The Bay Review: John Fogerty at the Lyric November 6, 2013
John Fogerty has not toured extensively in years. On the heels of his recently released “I Wrote a Song For Everyone” album, which is mostly his songs recorded with a wide array of current artists, it is natural to wonder if his show would be one of those events that was more about nostalgia and less about musicianship. Fogerty’s show at the Lyric demonstrated the strength of the songs is timeless, but his performance was anything but a victory lap.
The familiar Creedence songs that have been a staple of American music for years were transformed by the intensity of his performances and blistering guitar solos. His voice was flawless, hitting every note. The show was a two and a half hour non-stop series of impressive musical moments. With no intermission, Fogerty never lacked for energy, running around the stage. At the two hour mark, he launched into “Down on the Corner” and bounced around the stage with more exuberance than acts who are in their twenties.
On this tour Fogerty has been playing complete Creedence albums. For this show he performed “Bayou Country” with the familiar “Born on the Bayou” as well as the lesser known “Bootleg” and “Graveyard Train.” He saved “Proud Mary” for the final song of the encore to complete the album. In an interview before the show with The Bay’s Klug, he talked about how playing a complete album re-awakens it for him. Listen to Klug’s complete interview with John through the link below.
The rest of the show was a barrage of favorite songs from his catalog, each transformed by the intensity with which they were performed.
The backup band was strong and anchored by drummer Kenny Aranoff (c’mon kids you remember him from his years with John Mellencamp). Fogerty had fun with the audience and bantered with them regularly, relating stories including his experience at Woodstock following the Grateful Dead. (“They put half a million people to sleep.”) He also had no trouble poking fun at himself. During the encore performance of “Bad Moon Rising” he played with the often misheard lyric “There’s a bad moon on the right” and pointed off stage as he sang “there’s a bathroom on the right.”
John Fogerty is more energetic than he has ever been, his guitar work was astonishing and his rediscovered joy in playing before a live crowd is mesmerizing. This was an amazing show, possibly the best of the year, challenging the solid Eagles show a few months earlier. If you missed this show you missed something truly special.