Published Jul 11, 2016Returning to headline the Bluesfest main stage for the second time since 2011, John Fogerty brought the Sunday night (July 10) crowd his Rollin' on the River Tour, a greatest hits extravaganza that focuses (through music, stories and images) heavily on 1969, the year Creedence Clearwater Revival released three classic albums (Bayou Country, Green River and Willie and the Poor Boys).
Sporting his iconic blue flannel, Fogerty was joined by a five-piece band that included longtime members Kenny Aronoff on drums and Bob Malone on keys, along with former White Lion bassist James LoMenzo, 20-something multi-instrumentalist Devon Pangle and John's son Shane Fogerty on guitar. Launching into a spirited rendition of "Travelling Band" from 1970's immortal Cosmo's Factory LP, Fogerty humbly informed the audience that he was going to keep the tour's customary between-song stories to a minimum so he could fit more music into his allotted 75 minutes.
Looking rather youthful, animated and fit, the 71-year-old Fogerty led his band through a set of CCR classics that included "Who'll Stop the Rain," "Have You Ever Seen the Rain" and "Fortunate Son," along with two of his solo tracks, "The Old Man Down the Road" and the title track from 1985's Centerfield. His rendition of "Ramble Tamble" found Fogerty, who normally plays all of his own guitar solos, hand over the reins to his son, who inserted some sonic energy into the 46-year-old Creedence deep cut.
Although Fogerty's live show sometimes came off a bit too typical and cheesy — including solos from every band member, novelty guitars and backdrop projections that looked as if they were pulled from a karaoke bar — Fogerty nonetheless did a masterful job at keeping his material fresh and spirited, showing just how hard he's willing to work to wring all the nostalgia and showmanship possible from his classic songs.