First of all, this was my first time seeing Ratdog since Further II. Yeah, I've read the posts and praises, and heard some shows on disc. But I had no idea. In Shatner voice.."I..had..no..idea.." What I witnessed last night was the finest musical performance I have seen since late 80's-early 90's GD. With the exception of GD, what I witnessed last night was perhaps the finest band I've ever seen.
Granted, the Cain's tends to bring out the best in people. And last nights show was obviously superb. It's also the first time I've ridden the rail since the mid-80's. From that perspective it was clear the band was shooting x-factor looks at each other, particularly during the 2nd set. It's been so long I've seen that look on Bobby's face, that humble beam that simultaneously says "Look ma, I'm channeling God!!"
What strikes me is how fresh these boys sound. While the entirety of the 2nd set was composed of GD material, there was no revisionism going on here. This is no GD cover band, this is RATDOG. A point of GD heresy-I've never much cared for St. Stephen. Stephen->Tell Overture->The Eleven washed twenty years of bias away. I wept. NFA & GDTRFB felt like an odd choice after that trifecta, likely to accomodate young master Hanson, but they were steller none the less. I've caught a lot of shit in recent years extolling Taylor as "the new Steve Winwood" but this boy's got a spark, one that Bobby obviously sees given this is at least the third time the two have played together. The affection and communication between them was plainly evident. Mentor on Bobby. I realize statements like that are open invitations for riffing of various sorts, but it was real and it was beautiful.
Anyhow, to rap things up, I haden't seen RD since Furthur II. I had no idea. I thought I was to old for this shit....
Fuck it, I'll see you all on Fall tour. WOOF!!!
Bradley Hunt, ?
I thought the show last night was just fantastic. I told people all day that I was giddy, and it was true. Cain's is a classic old ballroom with a real spring-loaded dance floor. I have never felt that floor move like it did last night. Great set list. Masterpeice was just that, Playin really smoked, and Big Boss Man and Scarlet were both performed at a higher level.
Cain's can be like a sauna, and last night was no exception. Everyone was really ready for some cool breezes after the first set. Bobby and the band seemed unaffected by the temperatures and came back out and just fired back up with the same intensity as they ended the first set during Scarlet.
I haven't heard Lost Sailor into Saint in quite some time and I thought Bob played them to their fullest. So Many Roads was awesome, then next thing we knew they played Prophet > St. Stpehen> William Tell Bridge > The Eleven > a havoc-wreaking NFA. I wasn't thrilled with the GDTRFB encore, based on what he could have pulled out, but it may have been appropriate as the band didn't get their suites at the hotel as promised, so who knows....
Mayor Bill Lafortune, a tried and proven Deadhead himself, proclaimed May 8, 2003 Bob Weir and Rat Dog Day in Tulsa. An official proclamation was presented to Bob and everything.
Bottom line, get out and see this band, find the rainbow....
Michael Treat, Sand Springs, OK
As the tornado ripped through some parts of Oklahoma, Bob Weir and RatDog ripped through the Cain's Ballroom in Tulsa. With pictures of Gene Autry and Bob Wills framing the band, the music the band put out was a once-in-a-lifetime show. From Blackbird into Friend of the Devil, then the show just got better. The mayor of Tulsa (Bill Lafortune) declared 5-8-03 Bob Weir Day before the band came out to do the 2nd set. Imagine Bob Weir coming to Tulsa on Bob Weir Day. What are the odds? Even the guest appearance by Taylor Hanson on the keyboards during Not Fade Away was a welcome surprise. Anyway, my wife and I truly enjoyed the show and look for the band's return.
Whouck, Broken Arrow, OK