Thursday, 20 June 2024 14:43

John Fogerty, George Thorogood Bring It All Back Home on a Night in Saratoga

John Fogerty opens his set at Saratoga Performing Arts Center June 12,2024 with “Bad Moon Rising.”  Photo by Thomas Dimopoulos.  John Fogerty opens his set at Saratoga Performing Arts Center June 12,2024 with “Bad Moon Rising.” Photo by Thomas Dimopoulos.

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Once, there was a thing called rock and roll, a phrase either derived from 17th century mariners atop a shaky ship, or early 20th century actors engaged in acts of carnality – depending upon whom you believe. 

The music and the lifestyle ushered in with it inspired the kids to dance with abandon and smile with glee, and caused some of the elder statesmen of the time to claim it an art sent to humanity by none other than the devil himself. 

Before the bean-counters and the money-hoarders got a hold of it some decades later, effectively causing its demise, there were some who believed the amplified output streaming from its electrified guitars and rhythmic drums could change the world. John Fogerty, lead singer, lead guitarist, and principal songwriter of the band Creedence Clearwater Revival, was of the generation that believed it could be so. 

On June 12, Fogerty came to the Saratoga Performing Arts Center where he performed a slew of tunes he created during an especially prolific burst of songwriting, mostly in the 1960’s. 

He kicked off his 18-song or-so set with the lyrically ominous “Bad Moon Rising,” and continued the CCR re-imaginings with “Lookin’ Out My Back Door,” “Down On The Corner” and “Up Around the Bend,” “Who’ll Stop The Rain” and “Have You Ever Seen the Rain?”, “Fortunate Son,” “Born on the Bayou,” and “Proud Mary” – the latter invoking his cajunistic dialectical inventions (“Big wheel keep on toy-nin,” he sang, “Proud Mary keep on boy-nin).” 

From more recent work (the 1980’s at least) the double-denim draped songwriter led his six-piece ensemble in performances of “Centerfield” (written about centerfield at Yankee Stadium, don ’t cha know), and “The Old Man Down The Road.” 

Fogerty was amiably assisted (in the dance-til-you-drop part) by George Thorogood & the Destroyers, who provided opening support. 

Dressed in basic black – shirt, shoes, pants with dripped-sequined sides, and sporting dark shades to shield his eyes, Thorogood led his five-piece band through a 60-minute set that explored the Bo Diddley-infused rock ‘n’ roll-isms of “Who Do You Love?” as well as Destroyer staples “Bad to the Bone,” the wildly popular “I Drink Alone” (which inspired a bevy of lager consumers to stand tall and raise their brewski’s high above their heads) and of course, “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer.”

Overall, for this night, Fogerty and Thorogood combined to deliver a thoughtful reminder of a music that once had inspired the kids to dance with abandon and smile with glee, sometimes think about the conditions of the world-at-large and figure out ways to make it all a better place.

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