Very good show! A tentative jam at the beginnng with some high-on-the-neck playing from Bob moved into a smooth Playin. The jam out of Playin set the tone for the evening--bluesy, spacey and tight. Big Boss Man honked along into New Speedway Boogie. Lucky Enough had a slightly shaky beginning after the piano intro. Great song with a feel from the band I hadn't heard on this one--very emotional tone. Wrong Way Feelin' is a perfect Las Vegas song. Mission had a powerful ending. I'm not the biggest fan of Weir singing Garcia songs, and this is one I usually grimace at, but the playing on it won me over. Weir's voice just doesn't fit some of the songs. Plus, he has a tendency to go off the microphone a bit, making him sound tentative, when he doesn't need to be. To be fair, try to imagine Garcia singing Black Throated Wind or Lazy Lightnin'.... Bury Me Standing continued the blues emphasis. The jam out of Bury Me before Scarlet was immensely entertaining--lots of different directions, lots of interplay. Could have easily gone into China Cat or Two Djinn. Overall the jamming the whole show was a notch above the usual. Scarlet had a nice groove to it and again a tight rocking end.
Second set was as fine as they come. Blackbird opened. Me and My Uncle was just exactly perfect. Looks Like Rain was as good as Ratdog has played it. The tempo and strong playing showcased the power of that song. More blues with Deep Elem. Hell in A Bucket kicked the set up to a high level. Wheel was smooth. The intro jam to The Other One was nicely out there. I think they only did one verse, although. Good drum/perussion jam. Knockin was a nice surprise. Weir took a guitar solo, which I always like. Playin' reprise was tight and ended the show on a strong up note. GDTRFB encore was rocking.
Nice venue, nice waitresses, polite bouncers.
John Drake, Chicago, IL