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2012-07-19 at MIDNIGHT

Fogerty frenzy

By Leith Dunick,
St. Joseph FoundationGrand A Day Draw tickets are now on sale. $1,000 daily draws in November. Grand Prize draw is for $10,000. License #M738339Click Here

John Fogerty has re-invented himself several times in a career that’s spanned more than five decades.

In the beginning Fogerty imitated heroes like Little Richard and Bo Diddley. As he matured as a musician, he became a swamp-rocking, hit-making machine with Creedence Clearwater Revival.

When those relationships sank to the bottom of the bayou in the early 1970s, Fogerty went solo into the world of country, blasted back to rock stardom in the mid-‘1980s, sued his old band-mates, lost a fortune and continued writing songs that stand the test of time.

On Wednesday night at the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium, the 67-year-old Fogerty, dressed in a red and white plaid shirt, jeans and a red bandana wrapped around his neck, was all of the above and more, taking the sold-out audience for a 105-minute hit-filled musical ride that started fast and finished even stronger.

Scheduled to go on at 8:45 p.m., Fogerty hit the stage about 15 minutes later than planned, but made up for lost time in a hurry, ripping into Hey Tonight, an early hit from CCR’s 1970 album Pendulum. Acknowledging the crowd with a bow of his head, he quickly slammed through a series of early chart-busters and fan favourites, including Lodi and Looking Out My Back Door.

Not one to waste words, Fogerty did tell a short tale of how the song Who’ll Stop the Rain came about, reminding the world that CCR was at the original Woodstock -- though not in the concert film, due to Fogerty's dislike for the band's performance -- where they followed the Grateful Dead, as the waters started pouring from the heavens above.

“It started to rain on half a million people, and the funny thing was there was not an umbrella in sight,” he said.

“So they all got naked and muddy and I went home and wrote this song.”

He had a thing or two to say once it was done, poking fun at his advancing age.

“I realized I’m the only guy up here old enough to be at Woodstock,” he said with a laugh, pointing to his band, a collection of musicians that included drummer Kenny Aronoff, a legend in his own right who’s played with the likes of John Mellencamp, Elton John and the Smashing Pumpkins.

Like father, like son, or so the old saying goes, and Shane Fogerty showed he’s learned a thing or two from his old man on the road, more than holding up his end of his pedigree as one of a legion of guitarists backing the rock and roll hall-of-famer.

Fogerty still sounds as great live as he did in his heyday and danced from one end of the Auditorium stage to the other, looking nothing like a man eligible to collect old-age-security cheques.

There’s no rocking chair that could hold the feisty guitarist, who switched instruments on almost every song, a collection of Fenders and Gibsons lining the edge of the stage, waiting for the man rated the 40th best guitarist of all-time by Rolling Stone magazine, to work his magic.

After a brief jaunt through his solo material, a collection of sings that included Ramble Tamble and Blue Moon Nights, Fogerty was right back into the hit parade, bringing at least a portion of the crowd to its feet with Midnight Special and keeping them there, peering longingly into the crowd before offering up a rip-roaring version of Born on the Bayou, the song he used some 25 years ago to break a self-imposed, 15-year embargo of not performing CCR tunes.

Thankfully for Thunder Bay, those thoughts are long-since passed.

Fogerty wasn’t done talking to the crowd, either.

“This next song is one of my favourites to do. It used to be a sad song for me. It was written during a pretty sad time. But everything has changed in my life. This song reminds me of my beautiful little baby girl Kelsy.

“The reason it does is because Kelsy is a rainbow in my life and this song has a rainbow in it,” he said, the familiar sounds of Have You Ever Seen the Rain filling the sold-out Auditorium, the start of a flourishing finale to come.

Down on the Corner was enough to whip the crowd into a frenzy, then he brought out his baseball-bat guitar, stormed into Centerfield, his 1995-hit about America’s favourite pastime, and followed it up with an equally enthusiastic retelling of the Old Man Down the Road before escaping backstage for a brief moment of silence.

Fogerty’s encore paid homage to the Little Richard hit Good Golly Miss Molly, before he finished with Proud Mary, a sing-a-long he shared with the fans who’d waited so long to see him rock their hometown away.

The band’s next stop on the cross-continent tour is Friday night in Walker, Minn. Other Canadian cities on his current jaunt include Halifax, Sudbury, Winnipeg, Oshawa and Sault Ste. Marie.

Set list:
Hey Tonight
Lookin' Out My Back Door
Who'll Stop the Rain
Green River
Ramble Tamble
Blue Moon Nights
Midnight Special
Born on the Bayou
Don't You Wish it Was
Hot Rod Heart
As Long As I Can See the Light
I Heard it Through the Grapevine
Keep on Chooglin'
Have You Ever Seen the Rain
Pretty Woman
Down on the Corner
Old Man Down the Road
Fortunate Son

Good Golly Miss Molly
Proud Mary

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debt collector says:
What is it with these artists who insist on playing album cuts and songs they've never recorded over their hits?

Instead of the Hey Tonight, Ramble Tamble, Blue Moon Nights, Don't You Wish it Was, Hot Rod Heart, As Long As I Can See the Light, Gunslinger, Keep on Chooglin', Pretty Woman and Good Golly Miss Molly.

He should have played Bad Moon Rising, Up Around the Bend, Susie Q, Travelin' Band and Run Through The Jungle.

I really don't care if he's tired of playing those songs, his fans pay good money to hear the songs John and CCR made famous.

These shows are not cheap, it most cases you are looking at more than $200.00 just for 2 tickets. Add in dinner and a babysitter and you are looking at more than $300.00.

These artists need to start realising they are there to entertain us, not themselves. There are aspects of my job I don't like, but I can't ignore them or else I won't get paid.
7/19/2012 1:52:08 AM
Tiredofit says:
Can't please everyone I guess. He did put on a hell of a show. So he played some solo stuff big deal, some of it was dam good. If you want all CCR go find a tribute band! Sheesh some people can never be satisfied Money well spent in my eyes!
7/19/2012 7:08:51 AM
hunterthedog says:
Debt, as a former professional musician I just have to say that you sir (ma'am?) are an idiot. It is merely your opinion on which songs he should play. I was not at the show but looking at the posted set list, I wish I would have been. If you want to listen to CCRs greatest hits, go buy the CD. If you want to hear the man, then listen to his show and shut up. The guy is 67 years old and he owes us NOTHING. He has paid his dues and he can play whatever he wants. And additionally, you should be very happy that he played any CCR tunes at all. He was hosed out of all royalties for songs that he wrote himself. He was even sued for plagiarism because his song "The Old Man Down the Road" sounded like his song "Born On the Bayou".
7/19/2012 8:25:35 AM
debt collector says:
I'm an idiot because I expect to hear the songs that I'm paying to hear? Typical self-serving BS from a wannabe rock star.

Here's a clue for you, fans want to hear the hits, the promoter tells us he's going to play the hits and radio stations add his songs to their playlists to prime us to hear the hits. So when artists don't play the hits, we the people footing the bill have every right to be upset.

7/19/2012 10:16:01 AM
moonpie says:
Because a song you've heard a thousand times on the radio sounds so much better live? Personally I'd rather hear hear new material than the same old rehashed hits from the past.

Re: your job - some people get paid to be monotonous slave monkeys, others are paid to be creative and explore new avenues. Artists are usually the latter, you have to be willing to listen and appreciate 'the artist' over 'the song' sometimes.
7/19/2012 8:06:45 AM
Me n My Opinion says:
Couldn't agree more. I wasn't there last night but really wish I had been.

I was at John Mellencamp though and thought it was fantastic, for exactly the reasons you stated above.

If you want to hear it exactly as it was recorded, then go listen to the recording. Otherwise enjoy the things like the acoustic version of Jack and Diane that Mellencamp did. It was awesome.

As I said, I can't speak for last night's concert as I wasn't there, but I sure wish I had been.
7/19/2012 9:39:04 AM
Mazda323 says:
And the next musician who was thinking about coming to Thunder Bay just read your post and said "what's the point? bunch of ingrates, they're just gonna bitch about it anyway", and off to Sudbury they go...straight from Winnipeg
7/19/2012 8:54:09 AM
realist says:
Who are you kidding? Artists don't even know what city or town they are in most of the time. They play where their agent books them. It's all about getting paid.
7/19/2012 11:49:35 AM
vimeo says:
Some artists like playing all the hits exactly the way you heard them (The Eagles). Others take a complete different spin to them (Elton John). Then some provide a mix of old and new and require teleprompters becuase it's been 40 years since they played them last (Paul McCartney).
I missed the show last night, but judging from the set list it was well covered. Remember, for 15 years he didn't play any of the old songs after losing tons of money. There's not too many of these legends left...and they're not going to be around much longer either. So let's enjoy what we have.
7/19/2012 11:20:58 AM
tree says:
moonpie, monotonous slave monkeys??? all your comments are that of the monotonous variety so whats your point??
7/19/2012 12:18:21 PM
stuck? says:
I love to hear bands play songs that aren't always radio hits. Adds much more diversity to the setlist.

Hearing a great hit performed live is almost always awesome but, when you hear a song played over and over and over (You're A Lie by Slash comes to mind) I find at least) you get fkkin SICK of hearing them.

Boring to hear the same old hits being played at every darn concert. I love when musicians take their songs and change them up mixing in a funky guitar solo or just something that changes the way it sounds. Not anything major but just putting a different spin on things.

Quoting the late, great Mitch Hedberg:

"You can't please all the people, all the time; and last night, all those people were at my show!"
7/19/2012 1:08:01 PM
myopic not foolish says:
I enjoyed his perfromance but the sound sucked. And to think it was his own people doing it in a state of the art facility. Who care what songs he played, the sound sucked.
7/23/2012 2:00:06 PM
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