So I'll start with the bad and end with the good.
The John Mellencamp/Day on the Green at the Hunter Valley weekend was both. The "bad" included the late arrival on Friday night (following Will's successful night at DanceFever - his school won 1st place in both categories, not that I like to gloat). I just can't do the late nights anymore, it literally takes me a week to recover.
Also, the Day on the Green event itself. Really for $200 a ticket you may expect a little more, comfort-wise. I certainly didn't expect to park on the side of the road a kilometre away from the venue (the advertised car park being closed for no known reason) and hike the distance in sloshy mud in my new red, patent sandals. I didn't expect to be using disgustingly filthy porta-loos which were also a reasonable up-hill, through-mud hike from our seats. I only half-expected the prices of the over-priced, under-quality food and the enormous queues. Really I guess I just didn't fully expect the level of rip-off and discomfort, all of which totally exceeded my expectations in the negative direction.
If I didn't already hold tickets for Leonard Cohen at a Day on the Green I would certainly not ever be attending another one.
Having said that, let me say this. John Mellencamp was awesome. I wouldn't call myself a huge fan, having always referred to him as Bruce Springsteen-lite. But I love Jack and Diane and happily sing along to I Want A Lover (That Won't Drive Me Crazy) (apparently Australia being the only place that was a hit) and Hurt So Good, among others.
The accoustic version of Lover was terrific, given that he seems happy never to sing that song again as long as he lives. The full-blown, OTT verison of Hurt So Good was amazing. But it was the other songs, the ones I had half-forgotten which blew me away; Paper In Fire, Check It Out, Small Town.
Despite the physical annoyances of the evening, it was a huge night.
PS Sheryl Crow was also great. Again, I'm not a big fan but I love Are You Strong Enough To Be My Man, which sounded great under the setting sun.