There are lots of personal reasons for me to wax rhapsodic about last evening's performance including the company I kept and the stunning setting surrounding us, but i will try to keep that to a minimum.
The energy of the show was huge. Ratdog had just come from a one set gig at Telluride, so they were ready to stretch out a little bit. The venue, for those who are unfamiliar, is a tiny ampitheater that is literally on the Poudre River. Most fans that make the trek are from Fort Collins which should speak volumes as to the mellow vibe. The band can see the back of the venue and every person in the place, it is so small. It felt as if they liked it.
The music was stellar. Bobby's voice and spirit were right there for us to enjoy. The noteworthy bits, though, had to do with some antics from the band. As set break was winding down, Bobby was trying to take the stage. It was only after two aborted attempts to get the acoustics tuned up that the idea got scrapped, and the Blackbird and the Desolation Row were done electric, which was unusual, since it was obviously planned to be acoustic. Not a beat was missed, and the sound was a real treat.
Finally, at the end of the second set, Jay Lane decided to take over. There had already been a noticable connection going between Karan and Lane. As the band was making its way out of Knockin' on Heaven's Door, Jay actually THREW A DRUMSTICK AT BOBBY to demand "Throwin' Stones," at which Bobby stated "This one is drummer's choice." After a ripping second set in general, and a smokin' 'Stones, Jay Lane crawls out from behind his kit and, as the crowd is going nuts, says "We should thank the Grateful Dead for writin' THEM fuckin' tunes, huh?" After performing a crisp and well-timed version of the entire Terrapin Suite (including Lady with a Fan) which blew brain cells all over the place, I can only say....
Yes, Jay, we should. Thanks.
Uncle Jimmy, Denver, CO
What a fantastic show held in a truly intimate and beautiful venue. I would like to thank each and every member of the band for a fantastic night of tunes and for keeping it real after the show. Thanks for your patience and basic human kindness. I can't put into words how much it means to have you guys rock out so close to my home.
I would give the band's performance my highest rating--A++. This is the third time I have seen the band in a little more than a month and each performance was as impressive. I have seen over 20 shows this year and have given this rating just 6 times, 3 times to Ratdog. Kudos! As always, the song selection was impeccable. From opening out of a jam into The Music Never Stopped through the encore of the entire Terrapin Station Suite, Ratdog just rocked out big time. We were blessed with several fine covers including two Dylan songs (She Belongs to Me and Desolation Row), the Talking Heads' "Take Me to The River," and a magical (and I do not use this term lightly) 2nd set opener of Blackbird. In fact Blackbird > Desolation was a personal highlight for me, besides the obvious enormity of the encore. They also did a nice job of mixing a lot of old favorites and newer tunes. Fantastic job with the Other One, Loser, Brown Eyed, Liberty, etc., and it is a lot of fun to hear the new stuff come into its own like This Time Forever > Shade of Grey, which were fine follow-ups to Desolation. Overall, the crowd's consensus was that of a line from a Billy Joel song; "Man, what are you doing here?"
I would also like to thank Bob not just for being one of the finest song writers of all time and for being one of the hardest working performers in the biz, but I also want to thank you for keeping the Bus rolling. I know that what you are doing can not always be easy and I just wanted to say that I appreciate the effort.
By the way, Bob, you didn't seem as comfortable as your band mates with the fans after the show. I just wanted to state for the record that none of us bite... hard. I also wanted to state that I was the big guy (6'4", 240 lbs) to stage right wearing the Terrapin T-shirt and dancing like a fool. I'm a former bodyguard but eternal Head and I volunteer my services to you if needed. I can help chase schmucks like myself away for you and I could dance for free (who doesnít need a dancing bodyguard?). Itís a win-win-situation. Best of all, Iím a pacifist in the body of a linebacker. So Iím intimidating and have made a living from not being afraid to tell others what they might not want to hear (like "please go away") but Iím a man of Peace.
Thanks again fellows and may the four winds blow you safely home.
Bryant, Loveland, CO