Photos by Todd Radunsky
The Scene: Good Golly, Fogerty’s still got it. The ambiance at The Fillmore for last Tuesday’s “An Evening with John Fogerty” was much calmer than usual with a crowd who was relaxed and seated, in actual chairs, on the floor. This crowd was unlike many that have come to the Fillmore before this night, and this turned out to be surprisingly refreshing. As the night got going no one was being jostled, spilled on or searching for a spot between the heads to see the stage. Though the audience may have been laid-back, the music was not, and Fogerty got his tame yet loyal crowd hyped up on their trip down memory lane.
John Fogerty: Fogerty took the stage right at 8 o’clock and opened with “Hey Tonight” before performing the complete Bayou Country album to the delight of longtime Creedence Clearwater Revival fans. In its entirety, the album took the setlist through “Born On The Bayou,” “Bootleg” and “Graveyard Train.” Next came “Good Golly Miss Molly” and proved to be a crowd favorite. “Penthouse Pauper” and “Keep On Chooglin'” completed the album’s performance, though Fogerty kept one certain song to bust out later in the night.
Bayou Country was a warm-up for Fogerty who took his energy to the next level as he moved into CCR’s greatest hits. A projector screen was turned at the back of the stage which gave the audience an entertaining visual aid as he played through “Who’ll Stop The Rain,” “Lookin’ Out My Backdoor, “Long As I Can See The Light,” “Down On The Corner” and “Have You Ever Seen The Rain?” The man himself proved himself to be funny as well, sharing with us stories from Woodstock, being excited to play at the infamous festival and not realizing CCR was slated to play after the Dead – cue apocalyptic music followed by a round of laughter from the audience.
Fogerty’s post-CCR career did well for him last week with his solo tracks receiving as much audience approval as the CCR tracks. We heard “Mystic Highway” and “Nobody’s Here Anymore,” just two of his newer songs that he got us jamming to before he hit the climax of the show. “Pretty Woman” was an awesome addition to the setlist, and at this point the once tame crowd was now out of their seats and rocking out, like old times. The ubiquitous “Centerfield” came with a fog machine and Fogerty on a guitar made out of a baseball bat, which was a great, though somewhat cheesey, prop for the hit song. A fast and furious “Fortunate Son” came before the double encore, which brought us “Bad Moon Rising” and, of course, “Proud Mary,” which had been omitted from the earlier performance of Bayou Country.
Fogerty had hit all the checkpoints, covering the old, the new and everything in between. He brought his raucous energy and long-lasting musicianship, tamed the crowd and showed us a great time. If he’s coming through your city in the coming weeks, it’s worth your buck to see one of the greats who has still got it goin’ on.
Stage Presence: A
Set/Light Show: A-