I was very excited about an in-town Ratdog show, so understandably I was waiting for a very good show. Did we ever get one tonight! Ratdog hasn't been to Syracuse in recent memory, forcing me and my merry band to travel (usually to Geneva, 40 minutes west). We were all fired up to be able to slide downtown for a beer at the Blue Tusk before making our way into the beautifully ornate Landmark Theater. The weather was very summer-like for this time of year and the street scene was overwhelming. Many friends were out and about. If it was warm outside, it was hot inside. I got so caught up with the outside that I was making it to my seat during Easy Answers, missing what must have been a fantastic start with Music and Queen Jane, judging by the strength of the rest of the show. It was a classic Ratdog set with their lesser played tunes and a strong finish with Rooster > Bird Song.
I was thankful for a short first set for it allowed me to find my friends and enjoy a wonderful second set. It was a great mix of Ratdog's better pieces with a few good staples. El Paso was a first for me live, and The Winners and Easy to Slip were strong. I always enjoy Cassidy, and they didn't disappoint. It appeared as though the band got pissed at themselves and left Cassidy unfinished but a jumping Drums/Bass filled the void beautifully. Dear Prudence was well done and they tended to unfinished business with a Cassidy reprise and a sprinkle of Music. Lovelight was timely as I enjoyed the latter half of the set in the back rows with my girlfriend. Johnny rounded the show and allowed us to get fresh air which was in short supply in the theater.
The crowd was as pleasent as the weather, security light, and the bars within the theater were very accessible. The tunes were strong and it left me with a renewed faith in Ratdog. I can't wait for their next nearest venue, and I'm biting my nails waiting for the Other Ones in November. Good job boys, no disappointments.
Stash, Arlington, VA