Another sold out show and the fans left happy and impressed with Bobby and Ratdog. The word is getting out that Bobby and the band are on a serious roll and just keep getting better and better. Mark Karan continues to amaze me and played his butt off at this show--some of the best playing I have seen him do with Ratdog. He kicked it up a notch in the second set and never looked back, starting with smoking solos on Mexicali Blues, then Black-Throated Wind, Mississippi Half-Step and Terrapin. Everyone in the band plays so well together as an ensemble now, the music is being taken to another level. A few people around me who had not seen them lately were impressed with the level this band is playing on now. The first set started out laid back with Stranger at a slightly slower tempo, but the song selection in this laid-back mode was great: a solid Baby Blue, a great Loser with Karan showing us that he was 'ON' this night, Tomorrow Never Knows was spacey and psychedelic, a great Lucky Enough, IMHO one of the best new songs, a good Ramble On Rose, and a great set closer, Liberty, to end the set!
Other highlights in the second set were The Wheel, very well-done and keeping the feel of the Dead version of this song, and the set closer Good Lovin', with Bobby doing some vocal jamming on the old 'Bob Star' theme. A great, short and concise like Chuck Berry would do it, Johnny B. Goode encore and the boys were done. This band is great and getting better, and unfortunately for us old heads the word is getting out. The small venues are selling out; I just hope we can keep seeing the band in the theaters rather than the bigger venues. Who ever would have thought we would have two GREAT bands in Ratdog and Phil and Friends to keep us satisfied? A Deadhead has to very grateful for what we have today.
Bob Meader, Hamden, CT