By Teresa Mallam
Prince George Free Press
Suddenly he was there.
Standing on the CN Centre stage. John Fogerty with his signature smile and trademark plaid flannel shirt. Larger than life – especially if you’re watching the giant video monitors. His presence made me giddy. I noticed he had the same effect on fans of all ages seated all around me.
Before the night was over, Fogerty and his five-piece band had put on a two hour show with stellar musicianship, lush lighting, sweet video clips and special effects suited to each song. Here’s a guy in his late 60s whose music appeals not just to people my age who loved him decades ago as lead songwriter, lead guitarist and vocalist with Creedence Clearwater – but who love him now, as recording artist and rocker with a reason to return.
His new material is packaged into Fogerty’s latest album Wrote a Song for Everyone (he did too, for all of us) and it is the driving force behind this tour. Fogerty was fabulous.
How many hits? I lost count ’cause they just kept on coming.
Just ask the 5,000 audience members – a sold out crowd – who came out to see him. The songs, many made famous by his former band and other artists, a few kept for himself for his solo career, were duly delivered up like the contents of a treasure chest, one gem at a time.
The crowd went wild – just about to lose their minds – when the band performed what has to be THE longest ever cover of Marvin Gaye’s hit I Heard it Through the Grapevine. Sooooo good. Dramatic red lights. My personal pics: Up Around the Bend (lyrics by Fogerty,) CCR’s hit song Long As I Can See the Light – for this one the stage had light cones that grew bigger like the flame of a giant candle. Then there was a great rendition of Who’ll Stop the Rain and Run Through the Jungle with Fogerty on harmonica.
I Ain’t Never heard it done so well. Solid song set. Forgive me if I can’t rattle off all the tune titles due to space restraints – besides, I think Fogerty put a spell on me. But I learned a lot of things about Fogerty from the bio/video that ran before the show – like how he bought his first guitar at age eight and now owns 300 guitars and travels with about 25.
I think we saw all 25.
And we were introduced to the one thing that brought Fogerty out of the fog after legal battles and long hiatus had taken there toll. The joy of his life. He asked us, “Have you found love? I have found love and her name is Julie. She’s sittin’ right over there.” Luckiest Man Alive? You bet.
And we were a lucky audience who got to see this living legend perform on Tuesday night.