As he jogged onto the stage, beaming from ear to ear, it was clear that John Fogerty was here to have fun – and have fun he did. On two separate occasions, coasting along easily as he took the huge crowd at Byron Bay Bluesfest’s Mojo tent on a trip down memory lane.
John Fogerty – April 7 & 9 2012: Byron Bay Bluesfest
Starting with Saturday night’s rendition of “Cosmo’s Factory” and followed by an excellent rendition of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Green River” album in full, Fogerty showed his voice and his guitar skills were without a doubt still capable of the dizzying heights reached with his former band reached over 40 years ago.
Out of the two albums, as would be expected, “Cosmo’s Factory” shone, again revealing the outstanding quality of the songwriting and musicianship achieved on this feather in CCR’s cap. “Green River” was performed with the same level of zeal and was no less entertaining, but was hard to compare to the sublime “Factory.”
On both nights, having completed the classic album, Fogerty then embarked on a rip-roaring tear through dozens of his hits, both nights totalling over 25 songs on the setlist. Predictably, “Fortunate Son” was a crowd favourite but was drowned out by the sing-a-long quality of “Bad Moon Rising.” Ripping guitar solos, complete with jumps to finish on, accentuated the set and were clearly enjoyed by not only the crowd, but Fogerty and his band themselves.
Throughout his mammoth two, two-hour sets, Fogerty moved with the enthusiasm and energy of a man half his age. (Though reports from the airport staff in charge of security scans would suggest he felt the effects after with the amount of stretching he was doing and the speed of his walk.) This was clearly a show about one man and in lesser hands may have buckled under that pressure, but the consummate professional, John Fogerty took that piled expectation upon himself and, along with a legion of fans, built upon it to a point that no other act could eclipse over the five day festival. Two amazing shows by an amazing legend of blues rock – definitely one for the ages.