Wednesday night's Ratdog show at the Fillmore was a good one. The stage was decked out with bouquets of roses and the atmosphere in the old hall was great.
Highlights for me in the first set were Brown-Eyed Women, Big Railroad Blues, and a smoking version of Mission in the Rain. Overall the first set was very tight and had great energy.
The second set started out with a surprising version of My Funny Valentine with Bobby looking a little lost without his guitar and holding the mic in his hand like a Vegas lounge singer, but the tune was delivered with great emotion and the sax solo was especially killer. The rest of the second set was solid, but it seemed like the band lost a little momentum at the set break and took awhile to get it back. The arrangement of Hard Rain that they played tonight reminds me a lot of their version of Masters of War.
The band was joined by a DJ for a few tunes, but from where I was on the dance floor he was barely audible. When I heard it later on the CD the DJ could be heard more clearly but he didn't seem to add much to the music, particularly on West L.A. Fadeaway. The Sugaree>Dark Star>Sugar Mag ending was delivered with enthusiasm, and Brokedown Palace was a nice mellow encore to a show that featured a ton of rockers. I also attended the Vegas show a few days ago and this show was both musically tighter and more energetic - maybe it's the magic of home cooking!
Bill Hurson, Elk Grove, CA
Excellent high energy dance show. Bob and the band were on throughout the evening. My only complaint would be an over reliance on Dylan songs. I love Dylan and catch his show whenever he's in the area. I'd be equally disappointed if he spent a night covering Grateful Dead tunes. Aside from this minor drawback the evening soared overall and the version of Brown-Eyed Women was one of the best I've ever heard. I will be making a point to never miss a Ratdog show. Used to kinda dis him in favor of Phil Lesh & Friends but this band is peaking and quite powerful.
Patrick Fitzgerald, Modesto, CA