The name of the tour says it all and John Fogerty’s ‘My 50 Year Trip’ tour leaves no stone unturned with a lively two-hour set that celebrates his tenure with the legendary Creedence Clearwater Revival, his iconic solo career and tributes to the artists that have helped shape him as a musician and consummate showman! Fogerty, along with his bevy of a band that includes his sons Shane (guitar), Tyler (vox) and rock and roll’s go to drummer, Kenny Aronoff – have been touring all over the world in celebration of Fogerty’s illustrious musical journey – that is still going strong! On the night of August 13, the attendees at the Rockland Trust Bank Pavilion in Boston, were treated to an undisputed display of top-notch music and entertainment.
The night got started with the house lights going out and a well-crafted video montage of Fogerty’s rock and roll history played on a large LED screen in the rear of the stage, all while dancers – decked out in vintage-hippie attire danced up and down the aisles. When the video came to an end, Fogerty and Co. walked out on the stage and kicked into “Born On A Bayou”, bringing the audience to their feet. After “Bayou”, Fogerty, dressed in a sharp blue and black Western shirt – greeted the crowd briefly with, “Thank you all so much! We are celebrating 50 years, of my trip…” It was just a short exchange before he and the band started plucking away into “Green River”. Fogerty laid into his Rickenbacker with a gnarly guitar solo. Images of his time with CCR, mixed with psychedelic graphics set the mood for a fun evening alongside Boston Harbor. After a quick salute to the audience, Fogerty tapped his son Shane, on rhythm guitar – to get the shuffle of “Back Door” rollin’. Fogerty’s voice was already in good-form from the get-go, as was his fretwork throughout the night. “Susie Q” was cued up and brought the vintage 60’s groove to the stage. A backdrop of simulated neon signs added a simple touch that added to the song’s delivery as a whole.
Fogerty took a break to tell the story of his trusty Rickenbacker, with its humbucker – that he installed ‘ten years before Eddie Van Halen did the same thing’. Then, he reminisced about playing that guitar and a special amp at Woodstock – which he said was, ‘kind of amazing and kind of weird’. Citing that, he and his mates wound up playing after the Grateful Dead at 2:30 in the morning and playing to a half of a million people who were naked and asleep. According to Fogerty, after this experience, he went home and wrote the song that followed. “Who’ll Stop the Rain” had Fogerty and his fans all singing together. Without any dialog, Fogerty lit the riff to “Hey Tonight”, which got the set and the band cookin’! Fogerty literally ran in circles between verses without missing a beat. The fiery “Up Around the Bend” stoked the fire and turned up the heat before rollin’ through the rollicking “Rock and Roll Girls”.
Mid-set, Fogerty treated his fans to a handful of choice covers of “Grapevine” – which gave bassist James Lomenzo the spotlight for a bit of a solo jam. The Beatles’ “With a Little Help From My Friends” was a full-on spectacle with what seemed like a dozen musicians on stage. Spliced between a set of covers, the band mixed in CCR’s “As Long As I Can See The Light” before a medley of “Everyday People” and “Dance to the Music”. “Give Peace a Chance” rounded out this part of the set – with both the band and the audience singing in unison. Minutes later, with a moment for himself on stage, Shane Fogerty saluted our country with a Hendrix-influenced version of the “Star-Spangled Banner”. Paying homage to Hendrix, he even went so far as to light his guitar on fire while the pyro crew set off sparklers against a backdrop of Old Glory.
Fogerty and Co. then dug deep once again, getting back into his CCR catalog with the classic, “Run Through the Jungle”. Fogerty then took a minute to shred, even finger-tapping, a la Eddie Van Halen, before riffin’ and rollin’ through “Chooglin’”. Fogerty helped add a sweet segue to the song with his harp, thus allowing for the spotlight to focus on drum-extraordinaire Kenny Aronoff to humbly show off for a few minutes. Fogerty showcased his harmonica skills while jamming with the band that brought saxophonist, Nathan Collins, to center-stage as well.
Towards the end of the set, Fogerty took time to sincerely acknowledge Shane Fogerty (guitar), Tyler Fogerty (background vox), James Lomenzo (bass), Kenny Aronoff (drums), Bob Malone (keys), Nathan Collins (saxophone), Julian Dessler (trumpet) and Adam Miller (trombone). Then, after thanking the audience, from the bottom of his heart, Fogerty grabbed an acoustic guitar and dedicated “Rain” to his daughter. Aronoff signaled the next hit, with the crack of his stick against a cowbell. Everyone knew that “Corner” was up next and it brought them to their feet again to sing and dance.
Fogerty brought out a couple of hits from his successful solo career as well. The fan-favorite “Centerfield” and “The Old Man Down the Road” were both home runs. Images of the Vietnam War were projected behind the band as they tore through the sharp-tongued “Fortunate Son”. And as if any more hits could be packed into the set, the audience appreciated the last few nuggets that included “Bad Moon Rising” – complete with smoke and images of. Bright full moon. The festivities, or the night’s musical trip, ended with another massive cover, and like “Grapevine” earlier in the set – the band rocked and rolled through “Proud Mary” that CCR made their own back in their heyday. As the set came to an end, confetti cannons showered the audience, from the front row to the last – with confetti and streamers. It was a fun way to end the night’s celebration of Fogerty’s most-successful musical career.
Photo of John Forgerty by Leslie Michele Derrough at New Orleans Jazz Fest ’19