with live instrumental backing))

Fifthly, a backdrop of a setpiece from "A Streetcar Named Desire"? Take it easy Cougar

Giphy Images.

(sidebar - speaking of Stella, here's a great opportunity to plug our boy Big Cat's coffee line Stella Blue)

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Sixthly, what's that you say? This isn't John's only instance of pulling rank on his fans like this recently? You don't say.

The "Pink Houses" singer issued a similar warning during a March performance in Grand Prairie, Texas, telling the crowd before the midshow acoustic portion, "This is the quiet part, so keep your fucking mouth shut," according to the Dallas Observer. When a woman in the audience promptly broke the singer's rule and shouted his name, Mellencamp fired back, "What did I just fucking say? But thank you."

Are John Cougar Mellencamp and Jeff D. Lowe related?

I thought Mellencamp was from the "Take It Easy", Eagles generation? Where there wasn't a misunderstanding that couldn't be solved with a little love, peace, harmony, and marijuana. If he's gonna be wound this tight, trying to convince people he's this different version, than what they've been thinking of for the past 40 years, then maybe a 76 date tour isn't the place for his cranky ass. Maybe God's waiting room, sunny Florida is.

p.s. - real talk though, I had no idea until very recently that Cougar Mellencamp was this big of a dickhead. I always had this idea that he was this fun loving, "aw gosh gee shucks" guy from middle America. But whatever on that, I do respect the guy for the fact that he'll release his 25th album, Orpheus Descending, next week on June 2. The 71-year-old songwriter pleaded for an end to gun violence on lead single "Hey God" and lamented the homelessness crisis on follow-up single "The Eyes of Portland."