Great show and a great time. Not only did we get a fantastic Ratdog show in Norfolk, but there was a Garcia art collection display/sale in Norfolk all weekend so there was more weekend Dead things to do! The crowd always loves seeing "The Dog" here in Hampton Roads and always shows it. The first set was great and my dancin' shoes were on! Great Wheel and the first live Golden Road that I have ever heard and it was awesome! Miracle was hot and the Playin was as well. Big Boss Man was a bit discomBOBulated but fun none the less. Mission was good but not real tight either, and the rest of the set was perfection. Loose Lucy was a blast and the Weather Report Suite > Let it Grow was fantastic!
I thought that the second set started out a little......slow. The Fever was luke warm at best followed by a good Victim. I thought Schoolgirl was a bit uninspired and the Women R Smat was good. From there on Bobby proceeded to blow the roof off of the joint. The rest of the show was DY-NO-MITE! Help > Slip > a very crowd-participatory Sugaree > a smokin 2 Djinn > Slip > Franklin's and thank you Johnny Be Goode encore! All in all I had such a great time at the show. I wish I could have seen the last three shows. Please come back soon Bobby!
On another note, I saw several scuffles in the crowd toward the front of the stage. I don't know what the deal is. Are people coming who are new to this type of scene and acting like meatheads or are people who should know better acting out of sorts at the shows? It seemed that when people would approach the front there were some other folks that would relentlessly stand their ground and it would lead to little confrontations. We owe it to each other and to the preservation of this scene not to act like that. Share the space and have a good time. I walked away from my buddy at one point to get a beer and came back to an angry older "hippie" who did not want to let me stand where I had been. He even went so far as to try and dig his elbow into my ribs while I was dancing. Come on guys! Lets all be buddies at the shows. Respect those around you, do unto others, and lets all have a great time together!!!!
Pete, Virginia Beach, VA
I think I was at a different show than Pete was because my experience was utterly disappointing. The show did start off well with a great Wheel and Golden Road, which was really nice to see. Miracle was very good, but the show took a turn for the worse after that. Big Boss Man was terrible, and Mission was weak at best. Loose Lucy was okay but way to slow. I don't know if Bobby was really tired that night or what, but he had no power in his voice, which I'm sure will be very evident on the CD in Let it Grow and Fever in the 2nd set. During the best song of the night, "Victim or the crime," two drunk chicks started throwing puches at each other in front of us, and everyone started pushing and shoving and yelling which really sucked. They finally got them outta there just in time for Good Morning Little Schoolgirl into a really good Women R Smarter. Had to go home after that since we had a babysitter but wasn't all that upset to leave. Don't get me wrong, Love Bobby and Ratdog to death. It just wasn't their night is all.
Christine Truncale, Virginia Beach, VA
Weird scene at the Norva on this night. I'd just gotten back from the two shows in DC and I was very excited for my hometown show, a mere five-dollar cab ride from my house. The crowd was a bit rambunctious, a lot of drunk tools in the crowd that were just there for the party. I don't have a problem with that, but there was just a little too much 'tude there that night.
On to the music. I must say I was disappointed to hear The Wheel since they just rocked it out at their last show in DC. The Golden Road was AWESOME despite Bob's lyrical flub. The Miracle was good as was the Playin. At the beginning of Mission, Bob started coughing big time and had to stop singing and get a drink of water (this also happend in DC during Big RXR and Rooster, disturbing). Loose Lucy just fell a little flat for me. Big Boss Man was a little on the disjointed side. Weather Report was well played.
Second set Victim was a big treat, but the Schoolgirl was a little rocky. The momentum picked up with Women, and then the real fun began with a huge Help-Slip. Nobody around me even knew what Two Djinn was. Too bad for them; this version rocked. Sugaree was a happy sing-along for the crowd and the Franklin's closer was a real treat. (It's funny when the crowd doesn't keep up with Bobby's phrasings on the Jerry tunes.) JBG encore was fun even though everybody thought and was hoping for another Promised Land.
Not a bad show, just not a great show. In my opinion, the 9:30 Club shows were superior.
Virginia Gentleman, Norfolk, VA
This show was not hurtful to my ego at all. It definately was my best Ratdog show ever. Why, because I saw Bobby smile more that show than any other show I've ever seen. I thought they were very tight and yes I heard him let a little phlegm slip during Mission, but so what. Y'all people are going to have to realize that you're only going to get a few more years of this, if that. Bobby to me looked like he was having more fun that night than any other show that I've seen. But of course, this is all my opinion!!
I loved Wheel; I thought it was a good choice. Golden Road was cool and I've been doing heads since early 80's and have never heard this live by GD or DOG. I thought this was a great show. The only real problem I had was the crowd--too many wanna-be kids that don't know lyrics.
Great show Bobby. Just do me a favor, dude. If you pump me up, leave me up. Let me dance. Dont bring me back down with tunes like Mission, Fever, and Victim. These tunes just didn't fit me. Overall I give this show Thumbs UP.
Chuck Cooper, Roanoke,VA
Whenever I'm able to catch a show, each gig is as individual as my 1st "Dead" show (26 plus years ago!). Bobby always has his own style of playin' and performs as an elite master that continues the GD legacy of the greatest band of all time! These guys were the pioneer band that did what they did !!! I'm personally not critiquing tunes played in today's time vs. 1967 or last month.... However, It's really an honor to see Bobby perform any song and The NorVa show was no exception. Each of these artists rocked the place from the opening lick until the last note.
One simple highlight of the evening for me was to see Jeff C. just walking by himself in the crowd up towards the stage before the show started. I doubt many folks even knew he was in the band. Awesome boards and a cool spacy synth. this night Jeff!
I agree with previous posts... lots of young folks at this show (that don't have a clue)! But that's "gettin' shown the light" for the next generation of Heads! I didn't see any brawls on the floor, but I've watched other scuffles over the years at venues up and down the East Coast (mainly from intoxication!!!).
In my opinion every show is a form of art.... The scene, music and lyrics all combine into a memorable show. I appreciate the thrill, dedication, and hard work that Bobby continues to give folks like myself night after night. Over the many years he is the true warrior that has survived and like most unique artists gives his audiences 110% !!! I hope to see many more appearances of the Dead, Dog, TOO, Phil and Friends or any of these great art masters.
My favorite tune for the night.... I just want to Thank You!!!! Bobby!!!!! ... For a Real Good Time!
Mike Coffman, Roanoke, VA
I had so much fun. This was a mixture of old and new Bobby. Take a little crow today and some some little schoolgirl, brew it into Ratdog and you got the Va Beach show. Oh my, this show was intense. I've not had a better time in years. Old and new fans of Ratdog, Kingfish... this was a treat standing room only. It was estatic and anyone who tells ya less ain' got those ain't never been a schoolboy too. lol
Kingfish, Salisbury, MD
Setlist-wise show was cool; highlights included THE WHEEL!!! Women are Smarter and Two Dijjan. Hoping to hear Tequila>Silvio>Tequila but you can't always get what you want... oh well maybe next time. Read some comments in other reviews on scuffling up front and really think it's time for Ratdog to think about playing slightly larger venues. Just curious where the boundary is between everyone having a good time within the space we all must share and dancers wedging themselves between people and beginning to flail about. Hopefully needing to dance doesn't override consideration of the environment everyone needs to share. What's w/ pitbulls and Hippies?
Dan, Hampton, VA
The first set was just frickin great. I didn't have complaint one. I had never seen them play Mission or BBM, and it was quite the treat.
The WRS was "just exactly perfect." Set 2 was okay from what I heard. I got a little distracted but the songs were performed well. Ratdog has sure come a long way in 10 years.
johnnyg, Richmond, VA