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Arts and Entertainment

John Fogerty @ Kodak Theater 11/12/09

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It’s hard to pinpoint the moment it occurs, but at some point while watching John Fogerty run through the highlights of his career at the Kodak Theater, one gets the distinct sensation of tapping the source.

Though the songs he wrote for Creedence Clearwater Revival were conceived roughly forty years ago, they seem to be as old as the mountains. They’re so ingrained in the collective consciousness, so deeply embedded, that it’s easy to take them for granted, to assume they’ve just always been around. Not for nothing were they Jeff “The Dude” Lebowski’s favorite band; tough, smart, and unmistakably American, they’re nothing less than a signifier of righteousness.

Fogerty in person can be one contrary mother when he wants to be; on several solo tours tours following Creedence’s breakup, he refused to play his old songs, seemingly on the grounds that selling more CCR records only benefited his record label, Fantasy, which was in the process of suing Fogerty for making records that sounded like his old ones, and thus stealing "their" intellectual property. Such a state of affairs could make anyone cranky, but it didn't endear him to his fanbase.

But for this visit, he was all about giving the people what they want - 17 of the 25 songs performed were Creedence-era classics, alongside a handful of cover tunes from his latest venture into the American folk songbook, The Blue Ridge Rangers… Rides Again, and just two songs (“The Old Man Down The Road” and “Change In The Weather”) from his solo career. It was a night firmly rooted in the past, but if Fogerty was content with looking back, he gave the old songs immediacy through urgent, no-holds-barred performances.