Ratdog played from their souls last night. AWESOME SHOW.... Could have had a few more upbeat tunes, but they really bared their souls and gave everything they had. My cup was empty, now it is full. Thanks RD!
Chris, York, PA
This was a beautiful show. My second time seeing Ratdog and first time seeing Donna the Buffalo, who were really excellent. The whole show was great; I can't really think of any low points. A few flubbed lyrics but nothing major. Bob looked to be in great spirits up there, cracking the occaisional smile here and there. Some highlights:
The Bird Song was really nice. Ratdog has this song down so well, and Kenny really fills it out nicely on the sax.
Bob's voice on Rooster was as good as I've ever heard it while doing a blues song.
Easy to Slip>Lazy River Road ((((PERFECTION)))) Why they didn't list is as > is beyond me. It was so perfectly sequenced, it was as slick a segway as I've ever heard.
Big Railroad was huge.
The whole second set was really nice. Bury Me Standing>Althea was really well played and sung by Bob. The Jam portion of the show was kind of like a more focused Drums/Space, and I think everyone thought they would bust out to The Other One. The momentum was really strong. And the Come Together, while nicely played, wasn't really what the mood of the evening called for after the Jam segment.
Touch of Grey. Not to make anyone feel old, but I'm 19 and one of my first musical memories was seeing the video for this when I was like 3 or 4; it stuck because the dancing skeletons were soooo weird! It has always had a special place in my heart, and this was as good a version as I've ever heard. Bob NAILED the vocal. He had it down and the jams were really tight.
Black Muddy River actually had me a little teary eyed. Never would've geussed that Bob singing this could do that, or even come close. But the guy has been through so much and its all in his eyes. He had the spirit of Jerry smiling and sharing a deep moment with him for this beautifully played tune. I have never heard Bob on disc or live sing as passionately and soulfully as he did on this. It was absolutly perfect.
A great show. I'm really bummed I'm not going tonight.
Zack, Silver Spring, MD
Very, very nice show. The first set was tops. Birdsong > Supplication Jam > Bertha lift-off had everyone smiling and hopping. Big Railroad Blues was thunderous and brought out more energy from Bobby and the band than we usually see. The crowd responded in kind. K.C. Moan gave both Bobby and Mark a nice chance to show off skillful acoustic fingering. Bobby introduced it with a little history lesson about what they called songs like these "before the blues"--"moans and hollers" apparently. Bobby's vocals here were particularly soulful and convincing. Closing with Touch of Grey was, as usual, a powerful rave-up and a good, uplifting finale after some introspective jams in the second set. I've never been a big fan of the downbeat encores like Black Muddy River. If you download one song from this show, make it Big Railroad Blues. Hopefully, its live power will translate.
ARM, Chicago, IL
I'm in love again. This was my first Ratdog show (saw Grateful Dead 7 times "in the day") and the band was amazing! Bob sounded as soulful as he ever did -- maybe better -- and Kenny on the sax was a God! I had a blast, there were no low points -- and I'm sorry I'm not there again tonight!
Lidia, Alexandria, VA
Normally, this should not have to be answered, as it serves no purpose to compare, but in asnwer to the question of which 9:30 show was better, here is what I have to say. The show on 4/26/05 will go down as one of the greatest single Grateful Dead/related shows I have ever seen or heard. There was nothing left to say or do when the band left the stage that night. Each and every show I hear by this band is better and better and better, but on 4/26/05, they reached the pinnacle of what they have been trying to build since their inception. There was no one single highlight in this show. There was only greatness. The Easy to Slip was so melodic, so beautiful, no words, only tears can describe it. The Althea, Ashes, and Birdsong were everything I ever want to hear when I go to a show. Each and every moment of that show was so complete, that when it was over, there was ONLY vacuum. They took everything with them off that stage. I know what I heard, and I felt what I saw, and that was the very best, most soulfull and most complete full show I have ever heard. 4/27 was good, but 4/26 should go down in Bobby's book as the pinnacle of his distinguished career, the validation of everything he stands for... creating the highest possible level of human connection through the music. Thank GOD for Bobby and this band.
Grateful72, Cleveland, OH
Well. Well, well, you just can never tell what is going to happen at the Ratdog shows any more. I have always have had a great time the 9:30 Club shows in the past, but I have to say this one was my least favorite. The set list was a big chance from the shows here in the past, but that was not the problem. This show was overcrowded, and the majority of people who were there had no idea who Ratdog was! The band also had great trouble keeping the audience interested, and there were many times that Bobby's "destination was seen unclearly." The "Bird Song" opener was a sign that it was going to be a mellow night as it flew in and out of both sets. Unfortunately it was a sloppy flight. There were lots of audience distractions such as people talking instead of getting into the music and too much pushing and shoving to keep you into the groove. Bobby sang "Come Together" hoping that the audience would, but it was more like Get It Together Ratdog! I even had Backstage Passes and couldn't get in! However, there were several points in the show that I did enjoy, such as "Bertha," “Easy to Slip,” "Lazy River Road," and the encore “Black Muddy River”. The friend that I waited for a long time to come with me and the one who traveled a long time to meet me there made the show worthwhile.
Neil Lewis, Stevensville, MD