JOHN FOGERTY IN FINLAND
Reviews of the July 26, 1997 Concert in Helsinki
at the Hartwall Areena.
Reports by The River Rising Mail List subscribers
Philip Brady, Anti Poussa.
- Set List by Bill McComish
As you already know the concert lasted 2 Hours 10 minutes!
- Born on the bayou
- Green River
- Looking out my back door
- Suzi Q
- I put a spell on you
- Bring it down to jellyroll
- Southern Steamline
- Who'll stop the rain
- Midnight special
- 110 in the shade
- Working on a building
- Joy of my life
- Big train from Memphis
- Down on the Corner (audience PARTICIPATION!)
- Swamp river days
- Hot rod heart
- Before you accuse me
- Long as I can see the light
- Old man down Down The Road
- Blue boy
- Walking in a hurricane
- I heard it thru the grapevine
- Bad moon rising
- Fortunate son
- Proud Mary
- Travellin' Band!
Nakemiin Suomi, kiitos!
- PHILIP BRADY, Ireland
Music does funny things to people.
There was a girl sitting close to us in the magnificent Hartwall Arena last night who
spent most of the concert "Howling at the Honky Tonk Moon"....quite literally.
She let go with these frequent high pitched whines at the end of every song and I don't
think she sat down once during the entire concert.
Not that many did.
Former "Europe'' singer Joey Tempest kicked things off with a competent, if
uninspiring set. He didn't seem to be pleased when told to finish, but the magic hour of
9.15 was approaching and anticipation was high.
About 3 minutes before the lights went down, the 13,000 or so anticipated John's arrival
with the fervor of a football crowd.....Premier League, England that is, Finnish soccer
doesn't generate that type of emotion....or so I'm told.
When the crickets and swampy sounds started, it was genuinely difficult to hear them, such
was the level of crowd noise. From the first bars of Born on the bayou, John had the crowd
in his pocket. Moving from side to side, belting out all the trademark guitar licks, he
looked like a guy who just won the Lottery, smiling from ear to ear, not quite believing
that he was back doing what he does best.
The set list was unchanged from previous gigs and the songs were very well grouped,
although the audience reaction to the CCR material was stronger than most of the newer
stuff. But then there were a lot of 40 somethings out there. John really has got himself a
superb backing band here. Tight, totally in harmony and with the added bonus of Mr.
Perpetual Motion, the amazing Kenny Aronoff on drums. How this guy keeps it up for over 2
hours is a tribute to his fitness."The greatest drummer in the Universe" was the
introduction. No one in Helsinki last night would disagree.
Personal favorite ? On the night, I have to say, I thought 110 in the Shade, although
played faster than on the record stood out, mainly because of the superb Dobro work. There
was also a real kick ass version of Before you Accuse Me that had everyone jumping.
Right, I know I'm biased, but there was no low point in the show. John did plenty of
talking and seemed genuinely moved by the audience reaction. He also showed his sense of
humor before Joy of My Life by saying that a wife was to rub your shoulders, to listen to
your troubles, and to dance naked on the coffee table !
The sound was excellent although it did creep up a little near uncomfortable level during
Swamp River Days and Hot rod Heart. I don't think 2 1/4 hours has ever passed by so
It was a brilliant night, musically and also because I met so many fellow River Risers. By
the way, there is still one Irishman left in Helsinki. You can't miss him....he has a
RIVER RISING.......ON TOUR T shirt on. Buy him a beer and remind him that he has to go
home on Tuesday.....see you at the Dublin gig, Bill.
So there you have it. Helsinki is lovely, what I saw of it. The people are very friendly,
thanks Jukka, and it was well worth the trip to see one of the greats.
Got a photo with him too, taken at the Airport. Now to get tickets for the next Euro leg
Philip Brady, Ireland
- ANTTI POUSSA, Finland
It was W-O-N-D-E-R-F-U-L!
I haven't been on any other of his gigs, but I can't imagine anything better. John was
amazing, so full of energy, playing heavenly, and - the best part for me - looking like he
had the time of his life. I was right in front of him in the photographers' pit when he
hit Born On The Bayou, and it was like this huge wave of pure energy and joy had hit me.
Sheer bliss! Seeing him so close, hearing his booming voice and magnificent sound, seeing
his fingers on the neck of the guitar.
I can't say about the others, but for me it was like a god had landed right in front of
me, cause I've had only one musical idol all my life, and there he was, for the first
I had talked to him earlier of course, being so lucky as to get to the press conference,
shaking hands, getting his signature, chatting with him and saying hi from the
River-Rising people of course. He was as nice as they come, and in a great mood through
all the meeting. It seemed as all the even toughest reporters had left all their malice
and hard questions home, for the whole episode was engulfed in good vibrations and easy
Woa, I'm still stunned! (and keep hitting walls and lamp posts)
Maybe I can better exclaim my feelings when I catch my breath again, presumably sometime
THANKS JOHN if you get this! I think all the 12 - 15 000 people (it was sold out of
course) in the Hartwall arena join me in saying you were the greatest man ever to play
ROCK in Finland! Woo-ee!
And just to add to the comment on John being unable to hit the high notes in "I Heard
It Through The Grapevine", I heard his soundcheck and he had no trouble with them at
that time. I think it was sheer exhaustion that he couldn't do it in the late part of the
show anymore. Boy did he spend his energy.
I'm still shaking people.
Antti Poussa, Finland
Belgium - The Lollipop, Sweden Concert.
Just got home from (no, not Illinois) the Lollipop festival in Sweden. It took us a 19
hour car drive to get there and just as much to come back home but it really was worth the
trip. So many nice things happen that it is too much to tell it all right now.
I met Jukka Leino, Bo Hannsson, Anders Widman, Bjorn Harald Saether and two other guys
from the Norwegian fanclub, and some other guys which names I forget now because I'm still
so tired of the trip.
One of the nicest moments was to find out that at the time we were in Stockholm we heard
about the live show from Roskilde on the radio, we ran to the car, put the channel on 99.3
and could listen to the Roskilde show in the car. It was strange to see four people
sitting in a car, shaking their heads and feet and nobody knew why. All the passengers
thought we were crazy. For those that didn't get the chance to hear it yet, let me tell
you that it was one of the best live shows I've ever heard, It was superb, probably
recorded from the soundboard. GREAT!!!!! I was at the show in Roskilde but this sounded
Well to go on about Lollipop now, Friday afternoon there was a meeting from CCR/Fogerty
fans in a restaurant called Hemingway, and lots of fellow fans showed up. There was a
video playing constantly CCR and Fogerty clips, live shows,etc. There were about 10 TV's
there, so everybody could see it well. There were even some drinks that had names like
'Green River' and others I forgot, I think also a "Blue Moon Swamp" drink. It
felt great to meet and talk to all these other fans. There even was a quizz organised
about CCR/Fogerty with some difficult questions.... I waited for Michael Bernander too but
he probably didn't make it, where were you Michael???
Well then it was time to go to the concert, we went there, parked the car, then we had to
take a bus from the car to the festival site. This was a beautiful place, all surrounded
with threes and hills and a lot of sunshine and happy people. First thing we wanted to do
was buying some T-shirts, lots of people asked me to bring some, well I have to disappoint
you all, everything was sold, all the caps, T-shirts, Bandanas, everything gone, probably
long before we were there.
We went to the stage and saw the Staple Singers too right before John's appearance. They
were a good warm-up. Before the John's appearance, I kept looking for Bob, but I only
could see a glimpse of him, backstage.
John came up, completely dressed in black and the people just went out of their head. I
stood right in front of him and it felt so great when after 30 seconds he saw me looked me
in the eyes, pointed at me and shouted something I couldn't understand, but I'm sure it
wasn't "go home". Even a bigger smile came upon his face when he saw the big
sign I showed him which said "Welcome John, greetings from Belgium". The same
sign I had with me at the Roskilde festival. I'm not going to describe every song he did,
because I'm not so good in it, but they were all about the best I've ever heard, better
than in Roskilde, maybe also because there were several stages so at each stage only the
people showed up which were really interested in this music, this was completely different
For those that are interested here are the songs he did:
- Green River;
- Susie Q;
- Jelly Roll;
- Southern Streamline;
- Who'll stop the rain;
- Midnight Special;
- Swamp River Days;
- Hot Rod Heart;
- Before You Accuse Me;
- Long As I Can See The Light;
- Old Man Down The Road (my favourite live song);
- Blue Boy;
- Bad Moon Rising;
- Fortunate Son.
- Proud Mary;
- Travelin' Band.
Altough people kept asking for more, the local crew started rebuilding the
stage. There were no palm trees or whatever on John's stage, it's probably impossible to
do this on a festival, because it's always rushing and rushing. I saw almost the whole
show was taped for TV so we're probably going to see more about this later.
YOU WERE THERE
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