Absolutely phenomenal show!!!!!!!!!!
ron420ron, Rock Hill, SC
Contrived.....I love 'ole Bobby, but this just didn't work for me. I think the proponderance of homeless drug addicts may have ruined it before I even went in.
The music was honestly what I'd expect at an old cover band show. After playing an ENTIRE tour together, I just can't see why Bobby would need to orchestrate every change to the guys so dramatically.
The whole thing left me felling dirty and kinda disappointed in Bobby for letting it go this far.
What a beautiful evening and venue. Loved the setlist...a lovely tour from old Dead , Dylan and new Ratdog. The crowd was ready to dance and Ratdog was there to deliver. Money for Gas was cooking and US Blues was hysterical with the waving of American, NC and peace flag. Tim, what show did you see? You missed some great music and people!!
Holly, King, NC
I halfway agree with Tim. Bob had to actively lead he entire show. It started a quite loose, surprising for the last show of the tour, but quickly tightened up. OTOH, Holly like myself had a great time and enjoyed the well-played music and fun crowd. I'm surely not dissapointed!
Mark, High Point
I thought the setlist was great and the show had some great solos that everyone enjoyed.
I was surrounded by kind, enthusiastic people so the whole night worked for me.
I may have expected more of a wow factor for last show of tour leg.
Michelle, Roanoke, VA
I thought the show was great, great setlist, and the people were really kind. No problems from the staff at Greensboro, it made the evening very nice. The only problem was the sound, it was a little muffled close to the the stage, but near the s-board and in the balcony it sounded good. A really nice place to see Ratdog.
Landie, High Point
All and all I have to say that I really liked the show. The first set was a little lopey but Ratdog is not really known for shot after shot of up tempo tunes. Mellow seems to be the rule with Ratdog and that's cool. I thought the musicianship of the band was very good and they were really tight.
The second set was just flat good! I loved the Even So -> October Queen. The ending of that was just excellent. Good job on the Dylan, classic Dead, Beatles. The One More Saturday Night was really well done. Tight, crisp notes at the start and the song structure reminded me of the dead of the old days. My wife was and is not a fan of the Dead but she danced and commented on several of the songs. She loved the improv and the way the tunes built up and evolved. And, since she is a musician (opera singer), gotta listen to her on that one.
As for Bobby leading the band at every turn; I didn't get that vibe at all. Does Tim remember Jerry's arm stretched out over his head to mark the end of a tune or a transition into another? He did this all the way into the 90's so that should not really be a big surprise. Jerry was a bit more subtle about it and remember, they were the Grateful Dead...no group was better at communicating with each other on stage without a gesture or word. So give Bobby a break.
Plus, you have to remember that Ratdog's set list structure does not allow for repeating the songs every couple of shows. While Bobby knows them all as well has he knows his own skin, the tunes may not be as ingrained in their DNA so some direction may be needed sometimes. Besides, you have to admit that the transitions were tight, the playing was really good, and the vibe was very very nice at the venue.
As for the 'homeless drug addict' comment. Sadly, you are correct and it used to upset me back in the day too. While its nice to step away from reality sometimes, its always a good plan to make that a vacation, not a permanent residence.
Nice job Bobby! We will be seeing you again!
Phil Wilmarth, Lynchburg VA
Ok, I've tried to submit a review of this show 3 times now and they're not getting posted. This is my final attempt, hopefully it goes through. And hopefully the other 3 won't all of a sudden show up.
Good but not great. I think I was sitting a dead spot or something because the sound was a bit off to my ears. Granted I like to be near the front so I can feel the bass in my chest. From the start I could tell it was going to be a mellow night. I don't like mellow Ratdog. I like the fiery psychadelic Ratdog that has the funky backbeat. The 2 shows I saw prior to this one (last year) both had that electricty, that spark and funky grove. I didn't get that at all durring this show. It felt really tame but was a solid performance.
It would be nice for more vocal variety. Too much of anything sometimes really isn't just enough. I miss the days of alternating vocal variety. It helps the performance in that if one person is a little off kilter the others have a chance to pick it up a bit. But more importantly having vocal variety will prevent things from getting stale and predictable.
Like in the old GD. You'd get a Bobby song, then a Jerry song, and if you're lucky a Brent song. I really like that and I would like to hear Mark and Bobby (and whomever else that can sing) provide that vocal variety.
GREAT folks. A lot of cool people and a good ShakeDown.
GREAT feel. Bad beer vending. Overall a nice place for a concert like this but they need to be able to provide better turn-around on the beer/soda vending. The staff where polite and I had not a single problem with any official.
Justin Time, Wilmington, NC
This was my first Ratdog show so I wont try to be too objective about the bands performance, other than to say that I was pleased. I'm not too familiar with Ratdog songs but really liked the ones I heard and I like the bands style. I thought Bertha was a lot of fun and rocked pretty hard. I havent seen Bobby since the Dead in 93' and it felt good to hear the crowd sing along to an energetic song like that. Brought back many memories.
And maybe I wasn't paying attention too closely but One More Saturday Night seemed to come out of nowhere and it rocked harder than the two times I saw the Dead play it. I'm not knocking the Dead, just saying its obvious OMSN is one of Bob's favorite songs to play. Very enthusiastic.
The flag-waving US Blues was really fun too. It was both my son and fathers first show and they really enjoyed the encore quite a bit, and I think they were a bit amazed at the energy of the cheers from the audience.
I think the venue was great, very relaxed and able to use the restroom, smoke on the patio, etc. The staff were the nicest I've ever seen too.
I'm really glad I finally got my father to see a show after all these years of him listening to my Dead music, and all the stories about shows etc. And I think my son is a fan now too, hes 13 and I'm so glad hes not into rap !
We all had a great time and hope to see Ratdog again in Greensboro ! Bob you rock and Ratdog is great !
Mike Lyons, Lynchburg, VA
Top shelf RatDog show beginning to end. One of the best I've enjoyed since their inception. The band is constantly moving forward in a space that exemplifies the closeness of time and the freedom of expanding their evolving improvisations. Jay Lane's drum solo was a show stopper. Robin Sylvester sat down and stopped playing after beginning Stuff with him. By the time the other band members returned from the break...they gave him a bow pf reverance. What a great memory of an excellent performance.
John Sullivan, Raleigh, NC
This show was a wonderful experience for me all around. Having seen Bobby totally rock at Starland Ballroom in NJ in 2005, I was psyched to see him down the road from me in Greensboro. I want to thank all the cool people who made the parking lot one of the most mellow and generous scenes I have ever witnessed. Even the Homeless drug people were having a good time, and at no point did I witness anybody hassling anybody. Add a zero percent police prescence and it all adds up to a great time.
Now the show seemed right on the money for me. I was in the very back row on the left hand aisle, and I thought they came right out of the gate with a solid sound, and I didn't see a hint of contrivance in the jamming or basic song structure of the tunes. Granted, there was a verse taken out of "Row Jimmy", but I was happy as hell to hear it anyway. "Bird Song" is always a treat. The energy from the crowd was real, and I couldn't wait for the 2nd set. I definitely wasn't dissapointed. The "Hard Rain" was smokin'and the jamming got so built up and good right before "Uncle John's", that I felt the crowd move to that next level. And who saw that "Come Together" coming out of left field? Say what you want, but the last few years have been a vast improvement from the tired old band Bobby used to tour with. Phil's taught him something about breathing new life into the same material.
Norman Le Comte Jr, Yadkinville, NC
Made the drive south from MD for this Sat. night tour closer in my old college hometown of Greensboro. We unfortunately missed the whole 1st set, walking in just as "Bertha" was wrapping up. Too bad, that was probably the better of the 2 sets. That said . . .
Ratdog is sort of an enigma to me. You're guaranteed solid playing no matter the song selection, but sometimes the song selection just falls flat imo. I think this was one of those nights (2nd sets at least).
We had seats right on the balcony rail with some much older heads who were as kind as I've ever met. They filled us in on what we missed in the 1st set.
"Winners" was "Winners" and "Hard Rain" was cool, but boy I forgot how long that song is. That's Dylan for ya. After that, the boys switch to electric and bust out . . ."Even So." Ugh. For me, it's like a punch in the stomach. Slow, slow, slow. It's a cool song in that it's dark and mysterious, but it added nothing to the set in this position. A real downer. They sort of salvaged the set with "UJB" and "Come Together" which got the old-timers dancin. "Bird" and "Cassidy" reprises didn't add much to the set imo--just cool bookends to what we missed in the 1st set, I reckon. "Sat. Night" was a predictable rager. "U.S. Blues" for an encore . . .no way. They never play that as an encore. Oh wait . . .they ALWAYS play that for an encore. Fun but standard fare. This was prolly my least fave RD show to date. Probably my own fault though cuz I walked in with high expectations. Will I ever learn my lesson???
Can't wait for the next show.
James, Annapolis, MD