HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – I want to compliment the people who book concerts at the Von Braun Center. They’ve brought in some great musical acts lately — Wednesday night, legendary rocker John Fogerty took the stage.
I’ll tell you right up front, I’m not a music ‘critic’ – I don’t go to concerts to pick them apart or dissect the musical rifts of each song. And, I generally like for songs to be less than five or six minutes long. I appreciate many different kinds of music, thanks to my father, Lee Kelly. (I also like country music, even though he can’t really stand it. But I digress.)
I’m SO glad my husband and I bought tickets to see John Fogerty. It was a heck of a show.
I have to say I was bit nervous about the evening. I thought ‘we’ll be the youngest people there’ – and, we were on the younger end, but who cares. I didn’t see anyone who didn’t have a great time. There were people our age, people younger, people older, but it quickly hit me how many Fogerty’s music has touched over the years.
I saw a woman crying as the band played ‘Long As I Can See The Light.’ Her emotion stuck with me.
I saw a young boy, probably about 8, smiling as we left. “That was great, Dad!” he said.
Everyone was smiling. It was a great evening. It was Americana music that we all knew, and could dance and sing along to.
Fogerty is a bit older, but aren’t we all? He still has fun up there. You can tell in his singing style, his smile and how he thanked the audience for singing along after many of the songs.
And he genuinely seems like a nice, happy guy. That was one of the things that stuck with me through the concert. He talked about his kids, his bandmates, and he seemed very down to earth. (Please don’t email me and tell me if you know otherwise.)
I always like it when artists tells stories during the concert, or talk about their families. Fans pay to see the music, but we like those personal interludes, those glimpses into things we don’t know.
At one point, Fogerty told a story about how his former band, Creedence Clearwater Revival, got booked to play at Woodstock. They were psyched. CCR got the 9:30 slot on Saturday night, primo time. When they arrived that afternoon, they saw the huge crowd. They later learned the schedule was more relaxed, as in, ‘running behind.’ “We were all hippies,” he said with a laugh.
Then, they found out they’d follow The Grateful Dead. Long story short, 9:30pm turned into 2:30am Sunday, and Fogerty described most of the crowd as stoned, asleep, and naked. He laughed as he recalled one guy, way out in the crowd, who stood up and said “I’m here for you, John!” so CCR played their hearts out for him.
Fogerty said he went home after Woodstock and wrote ‘Who’ll Stop The Rain’. Then he strummed the familiar tune on an acoustic guitar to kick it off.
Another of his ‘rain’ songs, he said, was initially sad, because he wrote it when CCR broke up. But now, he says ‘Have You Ever Seen The Rain’ is a happy song, because it reminds him of his daughter, Kelsy, “who is a rainbow.” And he said, there’s a rainbow in his song. The audience liked that little gem, too.
Fogerty had about 15 or 16 guitars, some matching the themes of the songs – including a red beauty for ‘Hot Rod Heart’ and one carved like a baseball bat for one of the crowd’s favorites, ‘Centerfield’. That song was my personal favorite, and I think the guys behind me would have shed real tears if he didn’t play it.
The crowd also stayed up for ‘Fortunate Son’ – Fogerty’s anti-war anthem which criticized children born or married into elite families who likely wouldn’t have to enlist in the Vietnam War. The song featured fireballs in the background behind the drummer, Kenny Aronoff. He is GOOD, by the way. All of Fogerty’s bandmates can hold their own.
I learned something funny from my husband last night. He says John Fogerty has always reminded him of Han Solo. At first, I looked at him like he was crazy. But as some of the old-school videos of Fogerty and CCR played, I saw it too. Han Solo will never age, in my mind, but yeah, I see it. It’s the hair. And they’re both lovable rebels.
Apparently other people see the resemblance, too (just Google it.)
By the way, if you want an official review, Matt Wake at al.com/The Huntsville Times wrote this one. I saw him taking notes during the show, poor guy, as we were all dancing. Matt knows a lot more about music than I do, obviously.
And Dad, thank you, THANK YOU, for making sure I listened to something other than New Kids. That is your greatest gift to me. I still turn on New Kids once in a blue moon, but I listen to so much more because you showed me there’s great music out there.
*Note: If you have photos from the concert you’d like to share, please click the ‘Submit Your Photo’ button below.