I'll leave it up to others to write something more substantive, but Ill just say that RatDog kicked a** and took names. Weir was into it from the jump. Kenny's work on Even So was insane, and Weir was egging him on. Wang Dang > Bucket? Sick, Sick, Sick. They really jammed Bucket hard and Bobby delivered BIG TIME with some major "RIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIDE!!" action. Grate acoustic segment. Masters was fierce. Even So > Oct. Queen > Deep End. Kenny was blasting that thing. Long, long solo on Even So. I was thinking "WTF? It's only Even So!" October Queen was nailed big time. Weir was barking them out. Grate groove. The Deep End. Lets just say I didn't see Karan crack a smile all nite while he was playing; he looked mean and his solos were even meaner. He and Weir were going at it. Huge searing solos. Unreal. The entire band was rocking us into the ground. The place was going nuts. Very intense. Did I mention Robin on this? Do I need to? UJB was awesome too, though the lyrics were flubbed and it looked like they were having a problem up there. But if there is anybody who can recover from mess-ups, it's Weir. They jammed it hard. So much different than the Radio City debacle. Stuff was sick as usual. Jay is a beast. Into Stella Blue. It was obvious Weir didn't know the words. He was staring at that thing in bewilderment and seemed to be kinda lost, but when he read those words he was belting it out. I loved it, but others might pan it. Don't know how it will hold up on tape. The instrumental portions, however ,were hot. Mark Karan stepped up BIG TIME. The end jam was huge. The swirls and all that. Into China. No letup at all. The jam was sick. Weir was busting out some killer licks. The whole band was just going full throttle; there was some serious dancing going on out there. Rider was hot too. Bobby was in fine form. Ever hear the Stones do Johnny B. Goode on the STP tour? That's what it sounded like. Raw man.
Overall the show was played loose with some flubs, but the energy and the jams were unbelievable. True ensemble jamming. Every tour Weir is giving these guys a little more rope, and it's paying off big time. Enjoy Vibes and all the other stops; See y'all in Baltimore.
RatDog or STFU!!
Fireonshakedownstreet, New York, NY
I took a Greyhound bus from NYC down to AC on Friday. On the way down, we had a 45-minute delay until we passed a horrific multi-car accident (no need for deatils here). Let's just say I was not in the greatest of spirits when I arrived in AC.
I had a late lunch, checked into my hotel, and went to an Irish bar that had a two-for-one happy hour. When I got to the House of Blues, I hooked up with friends and I was much happier than earlier in the day.
The band came on quickly and opened with a nice "The Music Never Stopped" that segued into "Easy Answers." I was now feeling no pain. Other first set highlights included "Mission in the Rain" and the set closing "Wang Dang Doodle" into "Hell in a Bucket".
The second set started with a well played "Big Iron" followed by a couple of Dylan tunes. A beautifully haunting "Even So" followed that and went into "October Queen". This song was the highlight of the show for me. They seem to play this better every time I hear it. After "Uncle John's" and stuff, they went into the rarely played "Stella Blue." A rollicking "China/Rider" ended the second set and "Johnny B. Goode" sent us off into the cool summer breeze of the AC boardwalk.
I said goodbye to my buddies and headed back to my hotel room and a welcome pillow.
Ranger Rich, Kew Gardens, NY
Weir and his band may jam out and play with a lot of soul but his song selection is far from exciting. This show had the lamest selection of songs minus a couple. If he wants people to keep coming back to see him he must offer some more. The three Phil shows this past winter blew Weir out of the water. And it was the same last summer. Notice all the empty seats at the HOB. Lots of respect because of his GD history but this was my last show.
Capt. Rich, Atlantic City, NJ