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John Mellencamp to make special performance at 2023 Colts Kickoff Concert

Fans invited to free Sept. 8 event featuring The Jim Irsay Band & Collection with special guests Stephen Stills, Ann Wilson, Peter Wolf & Criss Angel. Free tickets available at

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Rock & Roll Hall of Famer and Indiana's own John Mellencamp will make a special performance at the 2023 Colts Kickoff Concert, featuring The Jim Irsay Band & The Jim Irsay Collection, on Fri., Sept. 8 in Indianapolis.

Mellencamp joins a lineup that includes music legends Stephen Stills (Crosby, Stills & Nash), Ann Wilson (Heart) and Peter Wolf (J. Geils Band). Fans also will enjoy a special appearance by world-renowned illusionist Criss Angel.

This one-of-a-kind event is free and open to the public, but tickets are required. To reserve a ticket, visit or Tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

WHEN: Friday, Sept. 8; 4-11 p.m.

WHERE: Lucas Oil Stadium, 500 S. Capitol Ave.

Born and raised in southern Indiana, John Mellencamp is one of the most respected and acclaimed singer-songwriters in music history. Mellencamp is a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, as well as a recipient of the John Steinbeck Award, ASCAP Foundation's Champion Award, The Woody Guthrie Award and Americana Music Association's Lifetime Achievement Award and more recently, the Founders Award, ASCAP's highest honor. He is also one of the most successful live concert performers in the world.

In 1985, Mellencamp, together with fellow Rock Hall members Willie Nelson and Neil Young, founded Farm Aid. The social activism reflected in Mellencamp's songs helped catalyze the concert series and organization that has addressed the struggle of American family farmers for close to 40 years.

Mellencamp released his 25th full-length studio album Orpheus Descending to wide critical acclaim in spring 2023 on Republic Records. It was recorded at his own Belmont Mall Studio in Indiana and produced by Mellencamp. The Hoosier native continues to live and work in Bloomington, Ind..

* * * * *

Mellencamp and the three special guests will join the all-star Jim Irsay Band, featuring: 

  • Kenny Aronoff, drums (Paul McCartney, John Mellencamp, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan)
  • Billy Branch, harmonica (three-time Grammy® nominee)
  • Tom Bukovac, guitar (played on more than 700 albums with major artists)
  • Mike Mills, bass & vocals (founding member of R.E.M.)
  • Danny Nucci, guitar, saxophone & vocals (actor, Titanic, The Rock)
  • Michael Ramos, keyboards (Mellencamp, Patti Griffin, Paul Simon)
  • Carmella Ramsey, violin, mandolin & vocals (Reba McEntire, John Hiatt, Olivia Newton-John)
  • Kenny Wayne Shepherd, guitar & vocals (five-time Grammy® nominee)
  • Mike Wanchic, guitar (Mellencamp).

The evening also will include an exhibition of pieces from The Jim Irsay Collection, including Irsay's world-famous guitar and instrument collection, as well as historic and iconic artifacts from American history and popular culture. The exhibit also will include unique Colts artifacts and memorabilia from 40 seasons in Indianapolis.

An active philanthropist, Irsay transformed his collection into a "traveling museum" and has hosted free exhibitions in Nashville, Tenn., Washington, D.C., Austin, Texas, Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, Indianapolis, San Francisco, Las Vegas and Boston. He also regularly loans artifacts to museums, nonprofits and other organizations for display and research across the country and around the world.

For photos of the collection, visit here.

For video of the collection and events, visit here.

For general info, visit

(all assets courtesy of The Jim Irsay Collection)

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