C'mon...someone post a review. this set list and the multiple musician configurations...it must have been astounding! What a setlist!!!
This night completely blew away the night before. It was a totally refreshed and inspired performance - great show. The band was tight - Bob looked and sounded great - stage and audience were loving it.
I always appreciate Jay as a drummer, but last night he was going insane - even Bob had to just stop and watch him explode an incredible close-out to Franklin's to end the show - he inspired Bob to really throw his whole body into the closing last strum of his guitar, and the show was over.
So many gems - Catfish John acoustic, Hard Rain was the most pwerful version I've ever witnessed - actually sounded a lot like Masters of War in this version - Shakedown came as a surprise - then Morning Dew was delivered beautifully in Bob's own style - then Franklin's closed it. The Dark Star was taken way out there, but not pointlessly - then suddenly exploded into Odessa.
The whole show was full of surprises and masterpieces - great to see them pull it out of the hat. I was bummed after the first night, but I am a believer once again.
Thank you Ratdog for an incredible experience - and I look forward to seeing you again sometime soon.
willardness, Santa Cruz
Thanks for the review willard, I saw what you wrote about the previous show and respect your opinion. I was really hoping Dew was going to get in the rotation and I can't wait to hear where they take it.
Pete D, Philly PA
What a night! Casey Jones! Without the usual jam to open the show, I knew we were in for a good night. I love Easy to Slip and it was fitting for the last night of this tour. The Dark Star was jazzy and just when it started to fall apart, in stepped Odessa to ease things up a bit. Blown lyrics aside it was a rocker but Dark Star would once again prevail.
I kept waiting for Warren to come out during Watchtower like he did in SLC. When he didn't, I began to wonder what they had in store for us. After a rollicking Catfish John and a tearjerkin' Hard Rain, Money for Gasoline got the crowd pumped up for more dancin'. Little did we know what was next.
Out comes Warren and the familiar notes of...."what?" Shakedown St. Wow! and then from the side stage curtains came.... everyone! What we got was a full blown Mule/Dog kickin' and screamin' Shakedown. What a surprise. The bands were trading smiles and musical chairs. Very cool. What a jam! Then Bob left the stage and things got really crazy. I'm not even sure how to explain what happened next.....lot's of craziness!
Morning Dew! and Bobby was 'dead' on target with this one. When I saw that Ratdog had busted this gem out, I really wanted to hear it. It's been a long time since I've heard this one live and it was worth the wait.
The Throwin Stones was loose and rockin', with Bobby giving a nod to the group of 'Head Count' girls who have been seen following the tour. He even lectured the audience a bit during the song to "get out in vote", even coming up front to prove his point by strumming the guitar above the heads of the front row bringing smiles to the crowd.
Of course we all knew what was next and it fit. Franklins Tower was a nice way to say 'goodbye' for now and with Warren there was some sweet jammin'.
This summer has been fun. It's the first time I've toured since the early '90's. My girlfriend and I took to the road in Idaho and caught SLC and california shows. So many great moments this tour. Cream Puff War was a highlight. WRS> Let it Grow in SLC was my fave moment. The musician swapping was very cool. Warren really pushed Ratdog at times. Thank you Ratdog and Gov't Mule for bringing us this music and gettin' me back 'on the road' again.
Of course, this time I brought my girlfriend and what a surprise for her when I asked her to marry me at last nights show and the end of our summer tour. (of course I meant it to happen under the stars surrounded by vineyards but San Jose worked just as well). -cheers!
Very nice show and a pleasant relief from the night before. However, something weird was going on towards the end of the show. Mark Karan looked totally pissed off. After the show I overheard Dennis Mc Nally telling one of the concession guys that there was a "major meltdown" backstage. Hmmmm....
Hamal, Emeryville, Ca
For the most part, this was a great show... good choices for the set list, and the performances by the musicians were first rate... also the venue was comfortable, and intimate... maybe a little too intimate for the booming sound of Ratdog. Don't get me wrong... usually you can't turn up the volume enough for me, but often last night the music overpowered, and drowned out Bob's vocals. Like on "A Hard Rain's A Gonna Fall"... as the song progressed, and the band whipped up the sound to a deafening crescendo, the lyrics were pretty much cancelled out (at least that was the experience from where I stood at about row 15). I spent much of the show wishing someone would turn up Bob's mic.
Michael, Mill Valley, CA
Wonderful, high-energy show, with exciting & different song selection and order. Jay Lane is an animal of the highest (no pun intended) caliber, and Jeff is the best.
The best show of the six I was fortunate to have attended on this tour.
Ben Anderson, Burlingame, CA
I'm always partial to the most recent show I've been to because I'm just grateful that everyone who's up there is healthy enough to play. That said: last nights show was OUTSTANDING, EXCEPTIONAL, MAGICAL, PROFOUND, BEAUTIFUL, EXHILARATING, INSPIRING, SWEET, SPARKLY, AND JUST SILLY ENOUGH to be PERFECT.
I'm going to be buzzing on this show for a long time to come....
yay! july 10th blew july 9th outta the water. the first night really bummed me out and i had hoped for a spectacular second night. and i got it. thank-you ratdog.
clearly, it seems that the band members of government mule think there should be some ratdog-mule infusion. I for one am totally against that. No disrespect to G Mule but, i was little annoyed from the previous night that the mules kept "sitting-in" with the band. I thought the second night would be more dog.
No, the mules were persistent (especially, the walking drum guy, wtf?!) and made there presence very well known.
THANK YOU RATDOG!!!!!!!
sproutseven, redwood city, ca
Thanx from the South for the reviews so far. I'm not sure if I'll catch any Dog this Summer.
Desert Dan, great review and Congraulations on the forthcoming nuptials. My ex always got lost at the shows (lol)! And Samwoman, thank you for conveying the emotion present cause that's the key to the lock!
This was my first Ratdog show since 1997. Thats right. The only two remaining members were Weir and Lane. However, this was about my 50th Ratdog show in total. Just took a few years off.
All in all I was pretty happy with the performance. The Casey>ez to slip>dark star>odessa>dark star>watchtower was SUPER good. I was kind of takin back with the middle jam in Watchtower(seems like a lot of energy was lost with the new interpretation).
It brought back lots of emotion for me. The Shakedown>morning dew was great. I personally love the mule up with the dog. We all know Warren is the man, and his musicianship inspires everyone. I took it as a complete treat to see.
The one weird thing for me besides the middle jam of watchtower was thr Franklins Tower. Instead of singing it, Bobby spoke it like . Kind of like William Shatners spoken word. I found it to be a little weird. But, it ripped. After seeing Phil and Bobby at the warfield at Phil n friends, I way more enjoyed this night of music. Jay Lane, without a doubt, was the best musician on stage last night(behind bob and warren). He friggin went off, and led the band from behind the kit for about a 10 minute jam that was amazing. Bobby left stage before Shakedown ended, and Jay took over vocals, and took the harness of the jam and it was so sick.
Another note.....The Mule did an amazing set. Death don't have no mercy with Bobby....was ..well....worth price of the ticket.
Chris M, Santa Cruz
sproutseven and hamal - I noticed Mark seemed a bit frustrated near the end of the show especially during Morning Dew - cause Warren seemed to be hogging all the solos, and Mark had to just sit there and strum along. Then at the end of Dew Mark took the final solo, and he nailed it with a nice liquid solo. I'm trying to avoid being negative, but I need to be honest too. I was quietly wishing Warren would stop taking the solos and let Mark do his thing - and once Mark was allowed to let it ride, his solos blew away Warren's abrasive and un-creamy licks.
I appreciate the 'mule', but I just didn't see that any of them came anywhere near to the ratdog talent. It felt like ratdog was letting their retarded cousin get on stage with them so they could paly with the big kids - but everyone except the mule could tell that they weren't in the same league.
During a special moment like Morning Dew (especially 2nd time ever played) I think Warren should have stepped back and let Mark decide when he would let Warren take a ride. (Some of the Warren solos in Shakedown were pretty lame too - and now people who listen to the recordings will probably think it was Mark stinking the place up because they won't read the notes that Warren was playing).
With that said - it was still an incredible show.
willardness, Santa Cruz
All in all it was a amazing show... the best ratdog I have seen yet. the dark star, hard rain, and no Bobby jam were the highlights for me. I noticed that the energy dropped from morning dew on. That was unfortunate, because based on what came before, I was poised for an amazing Morning Dew. Up to that point it was amazing. It seemed like there was some confusion between Mark and warren. I would prefer to just see ratdog do their thing on their own.
Joshua Muscat, San Francisco
Fabulous show... Didn't pick up on the tension between MK and Warren. That's too bad because I love those two together.
My only complaint was that Melvin was buried in the mix. He hung in there like a trooper though. Dude is a helluva drummer but I'll be damned if I could hear him all night long. Hopefully he can be heard on the tapes. Anybody who picked up the Ratdog Live CD's care to comment?
ebot, Sucka Free
I loved hearing Dark Star, with bits of The Other One, Wharf Rat and other old-timey favorites like Shakedown Street and Franklin's Tower.
I hope to see Bob rework his own Dead material and perform it solo/acoustic. It would be nice to have a definitive "unplugged" version of Bob's tunes.
Steven, Bay Area
Thanks to sproutseven and willardness. I agree about Gov't. Hog, errr, I mean Gov't Mule. They were a litle too present. I like Warren's playing sometimes, but he really has no sense of humility. The "retarded cousin" remark is priceless. There is no comparison between groups. The Mule drummer is full of flash with little style or musicianship. The organist reminds me of people I know from Long Island who have chops and little soul.
That said, still a stellar night.
BTW, who is Whitey Melvin? I enjoyed his duet with Jay the first night and was curious what he was playing the second night. However, I noticed Robin motion to the monitor guys to silence him when the band returned after the duet on the first night.
Hamal, Emeryville, Ca
This show more than made up for the previous night's shortcomings. Casey Jones never fails as an opener, Catfish John was a real treat - and for those of you who haven't heard Ratdog do Hard Rain's a Gonna Fall, get this version -- it's a long tune obviously but the ending of this song was one of the few moments over both nights where every person in the hall was on their toes screaming for more of the same.
I wish they had applied the same inspiration to the 7/9 show but all in all these were two great shows.
bushmeister, Palo Alto
while i was not at the show, i can totally understand those who prefer "workingmans dog". i've seen too many shows where "guests" blow the whole vibe. keep opening acts where they belong: off stage during the headliner!
I danced for 3 hours or so....it was a good show but there seemed to be some sound problems: I couldn't hear Bobby much at all and the loudness made some things sound muddy-and I was in row 10 center in front of the mikes. I would've liked more Dog and less Mule as well.
That being said, there must have been some consternation about the last minute change of venue, so hooray for the hardworking folks who pulled it off without a hitch! I had a good time. I'm glad that it was inside, because California is hot and burning, and the air quality is terrible, and in 103 heat it would've been awful for everyone. Morning Dew was awesome.
april, san francisco/nyc
My first Ratdog show and my first deadish thing in many years. Have refound the dead after some personal tragic events - and found comfort and strength after reconnecting with the music. Anyway, took my teen daughter to the show. I have to say it was a fantastic show of excellent musicians, great music, and a great energy/scene in the audience. Thank you Bobby and Warren.
That being said - and since I have not been following Bobby in recent years - I have to ask the question... Is Bobby always like that? As far as I can tell he really wasn't playing much foor real, his guitar was pretty much turned down in the mix, and he kind of seemed out of it up there. I'm not trying to rip on Bobby, because if he can lead a show like that I don't really care how he does it.
But one thing that I was thinking why Warren was out there so much in the Ratdog set. He typically came out for songs that needed 2 real guitars - maybe because Bobby couldn't play the parts.
So what's the story?
Wow. Awesome shows..Both of them..I was blown away both nights ! Best Ratdog I have ever been to..ever !
Yay !! Bravo !!
Carla, Truckee CA
The show was great, bob and rat dog were tight. light show fit with the mood of things. the set list was outstanding, casey jones was so fast at the end," then you know that notion just crossed my mind" woo hoo!
Eric carrolol , concord
I took 2 days off for this show, and was well worth using the vacation time. I think Warren was a welcome addition to any of the Ratdog set. Any show with Mule, you expect Warren to come out with the other band, and his vocals were a nice addition to Bobby's, as Bob sounded at times like he might be about to lose his voice. The feedback problems did not seem to be present on the recordings, thankfully. Venue change was a pain, but not a problem.
I was on the front row for the 7-10 show (in front of Kenny) and I didn't pick up on any of the aforementioned "tension" or pissed-off-ness attributed to Mark.
However, I was a little distracted by the dread-head spinner chick that kept whacking me with her hair......
Shannon, Mill Valley, CA
Right on, last 3 reviewers. Thanks for ending the reviews on a very positive note. Note: my review is much further up this page, and posted for several of the other shows on this tour.
I'm online at dead.net, firstname.lastname@example.org, if anyone has a desire to keep in touch.
See yas all next time around. Great Fun.
Ben Anderson, Burlingame
It seems to me that Warren is needed for his voice when Bobby is not on. After seeing Warren play with the dead in 04 he was the highliht of the band.He is the best one out there on the road today
sean O'Connell, Ketchum Id
I had a fine time at this show. The CPA is a pretty intimate room(about the size of Marin Vets with a balcony). The scene inside & out was very pleasant with great comfortable seating and pretty good sound(although Bob's guitar these days does seem to come across like Freddie Greene's in the old Basie orchestra;to really appreciate what a cool player Weir is listen to the Winterland 1973 box).The music was pretty good too.And a GD related show
on 710 has just a little extra MOJO. Best wishes, Paul J
San Jose -----7-10-08 was great it was just what I needed a great set. from casey jones all the way till the end great
Eric Carroll, Concord,CA
Did not attend this particular show, but wanted to comment on what someone said earlier in the thread concerning the instruments drowning out the vocals. This is a recurring experience I have at Rat Dog shows as well. The sound during intense moments is not what I would call 'clean'. The other thing is that Bobby's vocals may be turned down for another reason. He simply hasn't sounded good in the last couple of months... just listen to the recordings. It's easy to fudge the vocal sound in the concert hall, but a raw soundboard doesn't lie. I don't mean to toss a negative bomb into this thread, but as a long long time fan of Mr. Weir, I'm concerned. Especially since I've enjoyed Rat Dog more in the last couple of years than ever before; part of which is due to what seemed to be a revitalized sound in the ol' man's voice. He's had vocal problems in the past and I'm prayin' he know what to do. Has anyone else noticed what I'm talking about here?
First, let me say that I am simple minded when it comes
to Ratdog, I recognize a peg-leg beat when I hear one.
No need to fantasize about how this is goin' on or that's happening...It was a Damm Good Concert!
Folk's it ain't "The Dead"
It's Bobby and the Dogs.... How cool is that?
Having been at the Greek, LA and Humphrey's, San Diego,
musically, I found this end of the tour performance of fine musicians filled with lots of energy, style, compassion and jazz.
Money for Gasoline..awesome. Little drummer boy carried that back-beat to the top of the hill. That's what I'm talkin' about! Bob's voice was rich, exciting and told the story well...the band sounded just fine!
Shakedown...anyday, anytime! Shake it down, shake it down..shake it down-down.
There was not one boring moment in the show.
Robin...where are you comin' from and can we all go there too??
Mr. Weir..This guy keeps it keepin' on! "Sing it Bobby"!
So Bob forgets the words now and then, his voice may need some resting at times...incorportating that into the mix is no surprise! Instead it's a reminder of how long these guys have been on the road, to our benefit.
My thinking is at some point all of this will go away one day, so get it while you can folks...
Thanks, Ratdog, for tearing up the Rawhide w/Gov't Mule...this finale was worth the wait!
Pretty as A Pea!
Marie, Puppy Palace, U.S.A.
I LIKE your style!
Though I wasn't at the other shows (I only the the last show of this tour) I wholeheartedly AGREE!
Thank you thank and kisses kisses!
Sorry to have left this out of my last post:
One thing for is for cetain...I would be remiss not to metion Jeff's unforgettable talent.
Jeff toyed with every tune he performed... skipping, prancing, jumping and fearlessly jacknifing, into the evenings hottest jams...
The band was tight...and Jeff had a great deal to do with that.
Jeff - Great Puppetry -Beautiful!
Samwoman...thanks for the comments.
"Pretty as A Pea"
marie, Puppy Palace, U.S.A.