8/30/2008 Setlist, Photos, and Reviews

RatDog
Opened for The Allman Brothers Band

Saturday, August 30, 2008
Red Rocks Amphitheatre
Morrison, CO

Reviews

Best setlist I've seen from Ratdog. Mark was exceptional tonight locking horns with Warren over and over again. Multiple sit-ins with Derek, Susan, Warren. Birdsong, Morning Dew, Not Fade Away were priceless. Glad we flew 1800 miles for this one. Whatever it takes.

hockmod, orlando
YAWN!!! I was looking forward to this show all summer and was incredibly disappointed. No energy whatsoever. It's Saturday night, Bobby... Wake Up!!!

Greg O'B, Arvada, CO
Anyone think differently?

Ben Anderson, Burlingame, CA
Just got home.Still thrilled. Great Birdsong. Did you see the crows fly by?

Dave Lavelett, Colorado Springs Co.
I am sorry to write this, but last night's Ratdog set simply flat out S-U-C-K-E-D!!

Nearly every song was played lethargically slow, marked by uninspired bar band level musicianship and a Bob Weir who looked tired, stale, old and in need of a rest.

Somewhere along the way, Bob Weir lost his balls!

Because the set had none! Rockers like Bertha and Not Fade Away were lifeless and ponderous, despite some solid guitar by Mark Karan. West LA Throwaway was played with the strength of a limp dick!

Most of the cameo opportunities were wasted, because of the tepid molasses-in-January tempos. Of course, Derek Trucks and Warren Haynes put in some solid work, as they always do.

The entire set was a slow lifeless nostalgia act, featuring a declining Bob Weir. Bob, I appreciate you wanting to do the Jerry tunes, but...many of them do not work!

It's time for Weir to dump his A-level farm team players -- Jay Lane, Robin Sylvester and Kenny Brooks -- and find some higher caliber musicians in the Major Leagues! Brooks did far more posing than playing, and what he played was strictly forgettable pedestrian fare.

The cameo in Franklin's in the Allmans set was superior to anything in the Ratdog set, because Butch Trucks snapped a grueling uptempo. Weir did his hesitation BS in the first verse -- drop it, Bob, it does not *work!* -- then got it together. Mark Karan stepped up to the plate and played a solo that showed he could step it up, and Chimenti's piano solo soared with a jazzy verve. I have no problem with either of these players in Weir's band.

But the best way to sum up this set is my new nickname for this band: RatDogShit!!

Thank Heaven for the Allmans. After a rough start with
a weak "You Don't Love Me", the set built until it reached
genuine epic proportions. The stretch of a scorching
Black Hearted Woman > Mountain Jam > Otiel bass solo >
JaBuMaOt (Ot = OTeil) > Mountain Jam >
Dazed and Confused > Mountain Jam reprise was
simply THE SHIT, folks!!

The stuff that Bob Weir's band right now couldn't dream
of touching!

Bob...I hope you are ok, but tonight, I saw a man who
sounded old, tired, stale and in need of a rest. Here's
hoping you do that...and here's hoping you find your
balls too!

John J. Wood, Boulder, CO
The last night of the tour got off to a good start with Help and Slipknot! Were they going to play Franklin's after that? Of course not, but it they played it well with the Allmans. The Loser was a bit underpowered, but the Hard Rain is one of the most powerful songs I know in terms of lyrical imagery and the band played it better here than they did in Camden with nice vocals from the special guest. Looks Like Rain is one of my favorite Bobby tunes and I always enjoy how he sings it. The St. Stephen notes from Mark were also interesting.
I liked the West LA. It had a good groove to it. When they started up Ashes and Glass I thought it was going to be Dark Star and was bummed that it wasn't. I don't care for Ashes and would have liked to hear Dark Star, but it wasn't in the cards. The tune that made the show for me was Morning Dew. I loved listening seeing the boys play it again and they did a great job. Bobby jumped in a little early on the "I guess it doesn't matters" at the end, but Mark's playing was still wonderful. The NFA at the end was cool with Weir directing the crowd in the "You know our loves." That reminded me of what Genesis did with directing the crowd "woos" during their show at the Pepsi Center. All in all it wasn't the best Dog experience, but it was far from the worst. As Dylan might have said, you could have done better but I don't mind. So don't think twice it's alright!

Scott Probeck, Boulder, CO
Yo dude that show was fucking awesome, i thought bob weir put in some good numbers, except for a couple slow jams, but you are right, they aren't on the level allman broz are on, those 2 guitarists are the best that I have ever seen.

Crazy FOol, Littleton CO
JOHN WOODS,it's fine that you didn't enjoy the show,or even cared for bob weir,you are intitled to give a a negitve reveiw,that's what reveiws are for..but I have some advice for ya...don't go to any more Ratdog shows..I don't like hearing that people are not getting what they exspected from the band,,I get disapointed too,when I feel II wasted my money.I seen the ABB and Ratdog in Camden and Hersey Park,and I have to say Ol'Greyful played and sounded great,considering there age.John I hope when you reach there age you will be able to wipe your own ass,hopefully you won't be in a nursing home shitting yourself ,and wearing depends..I give alot of respect to Bob Weir even though hes a control freak.this guy has been non-stop since Jerrys passing.What are you looking for at a Ratdog show?My opinion is Ratdog has slowed down a bit,but that is there age..I will be happy to see bob,phil and the rest of the band retire and enjoy life a little.that's how I feel,I am grateful because thats the blood I have.I am happy just to see Bob and Phil to walk onto the stage and be able to play the music I have loved my whole life..Lighten up Dude,STAY HOME!!!DON"T WASTE YOUR TIME OR MONEY!!!..save the space and the ticket for someone who is Grateful..as for me FOREVER GRATEful..FOREVER DEAD..thanks gentelman..for a real good time

casey jones, philly-orlando
mellow show,not nearly the energy when i seen them at the Greek theatre earlier this year-but still i enjoyed it and appreciated it very much.THANK YOU GUYS!
hey people,lets remember that those guys are artists. Just because you didnt get the show you were looking for or it didnt live up to your standards doesnt mean it wasnt a good show.The Dead was about improvasation,emotion& passion.They often played accordingly to the vibe they felt or the emotional journey they chose to take us on.Last night Bob and the guys purposeley took us on a mellow ride for what ever reason. It wasnt what i was expecting, but i enjoyed and appreciated that wonderful gift. I thank the heavens above that Bob is still here to share his talent with us and take us to all those places.May the music never stop

pete569, torrance,ca.
All the elements for a great show!!
Labor Day weekend
Red Rocks CO.
Rocky Mountain National Park an Hour away
Denver Half Hour.
I was hoping for a Saturday Night Opener
Great Trip I want to do it again next year.

Blair, Claremore OK
You know when your about to take a vacation and your few last days at work and how you feel.I just want to get out of here,just get me through this day.For me ,thankyou Ratdog and crew for being on the road and bringing to all of us this inspiring 08 year so far.
See you this fall.,thankyou for the N.C. show coming up...

tnaaron, kingsport
To all those who thought Saturday's show was slow,boring or lacking excitement, be glad you got to chill at on of the greatist venues around and just see Bobby play. Other folks out there like myself had to work and only wish they were there. Even if Bobby had chose to do nothing but Row Row Row your boat, its Bobby at Red Rocks !!!!!!!!!

Mike, Avon CO
I saw Rat Dog in Michigan, and the show was awesome!
I saw the Grateful Dead 16 times and have been listening to them for 18 years of my 36 on this earth.
It is sad to see that people experience the shows as slow,
lethargic, etc.
I would like to say to those individuals, if you went to Dead shows, it wasn't a "rockin'" affair. The Dead were not a rock band, remember, "they're a band beyond description..."
Yes, Bobby is older and Rat Dog is not the Dead. You have to look beyond your outdated interpretations to really
experience and enjoy what they are offering.
Honestly, I liked the music at a little slower pace. It really allowed the musical nuances to come through clearly.
Yes, ABB is a totally different jam, and though I enjoyed their set, I am very partial to Bobby.
People, he has been doing this since he was 17 or 18.
I think you should trust where his musical direction is going.
If not, I agree with Casey Jones, don't go. You might as well go see Dark Star Orchestra and pretend that they are the Dead.

Iam, Michigan
Casey jones RIGHT on. Tell the dude to stay at home.Peace to all. greatfully deadicated forever~~``Joe

joe, Marlton
Just got back into the chair where I sit and type during the days between :-( I don't care about the sportcenter nitpicking reviews, I was glad to be at a show at Red Rocks!

While I enjoyed the entire evening, Morning Dew was definitely my favorite of the night ... along with NFA, they both delivered. I have a theory about this and the so-called "slowness of tempo".

I think Mark was definitely more "on" then Bob.

I think on any given night, there's a reality of how much groove (or whatever you call it where the band is just locked into another level) can be squeezed out of things or simply be in that state of being "visited". While you can try and set yourself up for these shows/moments, it can't be manipulated. In fact, gripping the steering wheel too tightly is a sure fire way to make it not happen. So, it's sometimes something which just comes out in bits and peices during a show or if we're lucky, for the entire show. I think the latter is more rare for RD (or any band) vs. whatever the heck vibe the GD managed to tap into.

FaceOnMars, Ophir, CO
This was my 7th ratdog show this year my 44th overall. Bobby and the band were great. I could only hear the first two songs as I was on top of the stairs with no ticket. A miracle walked up all those stairs then said to their friend "i think i will sell my ticket" and I proceded to ask the person if I was hearing things. Needless to say he sold me his ticket and I was in. The show was awesome from the steps through bertha, to a great acoustic looks like rain to Ashes and Glass Morning dew and NFA.

If you dont like Ratdog stay home. Dont go just to complain afterwards. There were hundreds of people looking for tickets that night that would have loved to go.
The venue was awesome the Band was tight and the music flowed what more can you ask for. Oh yea thats right we had the Allman Brothers as well.

Wow what a night. Franklins tower with Ratdog all members on stage with the Allmans jamming franklins tower was awesome.

Bobby thank you again.

Bill, Cheyenne
I have no problem staying home, because at this point, the band is
not worthy of my concert dollar. I am simply a longtime 25+ year
Deadhead who simply will not embrace mediocrity; because there are
many other choices for music whose quality is superior to what I heard
and experienced on Saturday night.

By the way, Gov't Mule closed their show with Morning Dew last night....and the version was far richer and soulful than Ratdog's attempt. Warren sang it with soul and emotion in his own way, without emulating Jerry...and it was far superior to the Ratdog version from the previous night. That is simply an honest opinion, folks, just like my previous post. If you don't like it, too bad: This country was built on the premise of freedom, including freedom of speech.

Enjoy your mediocrity folks!

John J. Wood, Boulder, CO
Someone please enlighten me . . . . what I want to know is are you kind . . .

What's with all the harsh criticism of Bobby and the Boys in the last few months, even year??? I need help to understand, because I unfortunately have been on crutches since January, and so I haven't been able to attend many shows. Unfortunately, the band stopped touring the state I now live in, Georgia, so I had to hobble to Charleston in the Spring for the show. Then, I totally missed the summer run because I had to re-do my screwed-up surgery with a lot of plates and pins (fyi don't ever ride on the back of a dirt bike built for one, you will fly off). So, for me personally, I would have loved to be at any one of these so-called shows sporting a slow tempo. Although I must admit I am a girl that loves to sing the blues, so I would have probably appreciated the slow tempo. Jerry could slow down China Doll to almost a halt, sooo ssswweeettt!!

Let me preface this by saying that I've only been seeing the Grateful Dead since '79, so I'm no expert and hope that none of my comments offend or hurt anyone. I've been holding back on writing because I didn't feel that it is my place to judge anyone. However, for me, the hurtful tone of some of the reviews has gotten so excessive that I just have to state that "I don't get it?" Reviews can be positive or negative, but really what is with all the harshness in the reviews? Yeah, the band could have an off-night, yeah, the band could be tired and need some new tunes, yeah, they might be getting a bit older, we all are, so how about some healthy criticism. How come a lot of the reviewers seem to be very angry? I was wondering is it a personal issue? Does Bobby and the Boys really owe any of us anything? Or is Ratdog a gift, to be cherished
. . . believe it if you need it, if you don't just pass it on . . .

One might remember that with the Dead, and now with the Dog, the audiences' participation affects the band. It's always been a reciprocal process, not just up to the band. It's not just the music, but also a creative, unfolding feeling. Perhaps if one were to evaluate their own mental state at the show, one might see there are probably elements where both sides could improve . . . perhaps. Then, if one still felt the need to criticize, perhaps, it could be done without being so mean. Just a thought . . .

. . . sometimes you can see the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right . . .

From my fuzzy memory, I recall that we (Heads) always would critique shows. However, to me it was more in a fun-loving and lighthearted way. For example, Jerry would forget the words, Jerry wore a red shirt, the band would miss some chords, Bobby learning to play slide on stage, etc. I thought one of the greatest elements of the Dead was that they weren't such a structured and perfect band. It was this special, free-flowing element that made the Dead unique to other bands. After the show people critiqued and laughed about the mishaps and differences, in almost a bonding way, showing the connectiveness of band and audience. Many times quirky things that happened were viewed as just a way to mark the difference between shows that you saw tour to tour. Remember when Bobby used to 'Caw' on stage, what the heck was that . . . that was excellent . . all good fun . . . whatever . . . good night, bad night, the criticism usually came from a good-hearted place. For me, I just can't understand all the heavy words, especially aimed at Bobby. Yeah he's 60, but that's not that old. We all have a bit of weathering with age, but Bobby still rocks, and hopefully will for many years. I'm certain that many of us still get emotional during many Jerry tunes. I still terribly miss him. For me, that great loss for humanity has definitely shaped my perspective of being more appreciative than critical in life. Perhaps, I'm more of a softy now, but I'll take it. Also, keep on wearing those shorts for the ladies Bobby, you still got it.

However, I do agree with some that Bobby should rest more for his own good. It isn't like touring with the Dead, when Bobby was, of course younger, but he also had Jerry to share the singing which allowed both to rest their vocals. Poor thing, I can't imagine how his throat must hurt night after night. Yet, he does it for us and WOW what a way we show our appreciation. After 40 years of performing most singers aren't going to hit some of the high notes anymore. However, Bobby hits a lot of them still and the ones that might be a bit strained, still exemplifies respectful effort, and ever present is the feeling in his voice for the beauty of the story. Jerry's voice cracked, but was always felt, ssswweeettt! Certainly, Bobby has a loving family and an extremely loyal fan base on the West coast (I used to be an Oregonian Dogger), he does not have to travel across country to tour. Personally, I believe we should be thankful that Bobby and the boys continue to tour, especially on the East coast. Here's my two cents: perhaps it's time to stop being so gracious to us Bobby. Apparently there seems like a good many of us have lost our way, and are not very grateful for your kind efforts. Perhaps it's time to be a bit selfish and rest those vocal chords during the summer months. Stay home and rest up Mr. Weir. Seems to me that a lot are complaining about your short summer sets anyway, so why should you and the Boys exhaust yourselves with the summer tour. Although, please, please still tour during Fall and Spring. Please remember there are still a bunch of us that are very, very grateful.

Secondly, if someone could please enlighten me regarding all the praises of Phil Lesh's band. I've never seen them, don't think I ever will, not my cup of tea. I'm just surprised to see all the comparison to Ratdog and how Phil is sooooo much better???? I remember in the early 80's the big joke was to yell out "Let Phil Sing". This being humorous, because everyone knew that Phil couldn't sing, even back then (although who doesn't love "Box of Rain"). Therefore, I find it difficult to read that people are commenting on Bobby's singing waning, when Phil could never sing. Also, I can't even begin to understand the comparison between the two bands regarding their sound and musicians. Since it seems to me, from only hearsay mind you, that Phil has developed a Dead coverband, and that Ratdog has really found their own unique sound while incorporating old school Dead elements. Feel free to enlighten me regarding the glorification of Phil Lesh, I promise to keep an open mind . . .

Lastly, if I can somewhat walk, I will be hobbling to my hometown in New Jersey to hook up with old friends and my brother for the Westbury shows. No Georgia shows this Fall again, sad for me. I do hope to see ya'll there and having a spectacular time, like I am going to be having . . . Feel free to bend my ear regarding my said comments, look for the girl that is walking funny in a black ski-like boot, . . . so looking forward to Shake my Bones this Fall, albeit fast or slow . . . .

Rings like Fire if you Lose your Way . . . .

I'm getting off my soapbox now, with one last shout out, Thank you Boys . . . nothing left to do, but smile, smile, smile . . .
Marie


Marie, New Jersey,lost in Georgia now
Marie...

I am 26 years old... Brought up on The Grateful Dead, They are my in my blood and hearing their music brings a sense of calmness, joy, and peace to my life. I am one of those people that have been yelled at in teh review section for my negative feelings about the band.

First of all, as I have tried to say before, this is a review section, not a praise Bobby section. If people post a negative review it's because that is what they experienced at the show. I don't think that it's fair that these people who give negative reviews are called (non-fans, uncool) and told to stay home. This reminds me of the republican machine calling those of us against the war unpatriotic. It's simply not fair.

As far as why I personally have given Bobby negative reviews, it's simple: The shows haven't had the magic. I have seen Ratdog about 20 times and I used to be enthralled by them. However, it must be said (IMHO) that beginning with the Halloween shows last year in Westbury, Ratdog has definitely lost the magic. The shows have become mellow, lethargic, and plodding. I literally was lulled to sleep at the BEacon last year (not drug or alcohol induced). I am very upset by this, yet because I am a fan i continue to spend my hard earned money to see them because I want to be there when the magic returns (I am not pessimistic enough to believe that it is gone forever) Yet it must be noted that the shows have slowed to a halt, and NOT in a Jerry China Doll kind of way, but in a tired way.

That being said I am a fan of Phil and Friends... ESPECIALLY THE CURRENT LINEUP! I have seen every lineup and they id start of week with Phil croaking out lyrics way too much, however in recent years Phil has given up much of the singing to t he other members of his band, and when he does step up to the mic his singing has actually improved. The reason I enjoy the Phil shows so much is that it picks me up to new levels... Anyone who was at the Jones Beach show this year can attest to the fact that the Sugaree had at least three major climaxes in the jams that moved the crfowd to scream, NOT because they felt it was appropriate but because it welled up inside of us and we needed to release that energy along with the band. That simply doesn't happen for me at Ratdog shows anymore. Phil brings the energy every single night he plays. I KNOW when I go see them that i will be blown away and taken to new levels, I simply (unfortunately) don't feel that way about Bobby anymore.. Phil has reinvented songs and they aren't simply a Dead cover band. The difference is that Phils version of Wharf Rat or Saint Stephen has more energy, NOT LESS.... This is proven when you look at the Beacon show from this year,.. Bobby reinvented Franklins Tower as an acoustic number it put the crowd to sleep.

Marie, I really suggest you check out a phil show at the Nokia, it couldn't hurt right?

i have not lost faith in Bobby but I have not been happy with the product, this doesn't make me anti Bobby it makes me a discerning listener.

I think that the abuse of the other discerning listeners on this board needs to stop.

peace and love

- Jason

Jaybones, oceanside
hey im a dead head and a republican and a vet, can we please keep it JUST about the music no reason to bash the republicans or the war effort to get your point accross

robert, nj
Oh come on.. I clearly said the REPUBLICAN MACHINE, as in political machine. I was in no way attacking individual republicans. However the REPUBLICAN MACHINE calls democrats (Kerry, Obama) unpatriotic because they are against the war.

Besides both of my grandfathers are veterans, I have nothing against the soldiers, however my intelligence prevents me from doing anything but criticizing this WAR EFFORT as you call it. Three of my friends have dies in Iraq... FOR WHAT??????

jaybones, oceanside
Bob might consider playing fewer and more select shows to give himself a rest. They keep playin' so slow and they're gonna end up at a Republican Convention ;-)

Noam, Boulder
John J Wood, I remember your name from reviews you wrote in the Taping Compendium if you're the same guy. I just want to express that I expect a little more civility from you sir. You crude review was an insult. You made Boulder look bad. I'm glad I was able to respond with something more polite. Now hopefully people won't think that we're ALL jerks!

Scott Probeck, Boulder, CO
Most of the Dog criticism I have heard is around tempo. Being a musician, I can personally say I will take Ratdog's slowed, improvisational, melodic journeys any night of the week when compared to some studio cut sped up 2x that looks cool with guitarist(s) playing real fast but lacks any attempt to jump into the unknown abyss. That is what separates the Dog & has, and always will make Ratdog the last beacon for Heads. They have been a cohesive unit for a while now and I can't fathom how people don't appreciate their interplay. Plus, Jay & Robin rarely get the props they deserve...laying down rock solid rhythm that lets the rest explore!

Phil & Campbell rock; Molo, & Molitz are solid. Greene plays well and has lots of future potential but I will also take Bobby's weathered, growling vocals any day of the week over what sounds like a coming of age adolescent (sorry Jackie). This especially holds for 95% of Jerry songs (I will concede Sugaree but Tedeschi did it best post-Jerry anyway). But hey, I will still go see Phil and be thankful when he is around.

In conclusion folks...to each his own, but Ratdog is the way to go if you are looking to catch whatever lightning remains...and you have to believe in the magic to experience the magic...

Keith, Norwich
The tempo critique thing has been well documented...rockers like Bertha need to be set free and the version Saturday sounded slow and canned. Help/Slip was also sleepingly slow.. However, the slower tunes like Loser ( which Derek played some tasteful slide on) and Bird Song ( Warren clearly having fun with Karan and getting into the vocals and doing really nice fills) were done very well.

It wasn't the best Ratdog show I've ever seen but it wasn' t a disaster or train wreck by any means. I applaud Bobby for trying to pull out the stops and trying to light a spark by bringing out Susan, Derek and Warren. From my vantage point Bobby seemed to be giving a good effort and you could tell he was having fun at the end doing the crowd pointing thing to the Not Fade Away chant.

charles, washington,dc
Not a review just a silly question to anybody that was there. In the jam going into Birdsond bobby asks "can somebody call security" What was that about.

BRIAN MILLER, Eloy AZ
When Bob said, "someone called security" it was a joke as that's when Warren came on stage to join Ratdog for Birdsong-Loose Lucy and Bertha. Overall, the show was good, not great, but again, not the worst show I've ever seen the 'Dog perform. That show goes to San Diego 05, when Bob was sick and didnt' come out for the 2nd set. Anyway, It was my 1st trip to Red Rocks and I was just happy to be there honestly. Personally, the high altitude played games with my stomach and I forged through the show as best as I could. But to see Bob deliver 3 guest spots (Derek, Susan and Warren) and play mainly a GD set, what more could you want? I was one of the few (Uncle John and his wife from row 22 and Mark Karan) to make it to SF the next day to see Phil and Friends at Ft. Mason. That show, absolutely cooked from the opening notes of "Playin'" and of course I felt better physically, which had a lot to do with the experience. So, it's the year 2008 and it's pretty amazing that the music is still around and we are fortunate enough to see the boys play in any configuration. As I tell a lot of folks, choosers can't be beggars. Just be happy that's it is still an option.

Itzy, Los Angeles
Brian, I think Bob's "can somebody call security" is a joke meant for Warren, who was just stepping on stage. kinda like saying look out here come's trouble. I believe he's used that one before for Warren.

Nick, Denver
i was not at this show but i you tubed a few of the songs and they soundsed great, we are lucky that bobby is still around and playing concerts for us. Ive seen bobby twice this year, once at the greek and once in saratoga NY and he sounded amazing both nights, some nights he is on and some times he is off, but he is old and will be like that. it takes him a little to warm up, but we should all be thankful that he is still around and blessing us with his music today.

kevin, Saratoga SPrings NY
OK, I will say this again to all you Bobby Bashers.
First off, Ratdog was the opening band. I dont care who the opening band is, how good they are, the opening band NEVER has the same sound as the closer. It is always low and not mixed as well. Dont know why this is, just is. It was also a one set show.
If you reversed the order and had Bobby close I guarantee the reviews would be different. I would listen to the complaints a little more closely if it was a full two set show with just the Dog.
ITZY from L.A. Hope the tummy is doing OK. See you in November..........

Adam, Boston
If you want to hear a ROCKIN red rocks show pick up the last ratdog gig with KIMOCK on lead.

DO yourself a favor and grab the next night in New Mexico.

jason totedo, terrapin
John Wood is a longtime friend of mine, but aside from both of us being deadheads, we do not share the same taste in music at all. Indeed, we never even agreed about what we liked in the GD back in the day. So I am not at all surprised by his review. I didn't expect him to bother going to this show, and if I'd known he was going, I could have written his review for him before the band had even come on stage. And likewise, he could probably write mine.

I'm not saying this was the best ratdog show ever, and I have some constructive criticism -- particularly, I thought having Susan T join on Hard Rain was a waste of her talents and took away from the power of the song.

However, whereas John heard mediocrity, I heard subtlety, nuance, a tapestry of color and texture that wrapped me in its embrace. I heard heart and soul and authenticity. I heard challenges and triumphs. I heard love.

We all have different ways of hearing music. I have stood next to a dear friend who was deeply getting off on Phil's band while I was feeling my spirit being bludgeoned by the very notes that made hers soar. I have also felt ratdog move me deeply while that same friend could barely contain her boredom. Just because we are friends and deadheads, that doesn't mean we all respond to music in the same way.

I generally avoid writing reviews because this music is so subjective, and so much depends on my head, my heart, and my baggage and expectations. Reviews are much more about the person writing them than about the music they are writing about. Particularly when it comes to anything related to the Grateful Dead.

But I can offer an objective observation. We were in the 5th row, surrounded by folks who were mainly there for the ABB. And they were grooving and seemed to be loving the show. They were engaged and enthusiastic.

Brian Miller -- I think Bobby was making a joke about Warren joining them.

Beth, Hygiene
I first saw Bob perform 21 years ago at Red Rocks, and something that I learned very quickly was that there are bands that make music, and bands that move sound. A couple of songs into this one, I looked at my friend and commented that the show was slow, sweet, seductive, and psychedelic. I have been a Bobby fan since day one, and as much as I love the up-beat rock and roll, I also love these slow nights where I can truly appreciate Bob's command over sound, and how to move it. I am not going to say that this was the best Bob Weir performance that I have seen, but I will say that it was the best rhythm guitarist the world has ever seen, with a great band, playing extremely well at the world's best venue. My only real complaints about this one are the reserved seating, and the fact that Red Rocks needs auxiliary speakers for the back part of the venue. I think they have it in their heads that the natural acoustics make it unnecessary, but I can honestly say that in the 100 + shows that I have seen there, they need more sound for those folks in the back!

Bob, thank you for all the years of magic and wonder, it has meant more to me than I could ever tell you. Please come back soon, as long as you avoid the dreadful Paramount, although I'd still pay to see you even there!

Drew, Denver
As we were driving away from Red Rocks my wife asked me why I seemed disappointed. I didn't answer right away and started thinking ... Bobby sounded great the band sounded great, they played some great songs I mean I was almost rolling on the floor bawling like a baby during Morning Dew, but then it hit me. Right as you start totally getting into it, the show is over. Could you imagine if they ended the first set with Morning Dew and then played a second set?? Bobby should not have to open for anyone. In fact I don't even care for the "co-headliner" label. I wish he would tour by himself or at least be the clear headlining band like last year's tour with Keller Williams (or at least come to Colorado more often)!

I don't want to complain too much as I am truely grateful for any Bobby or Phil tour.

Peace!

Coloroado Deadhead, Denver
I thought it was a good show. The tempo was a little slow for my liking but as some others wrote, it can open up some musical posibilities that may not be available at a faster pitch. Overall, I enjoyed it a lot. Compared to the Allmans RD seamed a little anemic but who doesn't. Particularly on that night. The Allmans were on fire and blazed their way through their set. But that's their game and Bobby has his, which ain't all that bad either.

John, Lakewood
Hey Everyone!
"John J Wood has left the building!"
I feel a song coming on...
"Oooooo, nothin's gonna bring him back..."

John, Maybe you should start listening to jazz and classical
with the rest of the snobs in Boulder...

Iam, Michigan
Sweet, Sweet Jason

I can't believe you took the time to read my verbose rant, and even had the patience to respond. Thank you. After I vented the other day and looked back at how long it was, I couldn't even re-read it. For me, a lot of reviews were coming across kind of mean, and I guess I am just ridiculously protective of the Boys.

Hopefully, I did not offend you too much with my review. As I stated I do believe the reviews can be negative or positive, but I was wondering if we might be able to tone down the harsh, heavy words.

Personally, I was brought up with the ideals that "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." So, it was actually difficult for me to even write anything. However, some of the comments I found difficult to ignore and felt that they warranted some thought-provoking "really, is it really that bad". I do understand that this site is for reviews, albiet positive or negative, but what has irked me is usually not what someone has said, but how they have said it. For example, someone from the Chastain show wrote, "My advice to him (Bobby) is to shave the beard YOUR NOT JERRY!!! Go home to Marin while you still have some respect", while another reviewer asked Bob if he was on the SMACK. These are the type of comments that I feel are excessively mean-spirited and have warranted the response "rrreeeaaaallyyy" as Stan from South Park would put it.

I'm certain that some of my reactions are my own issues too. It was difficult enough when Jerry left us, I don't want to even think about the Boys getting too old (perhaps I AM just too old too).

Thanks for the tips regarding the goods about Phil's show, perhaps I will check his band out. Although, for me, I have a difficult time listening to anyone else sing Jerry's songs (after following for 30 years, it's kind of hard). Although, I do believe Bobby does wonderful with many of Jerry's songs, but in my own humble opinion, he is probably one of the few that deserves to be able to still sing them, sorry. Although perhaps, as the reviews seem to state, maybe Bobby needs someone to help pull the weight on the singing, so that he can continue to entertain us for hopefully many more years. However, these feelings are my own personal issues wrapped up in my respect for the sweet fat man. I know, I know the music has to live on, and who am I to judge, I haven't even seen Phil to give you a true valid opinion.

Anyway, I would like to personally apologize to you and all the discerning listeners who felt that they were being abused by other fellow reviewers. You are right Jason, the review site is for positive and negative reviews, but perhaps we can be more kind with our self-expression . . .

Sorry to hear that you didn't enjoy Westbury last year, New Hampshire smoked in '07, and Charleston, I thought, was exceptional. Hopefully, Westbury will be better this year, and I hope to see you there (perhaps we can both help to bring back the magic). If you go, feel free to say "hi", I will be the girl hobbling and I'm certain that I will be one of those in the crowd that is smiling . . . unless they play something like Stella Blue, that's when the tears come out . . . . not that I mind

Peace out
Marie



Marie, New Jersey, now lost in GA
Greetings,
This was my first RatDog concert & first Allman Brothers show.
My first Red Rocks concert was on my 16th birthday on August 30, 1978 - it was also my first Grateful Dead show. The first of 30 - wow! I just realized the number of GD shows when I looked at my list...
I had not seen any band members or their bands in concert (including the Dead) since my last Grateful Dead show in 1993. I have listened, just couldn't jump the bar to do the "live" thing. Well, I couldn't pass up this special anniversary show & I am so glad that I didn't.
I had a few difficult moments during the RatDog performance. Mosatly at the beginning. I was surprised by all the "Jerry" songs & yes, it brought more than one tear to my eyes. Instead of letting it bum me out, I chose to enjoy it & I did realize that I would have a harder time if it had been anyone other than Bobby covering all the Garcia tunes. Especially at my favorite venue on my birthday. I let go of my initial criticism & embraced the music --- I have to say that the beginning of "Bertha" was awful, but got on track pretty fast - that was the Low point. I thought the band played great, I was so impressed.
"Franklin's Tower" & the Allman's "Dreams" were what shot me into the stratosphere!!! OMG!! I needed that so bad!!!
I am just thankful that everyone is doing well & are still playing after all. I want to Thank You for a REAL GOOD TIME!!! It was a present I will never forget!
Rock On RatDog!

Teri, Rocky Mountains, CO
Count me in as someone who REALLY dug the show! It wasn't the most powerful, or transcendent RD show that I've ever caught, but that 90 minute set was well worth the 7 hr. drive that my friends and I made to get there.
I realise that Bob's often languid (some say "slow") pacing ticks some folks off. I just take it as it comes.
Think about it: the weather and band were PERFECT, the women were all beautiful, there were refreshments galore...
Highlights for me were the tunes that i'd never heard RD do live before (had heard them with the GD): "Bertha", "Morning Dew",a nd "A Hard Rain..."!!
I was actually hoping for one of the newer RD tunes.
Only true bummer was that the Allman/RD "Franklin's Tower" wasn't on the official concert disc! Peace.

Dominic, Lincoln, NE
obviously John woods is a blankin idiot and has no idea of what ratdog shows are about. he seems to have been left behind educationally and needs too musture a lil .its fine if u didnt think redrocks was to ur expectations and with ur ignorance u need not come even to the lot dumb A@%. that is all bob star. willcox az.

bob35az, willcox az
First off,I would like to say to the Bob bashers GROW THE F..K UP!!!! I mean really!Life is two damn short and we are Lucky Enough to even have a band like Ratdog,Bob Weir is not a machine,he is a human being,and I would like 2 point out that not every show is gonna be dynamite,he has been touring his ass off for a real long time.He hardly ever takes time off.And maybe opening for bands may be the factor of Bob just going thrue motions,they would be on a time table wich could mean it is not the norm. So lets all just chill out and be patient! BOB WEIR,U ARE AWSOME. Brian,Schaumburg ,Illinois

Brian Rose, Schaumburg Illinois
Well said Marie !!! Rock on dude-ett !!

tnaaron, kimgsport
Itzy - what's up? Glad you made it to Red Rocks. My first gig there was the first night I arrived in Colo from Boston in 8/89 and saw Neil Acosutic. Hope all is well! I, for one, have given up on Ratdog, but Max Creek still lives on!!!!!!

Kenny, Boston
I attended dozens of Dead shows as well shows of Rat Dog and Phil and Friends. They've all varied in intensity like we all do. It's like constantly taking one's temperature - 98.2, then 99.1. That said, I love the continuous dialogue about it all. Thanks for caring - Rollo Nye

Rollo Nye, Port Washington, NY
Dear fellow music lovers,
Kudos to those kind listeners, who have been on this planet long enough to understand artistic exploration, and to thoses young ones who have caught on quickly. To those who think they have time to make mean comments, think again. Life is shorter than you may know.
One can actually isssue a musical review without getting personal and nasty, and still be discerning.
There is nothing wrong with an educated or even ignorant opinion, but please leave room for others to savor their joy. Any fool can hear that live music is almost always a subjective experience.
Those who think they have some hold on musical taste only show themselves to be ignorant and narrow minded, not to mention deaf.
Be grateful that you can go see a band like Ratdog who are willing to be themselves and are brave enough to play what their souls tell them to.
If you want to go to a formula concert, there are many others out there, where they play the same thing night after night...
If you think you can do a better job of interpreting "Jerry's song's" then get your ass out there. I'll be waiting.
Bless you and Thank You, Ratdog and Weir.

Artemispeg, Derby City
Well, if you guys don't want Ratdog, we'll have them over here - thanks :-)

Jeremy Poynton, Frome, Somerset, England
Show was stellar. Bobby has really grown as an artist. When I was young deadhead, I used to just endure the slow Jerry tunes like "Comes a time" and "He's gone", just to get down and boogey to an upbeat Bobby tune. Then I discovered the beauty of what Jerry was doing and that was history. Bob really is playing more and more like Jerry. I never thought in a million years that I would become such Bob fan, but he has proven himself more than worthy. This show blew last year's out of the water.
On another quick note, I really loved the Almans. Greg was just as cool as could be. Although the show seemed overproduced at times, Bobby and RatDog kept it real. Superior peformance.

NFaway, Loveland Co.
We had a great time at the show. It was our first time at Red Rocks. Looks Like Rain was outstanding. I was a little disappointed by Loose Lucy b/c it can be such a jam and wasn't. Just an incredible night weather wise as well. The Allman Brothers are clearly superior musicians. They had some just blistering jams I couldn't believe. The Franklin's Tower version is on the official Allman Brothers disc and is a gem. We bought both the Ratdog and Allman Brothers disc. Well worth the money! Holy stairs batman!!

JP, Milwaukee
Hey Now!
My buds & I had a great time! How can you not like a show at RedRocks?? What a great venue....except for the walk up--we had to stop 3 times to catch our breath--and we're "only" 50!!
I thought RatDog was much better than Allman's--but of course, I'm biased....I appreciate Bobby and think the bad is pretty tight. Karan & Chimenti are both great musicians!
I've seen RatDog 10-15 times; and Phil & friends about 5. I appreciate both of them, but prefer RD. Only "negative" feedback I have is that both bands could really use help w/ singing.....Bobby is "talking" through more of the songs these days--that's ok with me, but would love it if they would add Joan O (or Susan) to their routine lineup! It would make some of the songs even sweeter.
Allmam's are strong musician's.....but I got tired of the guitar jams....and they were too loud (another indication I've turned 50)! We were in the 13th row, so I'm sure it was different for the folks up in the back.....but I'll take/prefer the Dead songs any day! And I do agree with the others that mention being the "opening act" is hard for anybody to brng their best!
I saw the show in Detroit, too....I thought RD was better at RedRocks (and so were the Allman's)!
Here's to the music never stopping! Thanks Bobby and boys for a real good time!
Stacy/KC Moan, Kansas City

Stacy/KC Moan, Kansas City
Red Rocks is a must venue to start with, Help on the way/Slipknot and then knowing you get Franklins with ABB=Priceless. Loser into Birdsong into Loose Lucy = WOW
Bertha just sooo fun, Dead National Anthem = Morning dew and a Not Fade Away to send us home= oh my we still have the Brothers!! Derek Trucks=aka Duane reincarnated.
Open with a You don`t love me, Yes we do! The Dreams was just a masterpiece of Guitar work, then just to totally rock your world they do a Mtn Jam into Dazed and Confused and back into Mtn Jam-then a version of Whipping post that had to give everyone goosebumps
Simply put a Perfect show at a Perfect venue-make the music live forever!!! Ratdog and ABB = Priceless

Blanch, San Diego
check out the Shakedown opener last time the dog hit Red Rocks w/ Kimock on lead.

and the Maggies farm from the next night

jason, terrapin
Valid points above, both pro and con. I, too, left the Rocks pretty deflated. Partly because I had seen Bobby there last year and he absolutely rocked it, and partly because it was my wife's first time at Red Rocks. I was so excited to see those two great bands in the same night! It took me days to get out of my funk, but we came to this conclusion: it probably is not a good idea to have two musical giants play on the same night, there's simply too much for each to offer. I originally thought that maybe the friendly competition, coupled with playing at such a legendary venue would drive both to new heights, but that definitely didn't happen for Ratdog that particular night.

I left Colorado with thoughts of gratitude that I was able to see three legends in one week (Dylan in Little Rock four days previous - incredible show), and they are still willing to put up with the grind of touring to perform for me. None of those cats need the money.

Rock on, boys, rest your bones, and come back soon!

ElBuel, Little Rock
Bobby can sing whatever the hell he wants. Totally agree nobody, nobody can reflect thge spirit and meaning and deliver it with the conviction Bobby and his mates can Long live Bobby and play whatever the hell you want. You have earned it and it sounds great to most of us! Let the music never stop!!!!!!!!!

Justin, Oswego
Many Dead shows long ago.........Missing Jerry and the Band......Guest of the Allmann Brothers this night...........Bob and his boys did it right..........Keep on Truckin.....................

Mike W., Staten Island, New York
It was not the best show ever, but I enjoyed every note! Booby looked great in shorts as usual! Although the shirt was from the 1980's! Bob, ditch the tank tops!!
I was in the 5th row and Bobbys vocals needed to come up a bit, and Marks guitar down a tad. It was good to see Rat Dog come out and play with the ABB. Since Greg, Bob and me are the same age, I can somewhat relate to the low energy. We are not 30 anymore, but we are ALIVE!!!!!
Thanks guys for a reqal good time!

bertha32, manitou springs
Well now that everyone else has had their say... If you did it right you heard Little Feat in Denver Fri night and then Rat Dog and The Allmans Sat at Red Rocks and Humphries Maggie and Gov't Mule Sun at Red Rocks. It doesn't get much better than that. If you think every show is going to be the best ever you need a reality check.

big mike, Newark, DE
well good for you big mike.

whrfrat, phoenix
you know i can remember ( barely ) that when we would try to explain the phenomenon of the gD & it's magical attraction, the line, or one of them, was.." the journey is half the fun.." i agree that Bobby has slowed down over the years, hell i have too & im 35 yrs old!! but i know that Bobby still has the magic in there, he will cont to add a dash of this & a drop of that, put a giant wooden spoon in the pot & stir it up. hey, when jerry & the boys pushed out some incredibly crappy shows in the eighties, i know numerous heads that kept truckin with the band.
jesus, chill out on bob man. newbie heads are becoming just kinda mean spirited. wheres the love just for being able to bring countless headies together just to have a party??
"war effort" - where the hell did you come from? thats a joke ( unless your profiting from it ) wanna send your kid over there? wow, the scene is changing...................

boogiesessions, nor cal
John J. Wood, from Boulder, CO:
I hope you choke to death on your domestic partner's ejaculatory material.
who the hell are you all? what band have you a-holes ever played in or what instruments have you ever even played to give a critique about quality musicianship? Get a life to worry about of your own and/or stop seeing shows with your noses turned up so high. Be thankful that Bob(sorry i don't know him well enough to call him bobby) still plays at all and if you're not stay home...

grateful1, littleton
Every Grateful Dead show I saw always had one thing in common - they embodied LOVE! Without a doubt, Jerry was the catalyst. After 30 year plus years of playing together, Bobby definitely picked up on it. It was evident to me at Red Rocks on that cool August night. I was happy to be there with my wife, my mom (who I took to see "the boys" back in '94), and my two boys (5 & 3 - their first shows - and they're still singing "you know our LOVE will NOT FADE AWAY"). If they can open their minds and hearts to the wonder of the music, and allow themselves to just be taken on a journey, then I see promise for us all. And when it comes to Bobby, the journey -wherever it takes me - is exactly the reason why I pay the price for the ticket!

Love to you all!

Mountain Chain, Bailey, Colorado
I've been going to shows since 1980. This was by far the most uninspired show I've ever seen. Is there something wrong with Bob? He looked like someone who had had a stroke or something. Maybe it's time to rest more to make sure that Bob has energy for a show. I'm wondering if he was a lot depressed. The set list sure did say something about how he was feeling. I like Rat Dog because of its energy.

Also, what happened to playing in Colorado more than once a year? We used to have 4 or 5 shows a year. The Paramount, Boulder Theater, Red Rocks, the Aggie Thtr (in FC), Mishawauka, ...

dave, fort collins
I agree with Marie, this is not the way of a review. Itís becoming cruel criticism; abuse. I have to speak up.
We all come to hear them play, so what does Bobbyís weight have to do with the music? I donít mean to be unkind, but letís see what you look like at 60!
I saw Ratdog in July at the San Jose Civic. We were all bummed about the winery, but hey, itís tradition! We HAD to go. And we were NOT disappointed! I just couldnít stop dancing! Like magic, it all came together; the music, the band, the crowd, the auditorium all melded into One. It was wonderful! It was smokiní. It was magically wonder-full! It was Love!
That was over 2 months ago and it is still the real high point of my Summer. Even after a month, I woke up and realized, I was still high from the show. Now, that had nothing to do with the band needing rest, as it was the last night of a long, hot tour. It had to do with the Love we all shared that night.
How can anyone ever think that Ratdog could be Ratdog without Bobby! During the July 10th show, when Bobby wasnít on stage, it was just a stage full of great musicians (no offense). But when Bobby walked out, it all came together! He IS the magic-maker! How can you expect a miracle, when you give him a bad rap? Whereís the Love?
Love is what makes the magic. Címon, you all know that! Remember? Bobby has been carrying ďthe TorchĒ for us all, all these years and this is the respect and appreciation he gets?! Do you want him to stop? I sure donít!
In all the Dead years, it was always Bobby who most insisted the crowd be there with them, to give energy back; to interact. It was his thing. (And rudely yelling out the song you want hear is not what I mean!) Give him some energy! From your heart, send him love, appreciation and respect, and I know he will return it 100 fold, cuz thatís who he is! You complain there is no magic, but just maybe, it starts with you; with all of us. Love and magic go hand in hand.
Next show, just as an experiment, do your part in the cosmic drama of the moment, instead of passively expecting to be ďdone toĒ; be present. Give of your energy, open your heart, fill it with love and gratitude for these fine, strong men that travel a great distance and undergo much discomfort to be with you!
Love them for that, appreciate the moment, acknowledge that even in these low-down B.S. times, you are all together, keeping the magic alive. Give and send them love and see what happens.
I remember a New Yearís Eve show in San Francisco with the Dead. Just before midnight, Ken Kesey, in his very fine, white, sequined cowboy suit, with fringe, had us all hold hands and breathe together. Can you imagine, Winterland packed (how many people is that?) all holding the hand of the person next to them and breathing together? We all had tears rolling down our cheeks and goose bumps! It was incredible!!!!!
You say you want that kind of magic? Great! We all do! Now, letís hold hands and breathe...together.

Sara, Santa Cruz, CA.
wow i drove 900 miles once again.. great set list. love red rocks and love the dead since i heard jack straw in a truck headed trough arkansas on 93 summer tour. (i was 16) i jumped in and been on searching for the perfect show since. was it it 69, or 72, 87, or 95? i was luck i have seen the dead. some can never say this and the ones that can will be gone some day. remember, "the love you make is the love you take"dead for life.. i hope i see phil or bill, micky or booby again. peace and love. derrick

feole , arkansas
Anyone complaining about the show needs a copy of the CD'S both Ratdog and the Allmans wow fantastic. At the show Ratdog was not loud enough and the Allmans were too loud where you could not hear gregg sing, however the CD'S are a beautiful combination of sweet jams and great music, if sound system at red rocks was better for this show more people who have enjoyed it. The band (both) were tight AND great no matter the sound at the show.

Bill, Cheyenne
Anyone else hear the rumor the boys are getting back together this spring?

Colorado Deadhead, Colorado
came out all the way from pittsburgh pa to see the show. What can i say, RED ROCKS a amazing venue. The atmosphere was awsome!
I agree with some that the show was a little bit slow at times, but help on the way was nice and not fade away was fun! I am excited to go see them in a a month in my hometown at a small venue, will report!

Nic Gott, Pittsburgh
JOHN J WOODS-Major KOOK!!! What an ungrateful loser, do not ever speak on this website or any other one. You are flat out dispicable and you dissed the all time great singer in physcedelic music history. Get your head out of the gutter, and expierence the band that blows the allman bros and any other band out of the WATER! Keep on RD! peace

Ando saucer sour, Cincinatti
"WITHOUT LOVE DAY-TODAY INSANITY'S KING" Barlow

ANdo saucer sauer, cincinatti
Sorry I just embarressed myself on the mainstream. I'm real loaded right now, but anyway it was H

ANdo saucer sauer, Cincinatti
HUNTER NOT BARLOW, SORRY PEOPLE, AND P.S RATDOG PLAYS BOTH SLOW AND FAST, I MEAN GIVE THE GUYS CREDIT, IF THERE TIRED AS S^%$ THERE GONNA GO SLOW, BUT REGARDLESS THEY SLOW IT DOWN PURPOSEFULLY BECAUSE THEY WANT TO AND CAUSE IT KICKS ASS!

ando saucer sour, Cincinatti
Hey I caught ratdog on the bay and they kept it slow this night, and yet it was mystical, looks like rain man, if you can't appreciate that jam you must have some real uncomfortable anxious anti social issues going on to the point where you can't fathom being in a situation, then leave! Anyway I got to hear ESTIMATED PROpHET, on the water, which was really cool with a lot of mixed raced hippies swimming in the bay.GO OBAMA!

ando saucer sour, cinci9natti
Yall guys are funny.
Does anybody trance the music anymore?
John Wood, Go to sleep. Maybe Bobby was trying to relax you for a reason. To put you out maybe.
I take your next ticket for the fall tour.
Do you ever feel Dog really is at the point where they dont care what people think anymore?
I think Bobby is finishing out his dream he's had since he was 15. Let him finish with praise and JOY.
Thanks Bobby. Ill keep going and ride it out with you.

chuck, roanoke