EDvent/ John Fogerty Concert

They weren't the Beatles or the Stones, but John Fogerty and the rest of CCR were a mighty force in that same era, and had it not been for a sibling rivalry, they may not have become one of rock's most under-appreciated bands 


JUNE 3, 2009. That was when I was supposed to see John Fogerty perform live in concert at Rexall Place. But, I guess it just wasn't meant to be.

As you can see we didn't exactly have the best seats in
the house at Rexall Place, but it certain;y didn't take away
from the John Fogerty concert on Sept. 22. 
I ended up leaving work early that day, and not because I booked it off, but rather something just wasn't right. I didn't know what was wrong with me, just that something was wrong. I spent an hour in the makeshift infirmary at work before I decided to just drive home and get some sleep.

But I never made it home. Unbeknown to me at the time, I suffered a panic attack and had to pull over onto a side street. I collapsed to the ground in someone's front yard, scared shitless. I didn't know what was happening to me, or why. Finally, a passerby called an ambulance in her cell phone, and I spent the rest of the day in bed, exhausted and disappointed. Needless to say, I missed out on the Fogerty show.

September 22, 2012. That turned out to be the day I finally got to see Mr. Fogerty perform live in concert at Rexall Place. And it was definitely worth the wait!

I picked up my buddy at around 6:00 that evening and we went out to grab a quick bite to eat before heading to Rexall to buy our tickets for the cheap seats ($25). To be honest, it didn't really matter where we sat.

There was no opening act, and about 20 minutes past showtime Fogerty greeted the enthusiastic crowd with his raucous "Travelin' Band," a song he wrote more than 40 years ago. I wasn't even born yet, far from it.

But my mom was, and Fogerty's band Creedence Clearwater Revival--or just CCR for short--was her favourite band growing up. She must've passed her fascination down to me, because CCR easily became a favourite of mine, too.

The legendary John Fogerty was the primary songwriter and
lead singer for CCR from 1967 to 1972, before going on to his
own successful solo career. 
Their all-encompassing greatest hits album, Chronicle, was me and my cousin Crystal's music of choice most of the time when we hung out together at her place. And it was one of the most played discs in my excessive CD collection. Absolutely no fillers in the bunch.

Having split up back in 1972, and John's brother Tom passing away in 1990, I knew there was no chance of seeing the original band live. But seeing John Fogerty would be the next best thing. You see, Fogerty essentially was CCR. He was the band's distinctive voice, he played lead guitar and harmonica, served as producer and arranger on their records, and wrote almost all of their best material, including "Bad Moon Rising," "Down on the Corner," "Lodi," "Proud Mary," and my personal favourite "Have You Ever Seen the Rain?" All of which he performed for us at the show.

And that brings us back to last Saturday night at Rexall Place, where my buddy Lonnie and I sat near the very back of the 16,839-seat arena, amid revelling co-fans, plumes of pot, and plastic cups filled with overpriced draft. But nothing else really mattered once Fogerty went on.

Fogerty, 67, fed his crowd exactly what it wanted, belting out some of the best rock songs of the late '60s and early '70s, as well as some of his most notable solo tracks from the '80s, including "Rock and Roll Girls," "Old Man Down the Road," and his baseball arena staple "Centerfield." He even did a cover of Roy Orbison's "Oh, Pretty Woman," somewhere in between performing CCR's classic album Cosmo's Factory (1970) in its entirety.

With the exception of a quick drink break, I sat in my distant plastic stadium seat for the full two hours, tapping my feet and bobbing my head to songs that have become like old friends. I left the arena on a nostalgic high, satisfied and absolutely content with having to miss out on my last opportunity to experience Fogerty, live in concert.

4.5 stars outta 5

Below is John Fogerty's 1985 classic "Centerfield." 


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