John Fogerty and All Those Hits: Review

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John Fogerty performing in 2018 (Photo: courtesy of John Fogerty; used with permission)

You go to a John Fogerty concert for a) that voice; b) his guitar playing; c) those incredibly descriptive song lyrics; d) the experience of hearing him perform all those hits. The answer is, of course, e) all of the above.

The classic rock legend delivered all that and more at a benefit performance at Englewood, NJ’s Bergen PAC on November 7. The itinerary worked out well: he had performed at BluesFest in London and was making his way back home. The date wasn’t part of a tour; he announced in September that he’s planning an expanded 2019 world tour to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his career.

Creedence Clearwater Revival were together for only four years, yet sold over 30 million records in the U.S. alone, releasing an astounding 14 Top 10 hits, most of which Fogerty performed at this show. (His five-piece band includes his son, Shane, on guitar. The proud father noticeably beamed on several occasions while watching him solo during the concert.)

Fogerty began with six straight CCR songs, starting with “Travelin’ Band” and “Green River,” followed by “Hey Tonight” (which saw him energetically running around the stage) and “Up Around the Bend,” earning him his first of several standing ovations from the audience of this New York City suburb.

Proud John (with son, Shane), Englewood, NJ, Nov. 8, 2018 (Photo: Greg Brodsky)

“Lookin’ Out My Back Door,” of course, features Fogerty’s marvelous lyrics (e.g., tambourines and elephants are playin’ in the band). Shane – the spitting image of his father – performed the song’s skiffle at the end, earning a fist pump from dad.

Related: Top radio hits of 1969

Nearly halfway through, Fogerty said: “I’ve been in the right place at the right time, many times in my life. One was when I was 12 and met Pete Seeger. Everybody was into folk music at the time [1957] and at the top of the mountain was Pete Seeger. When I met him, he told me about this song,” as he launched into a spirited version of “The Midnight Special,” one of the evening’s highlights.

Watch a performance of “The Midnight Special,” from earlier this year

The classic tracks continued: a blues-y “Long as I Can See the Light,” a bone-chilling “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” with that heavy bass line (courtesy of the band’s James Lomenzo), a solid guitar solo and a brilliant, extended solo from keyboardist Bob Malone.

A mini-set of New Orleans-flavored songs followed: “Born on the Bayou,” “My Toot Toot,” “New Orleans” and “Keep on Chooglin'” (with Fogerty on harmonica), the latter of which featured a great drum solo from Greg “Goose” LaPointe. (Guitarist Devon Pangle completes the first-rate lineup.)

The set ended with a flourish: more solo favorites and Creedence hits, including “Down on the Corner,” “Centerfield” and “Fortunate Son,” among them, followed by two rousing encores: “Bad Moon Rising” and “Proud Mary.”

Don’t miss his 50th anniversary celebration – with all those hits – in 2019.

Related: Listings for 100s of classic rock tours

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Greg Brodsky

Greg Brodsky

Best Classic Bands Founder/CEO Greg Brodsky earned his first professional bylines as a reporter for the music trade weekly Record World. He still has all his vinyl albums and enjoys going to flea markets and garage sales to grow his collection.
Greg Brodsky
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  1. Mutt
    #1 Mutt 15 November, 2018, 13:01

    Seen Fogerty last week, all is I can say is he should call it a career. Some songs we’re okay but some we’re just not John. Seen him several times and this was definitely the worst.

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