October 18, 2013
Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie
Grand Prairie, TX USA
Review by Marco Javier
Photos by Michael Insuaste
We're With You John
Ready, Set... False Start! Even though the John Fogerty concert at Verizon Theatre started with a glitch, once it kicked into gear, there was no doubt we were in for a long wild ride of live music that spanned 40 years of classic rock and roll.
With a room full of baby boomers anxious to hear familiar tunes from the Creedence Clearwater Revival arsenal, Mr. Fogerty delivered. He began the show with "Hey Tonight", rolled right into "Born On The Bayou" and then "Bootleg" before even greeting the audience.
With his devilish smile and humorous antics, John warmed the crowd into a relaxing nostalgic groove but kept the jams coming with Little Richards' classic, "Good Golly Miss Molly." What a guitar player! A smokin' rendition that had many of the sixty plus fans on their feet and rockin' like there was no tomorrow. It just seemed to get better from there as he pulled out one of my favorite numbers, "Penthouse Pauper" from CCR's second LP, Bayou Country. In reality, the first part of the show was basically the whole Bayou LP.
John, who has to be pushing 70, or close to it, can still rip on that guitar. And play he did as he changed from electric to acoustic throughout the show. Classic guitars like his famous Gibson Les Paul, Rickenbacker 325 as well as his 1956 Fender Telecaster. His touring band had one familiar face, or should I say "arms", Kenny Aronoff on drums who has played with literally dozens of top contemporary bands, Bob Malone on keys, son Shane Fogerty on guitar and newest members James Lomenzo on bass and Devon Pangle on rhythm guitar and occasionally back up lead guitar.
One of things I enjoyed, (which I rarely do from an artist), was hearing John's stories from his life on the road. His Woodstock 69' remembrance for instance was a fantastic jolt as he explained how CCR arrived at the show, and was scheduled to play around 9 pm, a great time slot he thought, but... right after the Grateful Dead. After technical difficulties, a very stoned Dead, CCR ended up playing around 2:30 am to a crowd filled with naked sleeping bodies. He was so bummed out. But then, there in the dark distance, was this one lone guy about 50 yards out, holding a lighter screaming, "We're With You John"... That one guy made his Woodstock experience all worthwhile.
The 30 songs on the set list were packed with hit after hit but of course included a new number, "Mystic Highway" from his latest project, "Wrote A Song For Everyone," his tenth studio album. The latest release consisted of many familiar songs with guest appearances by Kid Rock, Bob Seger, Dave Grohl, Keith Urban, Alan Jackson, Zac Brown and even his two sons Tyler and Shane Fogerty.
The show came to a close with the fan favorite, "Fortunate Son," and of course, "Proud Mary", one of their biggest and most popular radio hits made famous by Ike and Tina Turner. Fireballs and confetti filled the air as the band took their final bows. Great music, awesome musicianship, good times!