10/17/2009 Setlist, Photos, and Reviews

RatDog

Saturday, October 17, 2009
Tower Theater
Upper Darby, PA

Reviews

yikes so boring and predicatable, very birdsong oriented set, those are the worst as we all know. just not very energetic songs, very mediocre and rawther DULL

hoot, scranton
Don't know how anyone could say that was boring, even if SOME of the song selection was predictable. Loose, bluesy start that picked up speed with a rousing Railroad Blues to end Set 1. Fun second set with a rockin' The Other One. And as someone who is tired of Saturday Night, it was a great version. Now if only Bob would stop taking those odd pauses between lines of singing...

Matt, Trenton
wow dull ....I thought it was a great show very bluesy mellow feel. great to see bobby carrying this thing on.A sweet acoustic deep elem. so many great tones(even w/the feedback but I like that kindda stuff) it's a shame it had to stop for the night.

mickey, phillie
Big Railroad Blues was KILLER and I wish the guys would rock out more songs like this. The heavy duty blues jam in Black Peter also kicked ass. Happy Birthday, Bobby ;-)

eyesofsilver, wilmington, DE
Hoot from Scranton - How can you call the show Boring? (Although I did see one brother passed out for the entire 1st set LOL). The show started a little slow, but B Song was played very well and Watchtower thru the end of the set ROCKED! It was good to hear Victim - I haven't seen that live in a long time. Deep Elem totally ROCKED - especially for an acoustic! Other One possibly the best I've ever seen, at least in recent memory :) Really nice Black Peter, and I totaly agree w/ Matt from Trenton on Sat Nite. All in All a Great Show! Looking forward to the Beacon.

Jon, So Jersey
Holy smokes! It was a real treat to hear Ratdog live here in Colorado! Thank you to those who made it possible to hear it! It was great to hear Ratdog out on the deck by the lake with the french doors open...gazing out at the stars! Highlights were Lazy Rive Road, Deep Elem Blues and He's Gone.

Maggie Rose, Boulder
Okay so even the guy behind me said he could've done without "Birdsong" and yes it does get repetitive, and how many D7's to C[aug]'s into a G bridge can ANYBODY do without falling asleep? But lucky for me I have up by my piano an autographed original chart in pieces but playable for the entire GARCIA 1972 solo album including Birdsong Sugaree Loser-- well you know the disc....

But as I noted in last night's post-- for some reaosn --mainly the freakin' weather outside-- i wore my ol' John Lennon hoodie with his self portrait and printed autograph on it-- my wife laughed as both the tickettaker (who was a Brit) and a fan complimented me on my sweatshirt.

So tonight we came prepared --high tech earplug for the left ear only as we were sitting left orch BB right up front but to the left side so as we face the stage sideways we desperately needed an earplug in the LEFT ear ONLY.

And dressed as i was it was a perfect opening : John Lennon's Beatles' tune "Tomorrow Never Knows" --one that was originally transformed into a Dead tune by Vince Welnick and now a real nice Ratdoggy show starter.

But after the opener the segue into "Playin' in the Band" --one of many crowdpleasers-- seemed like a journeyman's dead version and while well executed it just lacked a little punch. "Big Boss Man" from skullfuck got the fans back into the show but then we sat down for the ever predictable "Birdsong" which is one song i can go upstairs here and play without having to really look at the chart it is easy to transform into a neverending jam that uh makes me uh sl-sl-sl-sleepy and ZZZZZZZzzzzzzzz..................

BUT after a nap the band REALLY rocked with the trifecta close of "Watchtower" "Lazy River Road" and high energy uptempo "Big Railroad Blues." Those of you who were at the Tower 11-14-08 heard "Lazy River Road" then and at both shows it was sweetly sung beautifully orchestrated and --well tough to say which was better --they were GGGGRRRRRREAT.

The second set opened with a very strong rendition of "Victim or the Crime" which is a thinkingman's song and being a lawyer i have seen how many people have gone away for committing the ultimate victimless crime of smoking weed or far worse GROWING weed and i couldn't get certain cases outta my mind during that song they're all political prisoners who inhabit our jail cells for smokin' the evil weed and literally there are more than a 100,000 heads so incarcerated.

Less stressinducing was the acoustic followup of "Deep Elem Blues" [also played 11-14-08] into FOTD which was well done for a song almost as overplayed as Me and My Uncle.

My thoughts returned to Jerry during "He's Gone" and I told my wife that as teenager the Grateful Dead performed the song at the Spectrum in September 1972 but then we thought of Pigpen who was still alive but too sick to play with the band at the time.

SIDENOTE : On 3/10/1973 Pig was found dead of a stomach hemorrhage at his home in California. Pigpen is buried at the Alta Mesa Memorial Park (Plot: Hillview Sec. 16 # 311) in Palo Alto, California. His grave marker is inscribed:

RONALD C. McKERNAN
19451973
PIGPEN WAS
AND IS NOW FOREVER
ONE OF THE
GRATEFUL DEAD

Okay too serious. But serious the band got and a rousing "Cryptical" followed which i hope Big Boy Pete from AC was there to hear it since he thought Friday's show sucked without it. You won't fall asleep during that song my friend.

After the jam stuff "Black Peter" caught me totally off guard. By coincidence my wife and i were discussing a rather morbid version of Jerry singing Dire Wolf on the way to the show and i told her that Black Peter has arguably the alltime most depressing lyrics of any Grateful Dead song. It still does but the ultra energetic "Come and See" finish that Bobby and the Dog gave the song breathed life into death and pulled me right up and outta my seat twirling the ol' bandana.....

and right back down into my seat for the Bird Song (reprise).....

asleep/awake like Jersey City 1973 it went as the house came down with still another electrifying --even though you knew it was coming-- OMSN !

and then another big coincidence followed when Bobby closed the show and his '09 stay at the Tower with "Brokedown Palace"-- the standard Dead closer i referred to in my review of Friday's show [ ! ] and its effect on the audience which i said was Jerry's intention.

And yes Jerry was there. He's ALWAYS there.

To FURTHUR or not to FURTHUR....that is the question..... after two nights of the Dog didn't let me down.

Mike McLeary, Reading PA
bobby blue jeans. looking good. my wife and i would describe lastnight as anything but boring. we knew from the opener that it would be a unpredictable night full of surprises. black peter was def. a highlight, and we thought watchtower, a song i would normally take my break during, rocked. i'm glad i stayed with that one. we were having such a great time we almost forgot what day of the week it was, but bob surley reminded us, saturday night. and to finish it off, on the eve of our 6 month wedding anniversary, the encore that he played at our first show together as friends. keep playing bob, we'll keep coming. oh yeah, nixon, we think you're pretty freakin special.

gits, douglassville
they rocked, i've been goinr since 77, my first show ever at the tower--how could anyone critize or downplay last nite, i'm sorta depressed, cause i cant go to another show for a while, i wish the music never stopped, bobby was hot, the best ive seen in awhile, like a fine bottle of wine, just gets better, that goes for all the band i was blown away

danny b, old forge, pa
Just wanted to say that I have been seeing ratdog since 96 here in philly and I really do have to say that these two philly shows have been the best I have ever heard them play. I mean tight. yeah they could of had some longer jams but I really dig the ratdog blues!! Peace from kensington

Tim, kensington, philly
The sound quality was not good at all. It was too loud and distorted, which made it difficult to enjoy the show.

Mark, Lehigh Valley
First time at the Tower Theather and we really enjoyed ourselves! Perhaps it was a little too predictable and may not have been the best sounding show either...upstairs sound was better than downstairs. I'd grade it a strong B+.

I believe I saw some tapers there, but didn't get the chance to talk with them...does anyone know where the show has been posted?

CJ, Annandale, VA
A great night of good ole Grateful Dead music. Cool meaty jams in the first set (Playin in the Band, a better than averge Bird Song) with all kinds of very bluesy-psychedlic overtones. Two full sets of Bobby. Tempo never dragged. Watchtower and Big RxR Bluz both rocked, and I thought the ending of "He's Gone>Other One>Stuff>Black Peter>Bird Song>One More Saturday Night" was very, very kind. Lots of good musical weirdness: the "San Francisco Sound" is alive and well. One man gathers what another man spills.

Brownie, The Thomas Paine Highway
very fun high energy show. some thought boring, could of done without birdsong, but otherwise good times. bobby and the band seemed in their element. some great guitar jams throughout. audience very into it. ratdog only getting better in time.

jaimey perham, bridgeport, ct
Definitely not a boring show. Always going to be one or two songs you could do without (even with the GD) but the show was filled with high energy, rocking jams which quickly made me forget about the miserable rain! Bobby looked and sounded good in his Jerry outfit!

JB, Street, MD
i agree it was not boring and i also agree that it was louder than usual -- couldn't hear the crowd singing! playin was a good version after an interesting tomorrow never knows....watchtower lacked punch but big boss man was a nice shuffle that got the crowd moving....not a huge fan of bobby doing bird song but the jam out of this version was tight and good! a rockin big rr blues again demonstarting that bobby knows how to build a rocking crescendo better than most --- good sax and piano solos during deepelem and a rockin other one -- with hes gone and black peter in the 2nd set, mike from reading will tell you that historically, the dead usually played truckin around those tunes....bob chose bird song reprise instead...not a great song vocal wise for robert hall - that was a signature jer vocal ....another xcellent rocker with sat nite and a good encore -- good nite throughout

brian, philly
A low energy nite for the boys, but some sweet jams on Big RR Blues, Other One, and Black Peter. Who knew Black Peter could rock anyway? Was at the Sataurday show at the Tower last Nov which was superior to this show, but the Sat Night from this show was killer.

John, Princeton NJ
anyone find the free download of this show?

paul s, upper darby