From IndyStar.com by David Lindquist. •
John Fogerty has won at least half the battle before he walks onstage.
Armed with one of the most monumental discographies in rock 'n' roll history — Creedence Clearwater Revival classics "Down on the Corner," "Who'll Stop the Rain" and "Bad Moon Rising" represent merely the tip of the iceberg — Fogerty can play the songs and send his fans home happy.
The 73-year-old did more than stroll down memory lane Wednesday at Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center, where Fogerty and ZZ Top helped Top 3 Indianapolis radio station WJJK-FM (104.5) celebrate its "Summer Bash." According to Nielsen's audience-share rankings for April, only country station WFMS (95.5) and rival classic-rock station WFBQ-FM (94.7) attracted more local listeners than WJJK.
Check out five ways Fogerty kept it timeless at the Noblesville amphitheater:
1. Something new
ZZ Top vocalist-guitarist Billy Gibbons returned after his trio's performance to join Fogerty for their new duet single titled "The Holy Grail." Mixing ZZ Top's blues-rock DNA with Fogerty's musical mythology ("Once you get hooked on the good stuff, the best will get the best of you"), the song made Wednesday's show something more than an oldies revue. Fogerty and Gibbons traded bars of fiery guitar solos, and the bearded one stuck around for "Green River." Gibbons said Fogerty's music winds him up, but it might be more accurate that Gibbons settles down his excitable counterpart. Fogerty also slowed his roll for "Love and War," his 2017 collaboration with Brad Paisley that calls for better treatment of U.S. military veterans.
2. Old friends
Wearing a bandanna at his neck, blue jeans, a Western shirt and cosmic jacket decorated with planets and a Space Shuttle, Fogerty treated his audience to 13 Creedence Clearwater Revival songs. Highlights included a measured, soul-enriching rendition of "Long As I Can See the Light" and a barn-burning "Fortunate Son."
3. Sense of history
Next summer will mark the 50th anniversary of Woodstock, and Fogerty brought authentic artifacts from the landmark festival to Indiana. During a rendition of CCR's "Who'll Stop the Rain," he played his "Acme" Rickenbacker guitar (an instrument that was out of his hands for 44 years) through the Kustom "tuck and roll" amplifier he used at Woodstock. "Far out, man," he said with a laugh.
4. Rhythm king
Fogerty introduced band member Kenny Aronoff as the world's greatest rock 'n' roll drummer, a title the Indiana University alum and former John Mellencamp colleague wears with ease. During one solo spotlight, Aronoff transitioned from a Gene Krupa-esque low rumble to rapid-fire, multi-layered striking in the tradition of Alex Van Halen. An expert at serving the song, Aronoff supplied a pure, satisfying backbeat during "Rock and Roll Girls." This heartland tune from Fogerty's solo career may have influenced another band associated with Aronoff: the BoDeans.
5. Just for kicks
Bayou country has captivated Northern California native Fogerty throughout his career, and he paid tribute to Louisiana with a medley of Rockin' Sidney's "My Toot Toot," Hank Williams Sr.'s "Jambalaya (On the Bayou)" and Gary U.S. Bonds' "New Orleans." The final song transformed to "When the Saints Go Marching In" as members of Fogerty's horn section made a second-line trip from the stage into the venue's pavilion.
If only ZZ Top drummer Frank Beard had displayed a similar appreciation of fun during his band's performance. While Gibbons and bass player-vocalist Dusty Hill executed their crowd-pleasing routines of stunt guitars and choreographed moves, Beard appeared angry about having to play a gig — rarely looking up from his drum kit and slamming cigarettes between songs.