By Alyssa Penman
High Desert Daily
(Victorville)–The County Fair is all about classic Americana, from the quilting exhibitions to the livestock auctions. Smack dab in the middle of that is great American rock and roll. Wednesday night’s concert by Creedence Clearwater Revisited touched something almost patriotic in the crowd of thousands that spanned several generations. Created a little over 15 years ago to play for friends and private parties, original Creedence Clearwater Revival rhythm musicians Stu Cook and Doug “Cosmo” Clifford and new additions John Tristao, Steve Gunner, and Kurt Griffey. CCR purists may scoff at the legitimacy of a band playing these songs without original Revival members John and Tom Fogerty. The fans stomping, singing and cheering in fifty degree weather clearly didn’t let that prevent them from enjoying songs like “Long As I Can See the Light” and “I Heard It Through The Grapevine.”
The grandstands were full of fans who knew the word to every song Creedence Clearwater Revisited played and fans on the floor were pressed up against the stage. After touring for so many years, the band clearly knows how to put on a good show. Launching into “Midnight Special”, lead singer Tristao begins like he is telling a story, connecting with the audience quickly. Segueing into “Bad Moon Rising” and “Fortunate Son” the band continues to draw people in to the floor seats. The clear evening (no full moon, bad or otherwise to be seen) was chilly, but not very windy, so fans of all ages could simply dance to keep warm. And dance they did! Even little kids got into the music, as did people of all ages and backgrounds. The audience’s enthusiasm is a tribute to the enduring music of Creedence Clearwater Revival and the respectfully authentic performance of this reincarnation project Creedence Clearwater Revisited.
Concert-goers Jeremy Kanning and his wife Maria Kanning came out bundled up like it was winter, but enjoyed the show anyway. “They’re a part of our history,” said Maria. “Everybody knows these songs.” Jeremy agreed. “They’re just good summertime party songs,” he said. “Too bad its 45 degrees!” The audience must not have minded the temperature because they called the band out for an encore, which included “Have You Ever Seen the Rain?”, “Traveling Band”, “Good Golly Miss Molly”, and “Up Around the Bend”. These songs are part of our cultural heritage as Americans, which is evidenced by the diversity of dancing, arm-waving, lyric-singing fans at this show. And that is what makes a county fair great.