John Fogerty is a living legend. Once I found out he was still playing at 72 years old I looked into it and found out that he was doing a short residency at the Wynn in Las Vegas followed by a summer tour with ZZ Top followed by another short run at the Wynn. Seeing him with ZZ Top would have been badass but the tour was not slated to come anywhere near San Diego. Carpe Diem. Ingrid had wanted just the two of us to get away to somewhere like Vegas for a quick weekend trip ever since we returned from Aruba and when I told her John Fucking Fogerty was playing there she was over the moon. We decided a last minute trip was in order because who knew how many more opportunities the universe was going to offer to see him. After all, CCR held a special place in both our hearts for separate reasons, but also because the first concert we ever went to together was that other band touring around playing CCR songs calling themselves something very similar.
I will spare you ALL the Vegas debauchery but let’s just say that like our last minute trip, we also cut it close getting into the concert itself:
3:45 pm – Ingrid decided that she was feeling randy and proposed some afternoon delight.
4:05 pm – Me: “Do you feel that? Something feels weird.” Ingrid with look of horror on her face: “Oh shit! I forgot to take out my tampon!” Yes it took me longer than it should have to figure this out and yes we were making hanky panky near the end of her lady time but this comment immediately registered in my brain as “oh shit we have to go to the hospital to get it removed,” which was the very next thing that came out of Ingrid’s mouth.
4:15 pm – I walked around the corner to the pot dispensary to get an edible for the evening while Ingrid got ready to go out for the night. We knew we could very well be cutting it close to the 8 pm show time so had to prepare for the possibility of not coming back to our room beforehand.
4:30 pm – We grabbed her bottle of champagne and my tall boy Modelo, ordered a Lyft and requested he take us to the nearest hospital. Chatty Charlie behind the wheel inquired as to whom we were going to see and the first thing out of Ingrid’s mouth was “our friend broke her ankle…last night.” It was hard to hold in my laughter.
5 pm – We got checked into the emergency room and busted open our drinks in the waiting area. When in Vegas…
6:40 – They still had not called Ingrid’s name and I had to pick up our tickets at the Wynn no later than one hour before show time so I ate my special chocolate, hopped into a Lyft and hoped she would be able to join me in time.
7:29 – I got a text from Ingrid saying she was on her way!
7:45 – This is the time that we were supposed to show up to actually guarantee the seats that we purchased.
7:47 – We were granted entrance into the Wynn Theater. We immediately went to the only bar inside and waited in one of the five lines that were all going slow as molasses. About this time my special chocolate was kicking in so I really just wanted to get some beer and get to our seats.
8:03 – We apparently made it to our seats with a couple minutes to spare since the stage was empty save for “Fogerty” lit up in giant Vegas style letters. Our seats were awesome! We were sitting right in the first row of the balcony section not too far right of center. It was hard not to notice that this was the Alaska Cruise of concerts as I think we may have been the youngest people in attendance.
All of a sudden the theater got dark as the screen started projecting a little vignette of John riding a motorcycle through Vegas as he narrated how he felt about “Proud Mary” being covered by the likes of Elvis and Tina Turner. Before you know it the screen rolled up, John Fogerty popped up from under the stage playing “Proud Mary” and from then on it was pure bliss for roughly the next 90 minutes. The guy looked great for 72 years old and played guitar like a motherfucker but that voice…what little he may have lost with age was still unmistakably John Fogerty and still fantastic!
It was very much a Vegas show as many of the songs had added horn flourishes, keyboards and accordians but all the songs were still very much rock and roll. “Susie Q” was everything I needed it to be with the vocals progressively getting more balls out with each verse.
Almost right away I noticed that one of the other guitar players was flat out ripping it up. It turns out he was John’s son Shane Fogerty who played with him for the entire show. One very cool moment was when John’s other son Tyler Fogerty came out and joined dad and brother to sing “Good Golly Miss Molly” and killed it. He was donning a very 70’s Vegas looking red suit with embellishments and kept doing this Little Richard scream thing that was just perfect. I’m pretty sure we could be friends.
A couple of times throughout the show the smoke machines combined with our vantage point (and maybe my special chocolate) made it look as if John Fogerty was playing on a cloud, like when he took to the piano for “Long As I Can See the Light.”
Throughout the entire show there was one guy on the floor section standing up the entire time just loving it. I recognized him almost immediately as none other than Bill Walton because he is hard to miss at seven feet tall and ironically I ran into him one other time in Vegas. At one point during “New Orleans” a miniature marching band left the stage to walk down the aisle Bill Walton was in. The last person in this line was the drummer and he decided to hand Bill Walton his drum, which he happily put on and joined the band.
Near the end John ran through three of his solo “hits” and played a baseball bat guitar for “Centerfield.” It was fitting that he closed the show with a blistering version of “Fortunate Son.” No horns here. Just good old-fashioned rock and roll from one of the legends. Thank you Mr. Fogerty.
SETLIST: Proud Mary, Green River, Susie Q, Oh! Susanna, Lookin’ Out My Back Door, Lodi, Good Golly Miss Molly, Whote Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On/Boogie Woogie Blues, Long As I Can See the Light, Love and War, Keep on Chooglin’, Who’ll Stop the Rain, I Heard It Through the Grapevine, Born on the Bayou, My Toot Toot, Jambalaya (On the Bayou), New Orleans, Have You Ever Seen the Rain?, Down on the Corner, Rock and Roll Girls, The Old Man Down the Road, Up Around the Bend, Centerfield, Bad Moon Rising, Fortunate Son