By: Stephanie Olchak
The St. Augustine Amphitheatre is really a great venue and I hope to make the short trip down there from Jacksonville more often. Looks like a great summertime lineup of shows is on the way with Boston performing on May 24 followed by top name talent like Third Eye Blind, Bryan Adams, Rob Thomas and My Morning Jacket.
A balmy breeze accompanied our evening of Rock for this concert. John Fogerty and his band brought us “1969”, his current world tour, which began in Canada in late 2014 . The show starts with video footage of Woodstock, where Creedence Clearwater Revival became a household name.
Fogerty walked on stage already playing the opening E7th chord to “Born on the Bayou.” And the crowd starts singing along with these familiar songs right away.
Fogerty will turn 70 on May 28th but his fingers are still fast enough to fly over the strings, giving us several very nice solos. The set list spans 45 years yet he makes the songs sound fresh, even though most of us in the audience remembered hearing them when they first came out. Fogerty shared stories from his past, and told us that in 1969 Creedence Clearwater Revival had three albums in the Top 10, a rare accomplishment. He also plugged his upcoming autobiography, “Fortunate Son: My Life, My Music .” I’ll read it, of course.
John’s son, Shane Fogerty, is one of the guitarists. A really nice moment was a dueling guitar solo by father and son on “Fortunate Son.” He also does tributes to his wife and daughter, and stressed to the audience how important his family is to him .
The drummer, Kenny Aronoff, is a brilliant technician and among the fastest players in the business. He had a long, impressive solo during “Keep On Chooglin’.” The drums were staged on a tall riser, high enough to be level with Fogerty’s head. I do have a critique to make here, though. I thought Aronoff clobbered the skins and cymbals. I thought he sped the songs up and was playing too loud and too hard for Fogerty’s music. But maybe I was in the minority.
The crowd cheered at the end of every song. And we got treated to something new. Fogerty sat down at a grand piano and played a soulful ,”Long As I Can See the Light,” an old Creedence number that he rarely ever performs. And I can’t recall ever seeing him perform on piano. I thought he only played guitar. Another very special moment happened when two racks of his guitars were wheeled out to center stage and Fogerty told the audience about each one of them, including a Les Paul his wife had custom made for him for his last birthday… she has it painted plaid, like the flannel shirts he always wears on stage. Absolutely worth seeing.