Two rock bands and dozens of popular classic songs meant lots of dancing Friday night at the Ralston Arena.
Classic rock and thousands of people filled the 3,500-seat space while Creedence Clearwater Revisited and The Guess Who played for more than three hours.
By the end of Creedence's set, the empty spaces of the arena's floor filled with people jumping out of their seats to dance to “Travelin' Band” and “Up Around the Bend.”
Creedence Clearwater Revisited is, of course, not to be confused with Creedence Clearwater Revival, the original band that included John Fogerty on vocals.
Revisited features original Creedence members Stu Cook and Doug Clifford, but the group replaced the late Tom Fogerty with Kurt Griffey on lead guitar and singer John Fogerty with John Tristao.
Tristao was a decent substitute for Fogerty, but he's not quite the original. During “Midnight Special,” Tristao's voice was incredible, but for some other songs, especially the lackluster “On the Corner,” Tristao sounded like a guy in a cover band doing his best Fogerty impression.
Throughout the show, CCR played its laid-back rock — the kind of stuff you'd hear at a friend's barbecue — and fans treated it like a friendly gathering as they went to and from their seats for beers and snacks, and many people got out of their seats to dance.
CCR's set was a greatest hits selection and included “Born on the Bayou,” “Lodi,” “Who'll Stop the Rain,” “Hey Tonight” and “Bad Moon Rising,” among others.
Though most songs were close to their familiar forms, guitarist Griffey too often went through long, winding guitar solos. The solo in “Suzie Q” was longer than the song's original 4:34 run time, and it became kind of boring.
Fans cheered like a roar of thunder for the solos in “Heard it Through the Grapevine,” but the bloated quartet of solos (one bass, one drums and two separate noodlings by Griffey on guitar) expanded the song into a 15-minute version that was just unnecessary.
Though The Guess Who was listed as support for the concert, the Canadian band had the stage for 90 minutes — a set equal in length to CCR.
The band played lots of B sides, album cuts and new tunes, but fans remained seated for all but its most famous songs including “No Sugar Tonight” and “American Woman.” The Guess Who's big finish came in its encore of “These Eyes” and “No Time,” where the audience rose to its feet and sang along.
For me, it always feels a little weird to see a band playing without at least its core songwriters or singers, but most in the audience didn't mind.
“Proud Mary” and “Fortunate Son,” which came at the end of the band's set, brought out a big crowd of dancers, many of whom sang to the band's hits.
“You're sounding awesome from here,” Tristao said. “Great to be back in your neck of the woods.”