Solid show. Started at 9:30 and ended around 11:40. Jack Straw was great! Bobby dedicated Way to Go Home to Vince. Good jams on Eyes and Franklin's.
Matt, Santa Rosa, CA
I thought this show was excellent. The band acheived that sound that is the one sound that is greater than the sum of its parts throughout virtually the whole long set. While in that place went to very interesting and beautiful places. For example, the jam of 'Victim or the Crime' was like the momentous ascention of a great, finally freed soul; it was absolutely breathtaking. Great punctuation and deep funk on "Come Together"; very cool jam segments throughout--remembering off the top of my tired head: Help Slip, Jack Straw...and gods yes! the Dark Star! That was amazing--graceful, explorative psychedelia at its finest.
The vocals were strong, both in harmony and individually--they incorporated more harmonizing than I've seen/heard before to very satisfying effect. The venue was great--a huge hangar-like structure on the fairgrounds with an excellent sound system in place. All musicians were clear as a bell and mixed just right. The stage was at a height that made the band visible even though it was a general admission, floor only situation.
This show was sandwiched between Hot Buttered Rum at the beginning and Gamelan X, then Sound Tribe Sector 9 after. All these bands played very good music this night. I will seek out their live performances when next they each come to town. And now off to see if this show is available for download...
Adriane, San Francisco, CA
The band played well for most of the show. Jack Straw fell apart, but they were able to pull it together towards the end. She Says was in the wrong long location because I felt the audience needed a heavy hitter to wake up. Big Iron was a nice one to hear live. Once Bobby left the stage, the band hammerd the Stuff jam and I would like to see more of this. It would be interesting to see that jam last for 45 minutes or so. Ripple was a sweet mellow closer and was played perfectly.
Rob, Guerneville, CA
One of the best Ratdog shows I've seen in the last few years, strong from start to finish without a single clinker. Bob was energized and focused, the band was tight but loose in that way we all love best, and the pacing and song selection were stellar.
Jeff, Oakland, CA
What a treat to see the Ratdogs showcased in a larger and grander setting, named The Grace Pavilion at Harmony Festival. The energy of this night resembled the good old Grateful Dead more than just an Evening with Ratdog. But could this enigmatic bar band fill this airplane hanger with sound. Oh yeah! This in many ways was the ultimate RATDOG expierence. The show opened with a flowing "Help SLip" that set the tone for the night. "She Says" is always a treat featuring burning and churning MK solos. Mark stepped up big time and was featured all night long. "Dark Star" embodied the pyschedelic tempo that only the Dog can produce and Bobby's vocals were tranncsendental as he held the notes for a near eternal moment.
Then things got interesting with a crisp "Big Iron," which featured the prowess of Bobby strumming his acoustic guitar. The man can do so much with simple chords its astounding. Then the requisite "Victim" morphed into "Way to Go Home" for Vince. Being that Vinny fell mere miles from that venue made the song that more stirring. I especially liked the high notes that Bobby could not reach. Only Vince can reach these notes with his enormous range. I found the tribute extremely heartfelt from Bobby, who was a friend to the man like few of us could understand. And since Vince was my era the tribute was essential for my grief as well. It was indeed the highlight of the night. And Vince's insane pain was palpable in the haunting and self depricating lyrics of the song.
After that things took off and the band soared into hyperspace with "Eyes of the World." Robin held it down like a champ all night standing directly behind Weir. Kenny and Jeff filled in all the parts including shimmery solos during Eyes. And Jay was so buttery and solid you simply forgot he was there. After that, a trancy space featuring Logic warmed the crowd up for the showstoppers.
Out of space a spi-dang-ly "Come Together" was a perfect choice and by then we were all together over Bobby and his merry band of pranksters. The Ratdog epic "Two Djinn" was masterfully executed before the dance party concluded with an extended Franklin's that warmed even the most grizzled and cynical head, giving MK another chance to electrify the crowd with a ferocious solo. WOOF!
"Ripple" was the encore with Bobby sporting an electric while Mark played his acoustic. Ripple can often be a little campy but this one was elegant and just exactly perfect.
STS9 did their part with a kickin after party but the best show of this festival was no doubt Ratdog. Walking out I heard a rumor that Bobby was planning a hiatus following the summer tour. If this is true, all I can say is thank you guys and congratulations on exceeding the limits of our imagination and ecstacy.
Tim Grossman, Truckee, CA
Opening Shakedown,Awesome last time I saw that was at the Garden in NY doing doses in 1979, ah its good to have the music back! She Belongs was Great-off to Alpine a Great outdoor venue-maybe we could bring Shoreline back
into the tours. Thanks Ratdog
Chris, San Diego