Very good time enjoyed by a joyus crowd. Bob & Ratdog did songs that brought smiles to many faces, young and old. They did themselves proud.
What, no Dark Star? :)
Gary Apter, Boise, ID
The acoustics were much better this time around here. The selection of songs were pretty good, with Franklin's Tower and Cold Rain and Snow being the highlight for me. The crowd was into it and the band sounded solid. I like the new lineup and the sound they produce. The Wasserman era sound in my opinion is not as good as this lineup. They seem to be using the Jerry "wah-wah" guitar effect now, and it just sounds more like the Grateful Dead as I knew it. I liked the fact that I heard a Beatle, Dylan, and The Band cover song all in one show. It's too bad that the band's schedule is so tight; hopefully they got to see a little bit of the beautiful Idaho wilderness when they were here. I hope Ratdog or The Dead come back in the summer and play at Sandy Point Beach outside. (This way I can bring my 3 year old son!)
Sean, Boise Mountains, ID
Shaky first set. Very bluesy and monotonous. Maggie's Farm would benefit from a new arrangement. Easy Answers, well, the less said the better. Tomorrow Never Knows>FOTD was nice as was the Women R set ender. 2nd set, on the other hand, was great! It was why we all come to these shows.
But one concern. First set we were against the railing in the 2nd level. 2nd set we were against the front of the stage. In both spots it seemed that Bob was not singing nearly loud enough. And he seemed to be trying to take it easy on his voice. For example, in He's Gone he would not sing Cat-on-A-Tin-Rooooofffffff...., he would sing catonatinroof real fast and he'd be pulling his head away from the mic in the process. I wondered if he throat hurt. I know his sing style is different on purpose from the GD versions but he seemed to be singing in that style all night. And yet, when I listened to the soundboard Cd I had bought of the show, his voice sounded fine. So I wonder if it was just a faulty sound set-up...?????
Good time in Boise.
TigerTrance, Leesburg, VA
First of all, this is a cool venue. Second, there were some people by the front of the stage we called 'linebackers.' They were so named because they went through us and around us like we were ineffective backfield blockers. Oh well. Beer's fun to wear and drink, right? The linebackers didn't detract from the show's overall good vibe. Just wanted to get the negativity out of the way.
Everything was well-played, except I don't think Karan or Weir ever found the instrumental bridge of He's Gone. Easy Answers through Bury Me Standing was all done quite well and probably the most solid 'chunk' of the show. There were no discernible lyric flubs as was reported earlier on the tour. And although the 'official' setlist says the music was non-stop through Easy Answers. I would disagree. I would say there were stops, especially before and after Maggie's Farm. But anyway.... People freaked out when they played 'Women R.' Like a lot of things in life, this will remain a mystery.
Second set: El Paso was a sing-along. I don't like sing-alongs. But, I do like El Paso. Candyman was OK. The Weight was wonderful. Lots of emotion. Bobby did a falsetto vocal a la Mick Jagger (No, I'm not kidding) to sing the "Gonna catch a cannonball" verse at the end. Beyond cool. The rest of the show was solid, if not spectacular. Slipknot! was short and not very exploratory. Karan repeated a lot of riffs. But, hey, even at its worst, Help-Slip is extraordinary. Two Djinn was pretty cool. Lots of repeated vocals from Bob on the 'it's the dreaming that's real' line. OK. Sugaree, by the way, was another sing-along. Not bad. But, it's a sing-along and of limited musicality as such.
Encore: Solid. The Franklin's was fun. Bob takes a lot of liberties with the arrangement which was surprising, but not bad.
Of the five Dog shows I've seen, this was probably the strongest from top to bottom. One note, Schoolgirl saw a Bob Weir guitar solo as did He's Gone and Cold Rain. He played slide about four different times, but didn't take a solo w/ the slide. I could hear the Tele much better than Weir's usual setup. I was about 25 feet in front of BW. Chimenti was largely inaudible throughout the show. Sylvester is a nice addition to the band. Losing Wasserman was a big switch, but ultimately not a dire reality. To all the fine folks out east in Boulder, Colo., and beyond.... Enjoy. Ratdog's in fine condition.
dayjob fan, Pocatello, ID