John Fogerty, now forty years into his post–Creedence Clearwater Revival career, played the Fillmore Auditorium on Tuesday. Earlier this year on his 68th birthday, Fogerty released “Wrote a Song for Everyone,” a career spanning revisitation of CCR and Fogerty solo material that paired him with an eclectic group collaborators such as Foo Fighters, My Morning Jacket, Tom Morello, Jennifer Hudson, Keith Urban and Bob Seger.
Backed by an excellent band (Kenny Aranoff on drums!), Fogerty played a two hour set packed with songs he’d written — songs as iconic over the last half-century, as by any other songwriter you could name.
The first part of the set, Fogerty and company played the bulk of the second CCR album, 1969’s “Bayou Country” (one of three CCR albums released that year). It’s the album that staked out the band’s swamp/roots rock sound. “Born on the Bayou” and “Penthouse Pauper” were among the best performances of the evening, with well-timed, well-played solos and Fogerty’s voice as good as ever.
The middle section slowed briefly for some of the predominately 60-something crowd, as Fogerty played two new songs from “Wrote a Song for Everyone” (“Mystic Highway” and “Train of Fools”). Still, at the conclusion of both, there was plenty of applause.
The ready for Vegas production seemed a bit much at times, as did the longer solo in “Down The Road I Go.” During this section, the sound got louder and unfortunately, poorer, as well.
Things picked up with a few more popular Creedence tracks in “Long As I Can See The Light”, “Down On The Corner” and the crowd sing-along with “Have You Ever Seen The Rain.” Fogerty acknowledged his roots with a few great covers: Roy Orbison’s “Pretty Woman” and the CCR swamped up version of Ledbelly’s “Midnight Special.”
The show closed on a very high note, as expected, with a flurry of Fogerty’s greatest hits: “Centerfield”, “The Old Man Down The Road” and one of Fogerty’s most popular political songs, “Fortunate Son.” The two song encore of “Bad Moon Rising” and “Proud Mary” sent everyone home happy. And hearing those songs played live, performed by Fogerty, how could you not be?
Mike Long is a Longmont-based writer and comedian and a regular contributor to Reverb.