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CREEDENCE SUMMIT IN L.A., May 1997

 

In May 1997 the three surviving members of Creedence Clearwater Revival did the Los Angeles, CA, music scene.

Albeit in different bands this time, John Fogerty, Stu Cook and Doug Clifford played more or less to the same audiences since their last and final get-together at the late Tom Fogerty's wedding.

Cosmo's Factory - the Stu and Doug Band - was at The Greek Theatre on May 10th.

John Fogerty kicked-off his "Blue Moon Swamp Tour" first at the Fillmore in San Francisco on the 18 and 19 of May, and then performed at the L.A. House of Blues on May 21, 23 and 24. Next he went to Chicago.

For those who attended one, the other, or both concerts, it was a unique, unforgettable and thrilling experience.


This Page:

1. Introduction - The former CCR members in L.A., May 1997.
2. Cosmo's Factory at The Greek Theatre, May 10th Review.
3. John Fogerty at the San Francisco Fillmore, May 18 & 19 Reviews.
4. John Fogerty at the L.A. House of Blues, May 21, 23 & 24 Reviews.
5. John Fogerty at the Chicago House of Blues, May 28 Reviews.



John Fogerty and Band. TV Screen shot
from The Late Show by Bruno Berthold
Cosmo's Factory at the Greek
Cosmo's Factory at The Greek. Photo by Rachel Wright


INTRODUCTION

by Javier Diaz,
The River Rising Web
General Manager

Creedence disbanded in 1972 and has been ever since the most missed act in all of Rock history. In the next twenty four years its leader John Fogerty launched a solo career twice amidst unthought off legal fights, while refusing to perform CCR songs live until 1987. Bassist Stu Cook and drummer Doug 'Cosmo' Clifford assumed a low profile attitude performing in other musician's bands and had been in temporary retirement until 1995. Rhythm guitarist Tom Fogerty passed away in 1990 after releasing 6 solo LPs, most notably one with all former CCR members and another with Jerry Garcia.

CCR Fans were abruptly left out in the cold in late 1972 at a time when lots of soon-to-be classic rock groups underwent momentous evolution and consolidated their claims to fame. And in all those years we became all but convinced that the chance for many to see Creedence perform live again, and for a growing majority to ever see them once On-Stage was gone for ever.

In 1996 Stu and Doug fronted Creedence Clearwater Revisited and, with other musicians but without John, undertook an USA/Europe tour. Their success proved beyond contention that the CCR fan base not only was intact but if nothing else, had consolidated and grown with time. Under the name of Cosmo's Factory, Stu and Doug will tour the USA extensively this year. One very big piece was missing, though, and it fell in place in May 1997: John Fogerty announced both his first solo album in eleven years -Blue Moon Swamp, which was released on May 20th -and various gigs at selected places starting May 18 at the SF Fillmore going next to the House of Blues in L.A. and Chicago, to be followed soon by a USA/Northern Europe Tour.

In an unprecedented event, both bands would be performing in the same city -Los Angeles- in less than two weeks time, Stu and Doug's Cosmo's Factory on May 10th at The Greek Theatre, and John Fogerty at the L.A. House of Blues on the 21, 23 and 24 of May. For those of us lucky enough to attend both concerts, this was to be a momentous occasion. Many thought this would never happen, and there they are. Sure, they go different paths and a full reunion tour among CCR surviving members is certainly not in the horizon. But for a huge majority of fans, this was it so far. This was Creedence. The wait was over and we were young again.

This article was posted as an Editorial at the River Web from the 5 through the 13 of May, 1997.

 

This Band Is Worth 8,000 Miles!
Cosmo's Factory at The Greek
May 10th

By Javier Diaz
The River Rising Web

Which is aproximately what I flew in 13 hours from Santiago, Chile to L.A. on the night of Friday 9th, 1997. Serious people, those with the USA Inmigration desk: 'do you have your return flight ticket, sir?', 'Can I see it, sir?' 'What do you do back home?', 'What's the purpose of your visit?' By then you start to get pissed-off with so many questions, so you just blurt out the facts to see what the officer(s) will say: 'I'm here for a couple of Rock Concerts, will be staying at a friend's, I'm leaving in two weeks'. Curiosity is piqued at the other side: 'What band, sir?' thinking at the same time "I've heard of better excuses to sneak in here, but this one...'No use in getting into legal details and the Revisited stuff: 'Creedence Clearwater', I say. 'Oh, yeah?' Amused look and she hands me back my passport. 'Have a nice day'. You bet!

The air is hot. I wonder how the summer days are here if this is just mid-spring. Mike Rescigno's house is in a gorgeous new development some 45 minutes away from the L.A. International Airport. Having survived a bad turn on the 405 after the Ventura Freeway I finally get to his place. He has a strong physical resemblance with Stu. Later on at the party some folk there would keep congratulating him for the show.

At seven PM, Mike, his amazing wife Jenny and me, we pick up Hutch, Mike's RAZ BAND drummer and we are headed-off for The Greek Theatre, sitting on top of one of the hills surrounding Hollywood. The show is scheduled no sooner than 20:00 hrs. It starts to get cooler amongst the trees that shroud the place. Lots of people already there, most of them in their forties, many couples with their teenage children and a clearly discernible trove of second generation CCR fans who came on their own. The audience keeps thickening out. If you thought the three incoming John Fogerty shows in this same city in the next fifteen days would make the interest for Stu and Doug's band wane, it's the opposite that seems to have happened. This is the second time in nearly a year that these guys will be playing the Greek Theatre, Fogerty will do the town next week but when this show begins, the Greek is hot, full almost to its 6000 seats capacity. Opening up for Cosmo's Factory is Krissy Getz, an imposing accoustic folk singer whose CD is on sale at the entrance right underneath Cosmo's Factory $20 T-Shirts. She begins with a good rendition of Janis' classic 'Mercedes Benz' song, has some problems retuning her guitar, captivates the audience with her red skirt sideways slit, does some 5 more very nice songs and leaves amidst an undeserved general and curteous indifference. I guess that's the fate for all those start-up artists who are called to open the show for rock legends.

* * *


The River Rising Web General Manager
with friends at The Greek aftershow party,
May 10, 1997. Photo by Rachel Wright.
Around a quarter to nine, Stu, Cosmo and the rest of the band take their places. The MC says: "Stu Cook and Doug Clifford present... Cosmo's Factory!" and the next thing you know, you are drowned by an almost physical wall of sound. If you never saw CCR live you are taken off-balance by how good these guys really are. Doug has enhanced his precise, clean, implacable beat while Stu's bass deals blow after blow of sound. They share a genuine love for their music and it shows. Doug wears his now-classic white muscle T-Shirt and black denims, long hair and trademark beard. Stu is wearing a dark designer's shirt, black trousers, eye glasses and an imperceptible Van Dyke beard.

* * *

The show starts with Born on the Bayou and immediately the audience is up on its feet singing along! There you have the full, deep, warm, enveloping sound of Creedence bass guitar. Stu plays with a smile on his face, jests with all the others, laughs. His white Strat bass guitar overpowers the atmosphere. He could play solo and you would know it's a Creedence song right away. He is as nice onstage as online, in person and in the Stu-dio. Doug presides over his drums on top of the riser. All the drum fills and rolls are there right on time adding-up to Stu's powerful foundations. What a beautifully-tuned set of drums! The snare, two tom-toms, two floor toms, the hi-hat and four cymbals make the trick. And Doug is a full-fledged performer on his own right, doing dramatic endings which he underlines by reasing both arms outstretched holding battered-up Vic Firth drumsticks under a sole white light spot directed straigh at him.

Elliot Easton deserves a paragraph on his own. His guitar playing has "electric" written all over. He is faithful to the original Creedence lead guitar base lines, but has no qualms about going beyond them and, in so doing, takes Creedence into real electrifying guitar territory. His Cosmo's Factory set is done mostly with a single black and gray Fender Stratocaster which he plays lefthanded - although his left-handedness is yet to be seen - fittingly at the left side of the stage. While he proves supportive enough for all the 3 min. Creedence classics, Easton outshines himself in Stu and Cosmo's rendition of Susie Q, Heard it Trough the Grapevine and The Midnight Special, which he melts into long, unexpected and sharp guitar solos worthy of any major heavy rock band. But the new arrangements - one feels tempted to call then New Versions - don't stop there. Fortunate Son is heavier now, the guitars are harsher and the song ends abruptly after the last verses, leaving you just there wondering amidst the unexpected yet much harmonic silence. And Run Through the Jungle is a killer. The song fades into just Doug doing some soldiers's marching band rolls, softer and softer and softer like you think some long time forgotten army has finished passing nearby.

* * *



Rachel Wright, Rick Hawley and friend at The Greek aftershow party, May 10th, 1997. Photo by Javier Diaz. Rick attended the Cosmo's Factory gig and John Fogerty's two concerts at the SF Fillmore plus his three House of Blues shows in L.A.

John Tristao is a thick man with a thick voice, a kerchief on his head and a rhythm guitar in his hand. His singing is deep, effortless and adheres faithfully faithfully to the original Creedence versions while at the same time makes it evident that he doesn't try, nor should he, to sound like John Fogerty, and that is precisely the idea behind this band. Tristao is an original singer and as such, stands to be appraised by himself. Those who came here expecting to hear a typical John Fogerty sound-alike are in for a disappointment, since Tristao personifies what Revisited first, and Cosmo's Factory next, is doing: going for its undeniable roots while at the same time signifying that new forms and styles of interpretation are available, and in that it shows that Stu Cook and Doug Clifford are much in command and know perfectly well what they are doing. In this revisitation of Creedence they do not look to the past, they hurl it into the future. It's only too bad that this point hasn't gotten across sufficiently to the public. The songlist is a mixed set of John Fogerty classic original songs and Creedence covers of rock'n roll tunes: Green River, Proud Mary, Down On The Corner,Travelin Band, Bad Moon Rising, Hey Tonight, Lookin' Out My Back Door, both Rain songs. Tristao does an especially moving version of Long as I Can See the Light. And at the same time the band presents new arrangements of non-Fogerty tunes which start like what we're used to know but that suddenly take sharp turns into uncharted and more than welcome territory: Good Golly Miss Molly, Susie Q, Cotton Fields, I Put a Spell on You, making you remember that Creedence wore two hats when it came to its songs. This goes exceedingly well with the audience, who gets on its feet and enthusiastically greets the new, hard rocking life that's been breathed into old songs. Were we surprised, Creedence has gone electric!
Here's to River Rising!
photo by Rachel Wright

* * *

Stu introduces the members of the band. A special moment comes: "Doug Cosmo Clifford, original drummer of Creedence Clearwater Revival!" says Stu and the place is drowned with aplause. Doug raises, abandons his rocking throne, runs to the lower stage and in turn introduces Stu: "Stu Cook, original bass player of Creedence Clearwater Revival". More, eartfelt aplause. He goes on: "We want to thank John Fogerty for writing these great songs!" Candles are lit, the audience stays on its feet and rocks in a long, embracing cheer. The music starts and the audience won't sit down until the show is over. After what we know to be the second and last of a five song encore, Stu says: "this is a song we wish you all would get there" and the powerful chords and rhythm of Up Around the Bend tell us that indeed, we all will. And then it's over, the vision of a music that is glued to our souls is gone, and if for one moment, tears filled your eyes, never mind, it's just the L.A. windy night and the rising moon.

Cosmo's Factory performed at The Greek Theatre, Los Angeles, May 10th, 1997. This review was posted at the River Rising Web from May 13 through May 27, 1997. The author lives in Santiago, CHILE.

 

HOLY MOSES!
(....and I ain't even that religious.)
John Fogerty Opens at the SF Fillmore
May 18

by Ned Garrett
Berkeley CA

Folks, fortunately for you, I'm too wiped out to run on. Let's just say that JCF delivered in a mighty way. All of you who have tickets are going to get more than your money's worth if tonight's show was anything to go by.

It's all that and more! The Fillmore was packed to the gunnells and everyone was into it deep as far as I could tell. Fogerty has been practicing hard and clearly remembered all the right things to say, if not always the right words to his own songs.

I will never forget this. It was way more than I expected. Just unreal.
The Fairfield Four started the show. After they've left the stage and the clapping and handwaving is over, all you can do is just smile...a lot! They sang for about 20 minutes, maybe 30. All we could do was shake our heads and say , "Oh MAN!"

Fogerty appeared a short time later and right from the beginning of "Born on the Bayou" delivered the goods for two hours. Since my brain is foaming and I'm utterly out of gas, its hopeless to try to review anything, but I can say just a few things. First of all, if you thought the new album sounded good on the recording, wait 'til you've heard it live. Everything will have you nodding and smiling and saying, "Oh yeah...that's him."

I think "Walkin' in a Hurricane" is great, but "Swamp River Days" really is the deepest thing coming from the stage. That's the one the radio people should be playing.

He polished up things from "Centerfield" and made them sound far better than back in '86. "Big Train From Memphis" was basically and extended rockabilly jam the likes of which you rarely hear anymore.

His spiritual quest for the dobro payed off. He sat down centerstage and played three or four tunes with it, including "working on a Building" from "Blue Ridge Rangers." He ripped it up with the dobro.

Dexterity and thought are slipping away fast. Another thought and then I think I'll collapse. There's a couple of essential parts missing on the CCR tunes and I think you know what I mean. He has a great band behind him, but it ain't the same, great thought it may be. These guys didn't turn it out originally and you can't listen to those old hits and ignore that.

Right. That's it. The ragged attempt. If anyone doesn't completely dig the show, then maybe you oughta reconsider. It's f*****g wonderful! Whatever else he may be, Fogerty can Jam! and he can write some of the best music still. I'll never forget it. At moments it was pure feeling and we can't ask for more from rock and roll.

If you haven't got a ticket, do whatever you can to get one. Sell your inner shild if you have to, but go see, hear, feel this show.

Thunk!
There went the brain.

Later,
Ned Garrett

John Fogerty opened his Blue Moon Swamp Tour at the San Francisco Fillmore on May 18 and 19. This review was originaly posted to the River Rising Mail List.

 

"...Welcome Back to the Fillmore..."
John Fogerty at the SF Fillmore
May 1
8

by Bob Langlie

"Welcome back to the Fillmore. It's been awhile since you've been here......but don't worry I've been waiting for you".

With those words John Fogerty stepped up to the microphone and buried his demons with a masterful resurrection of his past and a bold charge into his musical future. Two hours of solid rock and roll, head bobbing rockabilly, blues, and even a little bit of gospel. Say what you like about JF personally, and I have taken my shots at him, but when he is between the white lines of the stage, under the glare of the lights, he is a master. That is when he's motivated and wants to be there.

"I'm just havin' too much fun, how 'bout you?"

Well last night it was clear he wanted to be there. Looking relaxed and in control, Fogerty worked the crowd, ripping off one guitar solo after another, and growling out that signature vocal style. He waved to folks he knew in the crowd, carried on a running conversation with the folks in the front of the stage, flirted with his wife and friends hanging out in the balcony, was completely charming, and just generally had a blast. The feeling was contagious.

Being from the Bay Area I've seen JF on a couple of occasions at benefits and the like and while vocally he has always impressed me, his guitar playing always seemed weak and tentative. Well I'm here to tell you, Uncle Johnny has been to the woodshed and has been working on more than the dobro....all aspects of his playing were strong, forceful and very together. The two other guitar players (I might have opted for a B3, or a guy who could double up on some instruments - hey, ya gotta pick nits somewhere) were strictly handling the rhythm parts, JF took all the lead parts and solos. While most will focus on the solos, what impressed me was his lead rhythm playing. These are the parts that hold songs like "Green River" and "Born on the Bayou" together.

The Band

Choosing Glaub on bass and Aronoff on drums was a stroke of genius. Power, power, and then some more power....sorta sounds, kinda like, um, well you know who. You can see that the arrangements and playing are tailored for larger venues...man, these guys are LOUD. Aronoff is a very muscular drummer and a catalyst as well. His enthusiasm was evident and he pushed the rest of band higher and higher. I was about 20 feet from the center stage, and it is clear that the band is still feeling its way through the material, as the tour progresses these guys will get even better... and that's a scary thought.

The Music

The new material fits quite well with the blasts from the pasts. "Walkin' in a Hurricane" had people singing the chorus by the end of the song. Pretty impressive considering the CD hasn't been released here yet. My personal highlights; "Born on the Bayou"/"Green River", "Suzie Q"/"I Put A Spell On You","Big Train to Memphis", "Long as I Can See the Light", "110 in the Shade"(with the Fairfield Four - killer), and just a tour de force version of "Old Man Down the Road".

Overall an outstanding performance - the boy is back. Little Swamp, Inc. Coming to a town near you......don't miss it.

Fashion Info: Black pants, black tshirt, black cowboy shirt with multicolored embroidery. Fit and in shape and damn good lookin' for a 51 year old.

Gear Head Info: Marshall half-stack, Gold Top Les Paul, Red '66 Telecaster, 6 string Ricky played through his original Kustom twin head stack, and a host of other classic guitars.

Stamina: Uh, yeah. Two hours straight.

Encore: Yep. "Proud Mary", "Travlin' Band"

John Fogerty opened his Blue Moon Swamp Tour at the San Francisco Fillmore on May 18 and 19. This review was originaly posted to the River Rising Mail List.

 

BEING THERE...
John Fogerty at the SF Fillmore,
May 18

by Sue

I was also at the Fillmore on Sunday night and I have to agree it was a fantastic show. John Fogerty has an amazing voice and it was unbelievable how strong it still is. I have also seen Cosmo's Factory a couple times and as much as I enjoyed their shows and how good they sound it just wasn't John.

JF's voice is something that can never be duplicated! I am also Dana's financee and even though I don't always agree on his views about John and all that has happen in the past. I now can understand his devotion and admiration for John Fogerty. JF is an outstanding performer and he gave it his all on Sunday night. I did not stop singing and dancing the whole time he played. I also had the opportunity to meet Jeff and Scott Fogerty and found them to be very friendly guys. The best of luck to you Jeff on all your new ventures. I hope they are all successfull !! As far as all the feuding is concern we all have speculated as to what has happened. It is hard for me to believe that one cannot find it in their heart to forgive and give credit where credit is due. Like John said in USA Today " Leaving me holding that balloon filled with unresolved issues" .

This is the demon they have to live with and all we can do is be loyal and devoted fans to John, Stu and Doug. They are all extraodinary and remarkable performers and with them the music of CCR Lives on.

John Fogerty opened his Blue Moon Swamp Tour at the San Francisco Fillmore on May 18 and 19. This review was originaly posted to the River Rising Mail List.

 

JOHN FOGERTY: THE VANTAGE POINT
John Fogerty at the House of Blues,
L.A., May 21st.

by Javier Diaz
The River Rising Web

(Coming Soon)

 

John Fogerty (House of Blues; 1,000 capacity; $35)
By Phil Gallo

HOLLYWOOD (Variety)
- The John Fogerty that fans have been clamoring for in the 25 years since Creedence Clearwater Revival broke up has finally arrived.

Energized by a new album that relies on CCR riffs and his unique moonlight-in-the-bayou howl, Fogerty rolls out credible, straightforward enditions of virtually every well-known Creedence number. But he also peppers the show with enough new material for the older fans -- and there are plenty of those -- to draw a connection between worthwhile new material and the old.

Fogerty's plan in the month following Tuesday's release of the new Warners disc, Blue Moon Swamp, is to hit small venues in select cities -- San Francisco was first, followed by three nights in L.A., then Chicago, Toronto, New York, Nashville and Atlanta. Word will certainly get out that the CCR classics have returned to the repertoire, despite all the previously expressed anger, lawsuits and dismissal of the earlier material, and will pave the way for a considerably larger tour of 5,000-10,000-seaters. This could easily be the biggest surprise of the summer.

Best of all, Fogerty wasted no time in showing his point of view: a straight half-hour of CCR numbers opened the show (Born on the Bayou, Lodi, Green River set the boat rolling) and after 80 minutes, only three new tunes had made it into the set list. But within that time, Fogerty was an ace study in dynamics: he moved from upbeat vintage hits to stirring renditions -- backed by the gospel quintet the Fairfield Four -- of the new swamp ballad A Hundred and Ten in the Shade and the traditional Midnight Special; turned to a softer session with the Dobro on Workin' on a Building (the lone tune from his classic Blue Ridge Rangers disc) and Joy of My Life, the first love song he has ever written; and bounded with a fury into his biggest solo hit, Centerfield, performed on a baseball bat-shaped
guitar.

Fogerty's still-gritty voice, working overtime on those enunciations that are equal parts Bay Area, bayou and Bayonne, is still the focal point along with the songs, but he seems much more assured as a guitarist. Granted some solos have a carbon-copy feel, elsewhere he's more pinpoint in his articulation or relaxed in the overall feel; the war horses Suzie Q and I Put a Spell on You had a more easily deciphered gruffness. He cut through the muddied psychedelia of CCR's renditions of '68 and made them simultaneously weighty and modern.

What hasn't been calculated well enough is how to better mesh the new material and hasten the changing of guitars. (Fogerty must travel with a good dozen.) At two hours and 10 minutes, he's logging some serious stage time and there isn't enough oomph in the final 45 minutes to sustain interest. His chattiness with particular audience members, usually about a guitar's age, broke down some of his button-down image, but it grew a bit wearisome for those in the back of the hall literally singing along on every song.

The half-dozen numbers culled from the new disc in Wednesday's show, all of which got a dose of overdrive from drummer Kenny Aronoff and his almost too-perfect band, lack the across-the-board appeal of Centerfield, and Warners certainly has a challenge trying to find a pop single on this disc. (Early sales returns suggest Blue Moon Swamp should land in next week's top 10.) Fogerty, who turns 52 this month, may find his breakthrough on country radio this time around, but then again, the public might finally respond to a well-made gospel tune like Hundred and Ten in the Shade.

Presented inhouse. Band: Fogerty, Johnny Lee Schell, Kenny Aronoff, Bob Glaub, Michael Canipe. Opened and reviewed May 21, 1997; continues May 23 and 24.

Reuters/Variety

 

"What Rock and Roll Was Meant to Be"
John Fogerty, House of Blues,
Chicago, May 27, 1997

Review by Ethan Schrum

I hardly know where to start. What an incredible experience. John
Fogerty is definitely back, and showed it with a flourish and a mean guitar Tuesday night at the House of Blues in Chicago. Myself and fellow River-Riser Dave Joens were 15 feet away, directly in front of JCF. The concert far exceeded my expectations, and was highlighted by an incredible display of guitar work. All of the new songs except "Joy" and "110" were highlighted by extra soloing at the end that put the studio versions to shame. Same for the three songs off Centerfield, which all sounded awesome. Centerfield was driven by the manic drumming of Kenny Aronoff, along with smokin' licks from John's baseball-bat guitar. But the best performance of the night was Old Man Down the Road, where John's playing, including about a minute of additional jamming, was absolutely scintillating on a gold and white Les Paul. The Creedence numbers were very good, but there was definitely something, or should I say two things, missing. The lowlights of the evening were Aronoff's butchering of one of the greatest drum songs of all time, Who'll Stop the Rain, and a comment by John. When somebody in the crowd called out "Effigy," John responded, "I'm not that angry anymore. We'll leave that to some other guys." The crowd was alive with interesting song suggestions, which were encouraged by John. The most popular was "Run Through the Jungle," and John kept referring to it as if he'd play it but didn't. I was screaming for "Up Around the Bend" and "Chooglin'," of course to no avail, and the guy behind me really wanted "Change in the Weather." John seemed extremely happy and told us so, and joked and talked much more than I expected.

The set started, of course, with Born on the Bayou, which was missing the last verse. John screwed up the words on both Green River and Lodi, but added some new guitar licks to both, and especially augmented the end solo on Green River. Lookin' Out My Back Door was routine, then John pulled out his Rickenbacker guitar with Kustom amp for a surprisingly (happily) lond and studioesque Suzie Q, followed by a brilliant version of I Put a Spell on You, probably the second best song of the night. We were then treated to possibly the first ever live performance of Bring it Down to Jellyroll, on which John played a regular guitar and a lap steel, and sideman Johnny Lee Schell played the organ. That was followed by Southern Streamline and the aforementioned Who'll Stop the Rain.

Opening act The Fairfield Four, a gospel quintet that John called a "treasure" and three of whom must have been eighty years old, returned to back up John on the Midnight Special and A Hundred and Ten in the Shade. The Fairfield Four joked about their age during their half-hour opening set, saying they'd been together since 1922. John then pulled out a chair and a dobro, which he explained, while a new, smaller drum set was brought out front for Aronoff. They played a fierce rendition of Workin' On a Building, then Joy of My Life. John got a regular guitar back but remained seated for a guitar-enhanced Big Train. After the three seated songs, the baseball-bat guitar came out for the aforementioned Centerfield. Down on the Corner was uninspired, but Swamp River Days and Hot Rod Heart were fantastic. They sounded excellent with the louder guitar sound of the concert setting. John continued his scorching guitar work on Before You Accuse Me, then played Long As I Can See the Light with guitar solos replacing the sax . John then lit into "Old Man" and gave me a whole new appreciation for the song, which has kind of a lifeless studio version. I think John should just rerecord Centerfield on stage! Mr. Greed would be superior with that kind of treatment. Blueboy and Walking in a Hurricane were next, and although John's vocals seemed to be weakening by this point, his guitar still had smoke rising from it! Added end solos made both songs great.

The black Les Paul he used at the Hall of Fame concert came out for the last three songs of the regular set: A fairly nondescript "Grapevine," a close-to-studio Bad Moon Rising, and of course the angst-ridden Fortunate Son.

After only about a minute or two backstage, the band returned for a fairly routine Proud Mary, then closed with a manic version of Travelin' Band, where John seemed to make up his own solos. The show lasted about two hours and ten minutes, and left me exhausted and in awe! I can't wait for the "big" tour, but it's going to be very hard for John or anybody else to ever match that concert.

Setlist

Born on the Bayou; Green River; Lodi; Lookin' Out My Back Door; Suzie Q; I Put a Spell on You; Bring it Down to Jellyroll; Southern Streamline; Who'll Stop the Rain; The Midnight Special; A Hundred and Ten in the Shade; Workin' On a Building; Joy of My Life; Big Train (from Memphis); Centerfield; Down on the Corner; Swamp River Days; Hot Rod Heart; Before You Accuse Me; Long as I can See the Light; Old Man Down the Road; Blueboy; Walking in a Hurricane; I Heard it Through the Grapevine; Bad Moon Rising; Fortunate Son. Encore: Proud Mary;Travelin' Band

John Fogerty played at the House of Blues, Chicago, on the 27 and 28 of May. This review was originaly posted to the River Rising Mail List.

 

JUST GOT HOME FROM ILLINOIS
John Fogerty, House of Blues,
Chicago, May 28

by Tom Holler

Locked the front door, oh boy. Got to set down, take a rest on the porch. And while I do that I'd like to offer my impressions of tonite's John Fogerty show at House of Blues in Chicago.

Opening the show was the Fairfield Four. I am always fascinated by a capella groups, and these gentlemen were no exception. Totally different from what was about to come, but very entertaining nonetheless.

The Fogerty section was two hours of extremely powerful rock, blues, and country. Never have I heard the CCR selections played with such emotion, with such a vengeance. From the first notes of Born On The Bayou I could sense we were in for a treat. Nice mixture of CCR (the covers of I Put A Spell On You and Heard It Through The Grapevine were especially good) as well as vintage Fogerty solo efforts like Centerfield and Old Man Down the Road and of course several selections from Blue Moon Swamp. It's so hard for me to pick favorites from the new material because I think the entire album is his best work since CCR, but I did get a few goosebumps from A Hundred And Ten In The Shade, with the Fairfield Four providing backing vocals. I was especially touched by John's comment that not only are the Fairfield Four a treat, but they are indeed also a treasure.

Fogerty's voice is as good as ever, but I believe he has taken his axemanship to a new level. I felt that way in listening to Blue Moon Swamp and am even more convinced of that after seeing him perform in person. I was about 15 feet from the stage the entire evening and could feel the passion that he wasputting into this performance. He really seemed to be enjoying himself, feeding off the crowd, which, I think was feeding off of him in turn.

Comments heard on the floor around me from total strangers -
"We are not worthy!!"
"We are in the presence of greatness!"
"We are in the presence of the master!"
Musician friends that I attended with had the following comments:
"The best musical night of my life....."
"Fogerty is the quintessential American rock and roll musician..."

I guess I can sum up my feelings about the whole thing by saying that I really hadn't planned to return for Wednesday's show, but if I can scrounge a ticket, I'll be there. I also have to tell you that never in my life have I come home from a concert so physically drained. I've been waiting nearly 25 years for this as I never had the opportunity to see CCR live, and tonite I can honestly say it was well worth the wait. One thing, John - please don't wait another 10 years before your next album!

John Fogerty played at the House of Blues, Chicago, on the 27 and 28 of May. This review was originaly posted to the River Rising Mail List.

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