John Fogerty At Radio City Music Hall, Wednesday, June 24th, 2015, Review
Bruce Springsteen has said the John Fogerty is the Hank Williams of his generation. When rock and roll was turning into “rock” getting spacier and jazzier, Fogerty continued to write gritty down-home songs featuring his fuel-injected vocals and hot lead guitar playing. To me, Creedence Clearwater Revival was the best American band of its era.
It all came crashing down for Fogerty for a while, as he was tied up in lawsuits with his record company, who actually sued him because his solo work sounded too much like himself. He eventually won that battle, and has continued to tour and record fine solo albums. His band now includes his son Shane on guitar- must make him keel (beam with pride for the non-Jews reading this).
Fogerty brought his new tour to Radio City on June 24th. It was billed as Creedence 1969, but his set list wasn’t really significantly different from the other times I’ve seen him. His band did manage to put out an amazing 3 albums that year, as well as play Woodstock. The show was introduced by an almost 20 minute film featuring John giving his thoughts about 1969 interspersed with footage and songs by other artist from the era. Maybe the younger members of the audience learned something, but it was all old news to me, and could have been omitted.
The actual show was wonderful as Fogerty always is. He plays all his hits with energy and enthusiasm, and in the original keys. Not bad for a guy who just turned 70. His band is terrific, especially the iconic drummer Kenny Aronoff. I wish he would talk less, especially since I’ve heard most of these stories before. A few times he brought out his guitar rack and started talking about the different individual instruments and what sounded good on each one. Interesting for a guitar nerd like me but probably not so much for most of the crowd.
Well, never mind, a good time was had by all. In the great tradition of being your own opening act, Shane Fogerty’s band Hearty Har opened the show. Their 25 minute set was passably entertaining and laudably brief.
(Note: the set list I”m posting is from the night before but I think it was the same).
1 Born on the Bayou
2 Travelin’ Band
3 Susie Q
4 Up Around the Bend
5 Who’ll Stop the Rain
6 Lookin’ Out My Back Door
7 Sweet Hitch-Hiker
8 Joy of My Life
9 Midnight Special
10 Keep On Chooglin’
11 Hey Tonight
12 New Orleans
14 Green River
15 Mystic Highway
16 Hot Rod Heart
17 Ramble Tamble
18 Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On
19 Rockin’ Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu
20 Long as I Can See the Light
21 I Heard It Through the Grapevine
22 Have You Ever Seen the Rain?
23 Down on the Corner
25 The Old Man Down the Road
26 Fortunate Son
27 Bad Moon Rising
28 Proud Mary )