• By: OLM Staff

Fogerty and Fuchs Bring the Hits

“This was one of the first songs I ever played with my band back in 1968,” said an excitedly high-pitched John Fogerty to a diverse crowd cheering back at him in awe. Only a minute of silence and gathering of their instruments was needed before Johnny slid into the plucking loop of the down-South ditty “Suzie Q.” Although it was what the crowd had hoped for, everyone’s synchronized leap into the air at the sound of the bayou twang indicated that we all thought it was a little too good to be true.

As a night that began with punk band Protest The Hero and pop-metal Canadians Three Days Grace, the CCR-reminiscent mood was more appropriately set with the soulful Janis Joplin sound-a-like, Dana Fuchs, on the sunset adjacent Subway Stage. Easily recognized for her role in the 2007 film Across the Universe, Fuchs resembled something out of Fogerty’s era with her throaty, gospel pipes; and looked like a performer from a similar time, whipping her slender body and coiled blonde mane all over stage – often treating the speakers as a sitting place for deep monologues and horizontal tambourine playing. Citing Bluesfest as the venue for her best Canadian shows, the obvious hopeless romantic played a number of emotional soul-rock tunes before ending with noteworthy covers – a raspy Beatles breakdown of “Helter Skelter” that birthed from an acapella “Don’t Let Me Down,” and Led Zeppelin’s rampant “Whole Lotta Love.”

Throughout his headlining set, Fogerty stayed on the same throwback path, dishing out crowd favourites that were impossible to pull yourself away from. Although goofy white-tuxedoed rapper Buck 65 drew a small crowd, it was difficult to stay and watch when the resounding uppity chants of “Looking Out My Back Door” were sailing over the entire concert grounds. Even those looking for a place to wander couldn’t avoid Fogerty and his countless rock n’ roll hits, and it wasn’t unlikely to hear aloof bystanders repeating, “I definitely know this song, but had no idea that he sang it.”

Listening to ex-front man Fogerty talk about a “little gig” he played called Woodstock and the Creedence Clearwater Revival years that founded the Southern-rock classics, it was hard to believe the old cat had been around that long – his sharp coined growl still completely intact and his flying fingers still overly familiar with the ways of the guitar strings. Splitting solos and sing-along prompts to the crowd made songs like “Up Around the Bend”, “Fortunate Son” and “Born on the Bayou” the ideal entertainment, while slower classics like “Have You Ever Seen The Rain?” were mesmerizing. Dipping into his extensive jar of re-worked covers, Fogerty had men swinging women alongside “Pretty Woman” and the closing “Proud Mary,” making it one of the most energetic and worthwhile shows – his liveliness never faltering, and his legend-status more authentic than ever.