Every time i see RATDOG at the 9:30 Club, they just get better and better. The jam into Shakdedown was only one of the many highlights to come that night. After 9/11, Shakedown was a perfect choice for an opener."Don't tell me this town ain't got no heart," Bobby yelled out as the crowd let out an tremendous roar. It was like a healing wave of sound over the entire place. Bobby and the band felt it and it continued to feed them with energy for the rest of the night. The Minglewood was down and dirty, and the Supplication was a treat for hardcore Bobby fans. then came Liberty to close the first set. Everyone was chanting the chorus; they meant it and spread positive vibes and power to everyone. During the seond set, the Dear Prudence was done soo much better than the last time it was played at the 9:30; it was like a make up, which was great. St Stephen/The 11 rocked out and was done without flaw, and the mindblowing Lovelight was the height of bliss. I have Never seen Bobby so serious and talking to the crowd as he did that night, "Everybody turn to whoever's next to you, especially if it's someone you don't know, and say hi. Just say hi. Maybe give em a hug now." He meant it. I knew the U.S. Blues was the encore, but who didn't? It was a perfect fit and left everyone with the great spirt which drives our nation!!!!
Neil Lewis, Stevensville, MD
We got in line at 5:15 pm (doors at 6:30) to get a seat in the smallish 9:30 club. As we waited the Ratdog tour bus stood only a few feet behind us. Several band members came and went out of the bus as we stood there, all looking cheery, so the mood was already good.
The show was slated for 7:30 pm, but there was also a second show (Black-Eyed Peas) scheduled for 11:30 pm. The doors for the second show were to open at 10:30, so everyone was speculating whether it would be one long set or two shorter ones. The official word came down later that the show was to be 7:15 to 9:45, yet in the end it ran from 7:20 until 10:30!!
I have seen Ratdog dozens of times and they keep getting better, but this show really pushed the notch up several bars. The energy was high all night long and each time we thought the show was going to end, it kept going and getting stronger (and louder!).
I'll spare the song by song wrap up, but you could call this the show of double and triple endings. Bob was so keyed up that during the first set closer, Liberty, he pulled out of the ending jam customary at the closing of sets and called for another round of the ending verse and then the closing jam again!
During the second set closer, he did it again, just as "Lovelight" was ending, he ran to the microphone and started again with the "shine on me", followed by another ending jam. The only time I have heard this (although I am sure it has been done several times) was JFK Stadium 87 or 88 when the Dead played their last show at JFK right before it was to be demolished. Bob pulled a double ending on Lovelight that night. As noted on the set-list, this version also included a little "Come Together" interlude.
As I hoped (being in D.C.), the closer was "US Blues". This time Bob ended the song 3 times!!!! After the third time, the ending jam went on for over a minute as everyone was pounding their instruments in anyway they could think of. You just cannot get any more energy than was put out this night. I fear this is as high as Ratdog can get. I just hope that they can match it again, and again, and again!
One last note, the sound mix of the instruments was better than normal, as I could hear all of the band members all of the time. The only problem this time was Bob's vocals were to far back in the mix and a little muddy. Not bad overall, but still not quite right. Where the hell is Dan Healy!