John Mellencamp: Outlaw Music Festival 2024

Outlaw Music Festival

Outlaw Music Festival debuted as a one-off event in Scranton in 2016 but has since grown into a touring festival that honors an American icon. The 2024 tour launches June 21 at Ameris Bank Amphitheatre in Alpharetta, Georgia before making stops across New York City and Pennsylvania before ending with John Mellencamp replacing Robert Plant and Alison Krauss for concerts at Holmdel, NJ; Bethel Woods Center for the Arts; Burgettstown; Holmdel NJ; Bethel Woods Center for the Arts as well as support from The Avett Brothers; Nathaniel Rateliff and Night Sweats; Flatland Cavalry; Flatland Cavalry; Celisse complete this tour’s lineup.

Even in the wake of an outbreak that kept Outlaw Music Festival performers away, its 2024 iteration proves it can withstand time. Blackbird Presents and Live Nation Concerts will bring this iconic roster of performers from Blackbird Presents through September, taking their show across America.

Riverbend Music Center was an ideal venue to host this show, situated along the Ohio River where Ohio and Kentucky come together. The lineup’s range of genres, generations, and geographies mirrored how this body of water serves as a symbol for uniting society through our different factions.

Mellencamp opened his show with an electrifying set that included his recent single, “Sick of It All”. This song featuring Kris Kristofferson as vocalist offers an indictment against modern society where individuals focus so heavily on maintaining themselves that they forget what it means to be human. As Mellencamp sang his message that, “we must put an end to all this noise / It can be hard being humble when you’re under the spotlight”, his audience responded with enthusiastic applause as Mellencamp sang those lines:

After Mellencamp had wrapped his set, the stage was cleared for Nelson to take the stage and to join Mellencamp’s show. Nelson walked into the center of the audience and began singing while taking in all that surrounded him – an unforgettable moment that set the scene for an incredible evening filled with musical magic and inspiring messages.

At the show’s conclusion, everyone was smiling broadly from start to finish! Classic and new songs alike were played, bringing joyous singing from all attendees who joined in singing along and dancing through the night.

An unforgettable highlight of the evening came when Nelson took to a chair and began to perform “Whiskey River.” To their delight, applause echoed through the theater as this legendary singer performed it for only the second time ever – to which all attendees applauded and applauded! His performance brought an extraordinary night full of wonderful memories; its last chorus being met with an enthusiastic roar of approval by everyone attending! A memory that will long remain.