Jim Lipson reviewed last week's John Fogerty show at AVA at Casino del Sol for Tucson Weekly. But who are we to say no when Al Perry sent us his own review of the same show?
I'll admit that while I don't go out as much as I should, I've attended a few concerts at AVA at Casino del Sol lately. I am impressed with the place as a concert venue. The size is right, and the sound and sightlines are good. A few years back I was bored by good old boring Bob Dylan there. I rocked to Heaven and Hell with Ronnie James Dio (!) and Alice Cooper, and watched, through misty eyes, the transcendent historic miracle of the Beach Boys' 50th anniversary tour's opening show. A couple of weeks ago, I even attended the hilarious Confederate slob-fest that was Molly Hatchet. Each concert was most enjoyable.
John Fogerty breezed through Tucson the other night and provided a very pleasant, relaxing evening of well-executed rock 'n’ roll. His simple songs and presentation proved quite effective. And, hey, he had James Intveld on second guitar! How great is that? There was no opening act, and his set, just under two hours, was crammed with Creedence classics, and some material I didn't know. Later solo stuff, I suppose.
He was in good voice, though his singing is strangely thinner and higher pitched than back in the day. And his hair was a little too dark and he looked like maybe he'd had a facelift or something. You know? That weird, pale, stretched look? Energy-wise, though, nothing was lacking. The guy was unstoppable, and I'd forgotten just what a superb gittfiddle plonker he is. He Travis-picked on a red Tele, and played some devastating, thick blues solos on "Heard It Through the Grapevine." I didn't see God or anything, but I did derive enormous pleasure from his show.
There did not seem to be anyone under 30 in the crowd. In fact, I'd guess there weren't too many under 50. Which is fine, but does not bode well for the future of real rock 'n’ roll. While each generation must identify with their own sounds, their own T-shirts as it were, it seems a shame that young folks won't get to experience firsthand the great rock that we elderly folks did. Oh well, these oldsters didn't like the big band music of previous generations either.
Then...that drummer! A monster. He was like an octopus but with just two arms, if that makes sense. All over the place! Kenny something-or-other, some big famous guy (Ed. note: It was likely Kenny Aronoff). Normally, I think a drummer should simply lay down a foundation, set a groove for the other participants to build on. If you notice the drummer, then he's not doing his job (my opinion, OK?). This guy nearly upstaged Fogerty. He was fascinating to watch. A powerhouse who really propelled the band, yet never got so busy that the he lost the beat. And the show did need some visual focus. The unadorned, checkered shirt rock of the other guys was lacking in that department.
All in all, I'm gonna call it a great show and give it five stars. For pure rock 'n’ roll, it simply ain't gonna get much better than that. It's nice to see someone out there still kicking rock's withered corpse. The full house no doubt agreed.