Last night was the first Ratdog concert that I've attended. I wasn't entirely sure what to expect, but I loved it. The setlist was creative, everything was smooth and polished, and the bassist has crazy fingers! With every Dead-related function that I go to, I am amazed each time by how great the Deadheads are. There aren't a whole lot of kids my age (I'm 15) who like the Grateful Dead as much as I do, but when I go to these concerts, everybody understands everything I say. I met so many interesting people, and again, the show was great. Even though we had to wait outside in the cold for maybe 45 minutes, I had a wonderful time!
Andrea, Portland, OR
It’s true, these are the best people on Earth. I thought I was late, show at 8:00, stuck on the freeway, bailed onto Barbur Boulevard and broke out the Estimated Prophet of 5/8/77. Easy parking on the street and about ten people in line at the Roseland! I don’t even want to be that close, I thought, and walked around a couple of blocks to warm up. Cold night in Portland.
The Roseland theater is on 6th and Burnside, and Burnside since time began is “Skid Road” in Stumptown. Across the street homeless folks are lined up for food and shelter; on this side we’re waiting for music and shelter. I rejoined the queue, and in a matter of minutes all were visiting like cousins at some family reunion. These two guys came down from Seattle and are hitting the show tomorrow also, first time to see a show at the Roseland. This guy’s been to some classic New Years shows in SF! This lovely woman recommended a book about Jerry called “Dark Star,” and the one by Weir’s sister.
Doors finally opened... metal detectors! Show me your car keys and lighter! Have fun! It’s a great little venue, I was in front of Bobby’s microphone about 3 steps back. Did I mention these are the best people on Earth? Ratdog waited until about 9:30, until the excited anticipation has passed into simple boredom.
Boredom resolved! I hereby take back anything I may have said about Bob singing too many Jerry songs. First set was rather phenomenal. It’s not the Grateful Dead, but it’s more than a band that plays Dead songs. Like the Dead, it’s not so much performing the music as knowing where the Music is. Weir has clearly showed the youngsters just exactly where It can be found.
Bob just led the singalong; it was good to be in church again. The audience harmony on Row Jimmy made it worth the ticket! Help -> Slip was precise and powerful, Truckin’ was fun, Big Railroad rocked big.
Second set belonged to Ratdog; more solos by all. Hey Now! I thought we would get a moon song, Luna came up big and orange in the northeast. SOTM is all for Jerry now, eh? Two Djinn is a great tune, first I’d heard it! Closing with Franklin’s Tower left hanging from the opener; brilliant concept, effective execution.
Back out in the cold with the best people on Earth, Happy Solstice y’all!
DB, Portland, OR