ATLANTIC CITY, NJ — On the road in support of his recent big-name-guest-stars duets CD, Wrote A Song For Everyone, former Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman John Fogerty has been rotating five of his former band’s seven albums in the order of their release each night of the current tour, and then rounding out his two-hour-plus set with classics from the Creedence catalog and his solo career. This evening’s feature album was 1970’s Cosmo’s Factory.
Released in 1970, Cosmo’s Factory was Creedence Clearwater at their peak and was packed with some of the band’s most beloved songs. Despite several Top 10 hits over the course of their career—with five tracks reaching as high as number two on the national charts—the group never managed to reach the elusive number one slot. The setlist for this evening’s show, however, sounded like a wall of chart toppers as the audience—many of whom weren’t even born when Creedence existed—sang along to practically every song.
Fronting an anonymously perfect drums/bass/guitar/keyboards backing band on a semi-elaborate (but not too flashy or overdone) stage, all focus was on an age-defying Fogerty and his trademark flannel shirt as he played to the crowd and scorched his way through a setlist that, while technically an “oldies” show, sounded fresh thanks to the truly timeless quality of songs written some 40 years ago and the enthusiasm and joy evident in their author’s performance.
Frequent guitar changes accompanied by the occasional Creedence anecdote did little to slow the pace of what eventually turned into two-plus hours of pure musical joy as the five-piece ripped through “Travelin’ Band,” Roy Orbison’s “Ooby Dooby,” an explosive “Ramble Tamble,” “Lookin’ Out My Back Door,” an ominous “Run Through The Jungle,” “Up Around The Bend,” the bluesy “Before You Accuse Me,” “My Baby Left Me,” the classic “Who’ll Stop The Rain,” a raucous wall of string-bending brilliance throughout “I Heard It Through The Grapevine,” and the gospel-tinged “Long As I Can See The Light.”
With the night’s “feature album” out of the way, the remainder of Fogerty’s absolutely amazing set included such outstanding solo work as “The Old Man Down The Road,” “Joy Of My Life,” “Hot Rod Heart,” “Centerfield” (played with a baseball bat-shaped guitar), “Mystic Highway,” “Almost Saturday Night,” “Rock ‘N’ Roll Girls,” and another blast of Orbison courtesy of “Oh, Pretty Woman.” Yet more classic Creedence kept the crowd on their feet as “Have You Ever Seen The Rain,” “Down On The Corner,” “The Midnight Special,” “Green River,” an extended, guitar-jammed “Susie Q,” and flat-out rockin’ shots at “Born On The Bayou,” “Keep On Chooglin’” and “Fortunate Son” sent things over the top.
All good things must, regrettably, end sooner or later. The night closed with celebratory encores of “Bad Moon Rising” and “Proud Mary” that sent the crowd happily home down an imaginary Mississippi River and through the Bayou via the Garden State Parkway.