Venue: The Gov
Gig Date: Sunday 1st November
Celebrating 50 years in the biz, American blues and boogie legends, Canned Heat, delivered a fine set of tunes to their adoring fans in Adelaide on Sunday night.
Opening with the seminal “On the Road Again”, we were treated to a masterclass in the blues harp from Dale Spalding, who also delivered lead vocals and guitar. Moving through some more recent additions to their opus, they soon discerned that this was a “boogie crowd” which lead to a thumping rendition of “Let’s Have a Good time”, ably assisted in the chorus by the audience
The set included their other, huge hit,” Up the Country” , the boogie/blues standard “Rollin’ and tumblin’”and one of their most beautiful instrumentals, Harvey Mandel’s “Cristo Redentor”, the latter giving opportunity for solos from Spalding, Larry Taylor on bass and John Paulus on guitar.
“Let’s Work Together” supplied a thumping, boogie finale. This is a line-up that is still tight, energetic and passionate about their music.
But the highlight of the night came with the first encore. Three bars in, and the power went out over half of Adelaide. After five minutes of everyone at The Gov standing around quietly waiting for possible restoration, we realized this was serious, mother. Nek minnit, drummer, and longest-standing member, Fito de la Parra, came onto the darkened stage and, whilst his roadies held up their cell phones for light, performed a drum solo. Not content with that, Spalding and Taylor then performed an acoustic number with guitar and harp, whilst the die-hards in the audience tried to shush the chattering drunks in the back row.
It was a magical moment. A moment that sorted the boys from the professionals. A moment that will live in the memory of all who were there.