When Mondayitis sets in what better way to shake off the cobwebs and foggy brain than with some soulful blues and jazzy tunes from Denver based Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats. That is exactly what a really big bunch of Adelaidians did over at The Gov on 15 April 2019.

With Adelaide’s own The San Sebastian kicking the night off in fine spectacular fashion it seemed like their thirty-minute set was over before it began. Brothers Joel and Dan Crannitch together with Jesse Coulter, Tom Spall and Jimmy Balderstone produced a solid, and impressive set showcasing their vast experience and talent. With a sound reminiscent of Bowie and Neil Young, songs including Tuesday, Anna and Wildfire captivated the audience and won over a whole new fan base for them.

If the cobwebs hadn’t been dusted off by the time Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats hit the stage they were blasted off in a matter of seconds. For over an hour we were treated to an infectious eighteen song set that not only delighted the aural senses but also had everybody up dancing, clapping and whooping. Songs from their debut LP Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats (2015) such as Look it Here, Howling at Nothing, Wasting Time, I’ve Been Failing and I Need Never Get Old were intermixed with those from their current LP Tearing at the Seams (2018) including Be There, A Little Honey, Say it Louder, Babe I Know, Intro and You Worry Me. But it was the final song of the main set, S.O.B., off their debut self-titled album, which was the pinnacle of a truly memorable experience.

With audience participation being a theme of the evening, they delved into the thick of the entertainment from the opening hand claps and mmm hmmms of S.O.B. until the final oh oh ohs when Rateliff and his band left the stage. Only when Rateliff left, they did not stop. The hand claps and oh oh ohs continued in charming harmony for the entire break until the band came back on stage for a two-song encore consisting of I’ll Be Damned and Hey Mama for which Rateliff donned the guitar for the first time all night. With a few words of gracious appreciation barely heard over thunderous applause and rambunctious cheers Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats then left the stage for good.

Rateliff was a man of few words on Monday night but what he lacked in banter he made up for with his powerhouse voice, enthusiasm and gratitude. Indeed the Night Sweats – Joseph Pope III, Mark Shusterman, Patrick Meese, Luke Mossman, Andreas (Andy) Wild, Jeff Dazey and Scott Frock—shared in his enthusiasm and liveliness. The Gov stage, with its simple black backdrop, looked tiny with the eight musicians enthusiastically bounding about on it. When considering this plus the audiences’ non-stop allegiance and fervour, it would be surprising if Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats did not return to our City of Churches to perform on a considerably larger stage sooner rather than later. There are a lot of people out there that hope they do.

Live Review Anita Kertes