Bobby is great, and this show illustrates this point. After the amazing Shakedown opener, we were treated to the serious jazz jam that defines present-day Ratdog. The first set had it's slow moments, but all in all, it presented a nice warm-up for the intense set that would follow.
Bobby started the second set with a tight Victim or the Crime (both). The remaining acoustic jamming on Artificial Flowers and Masterpiece was a great buildup to the jam (with a Jack Straw tease that got all of us hoping) that broke into an amazing Cold Rain and Snow. The Dead were doing this song when young Bobby's voice was still cracking! The "old school" jam and intensity took me back, I don't know about you!
The vibe through WRS->Let it Grow was just great, reminding me of why I love Dead shows beside the music. We were right in front of Bobby (in the spit zone) and everyone was into that groove! But nothing.. no NOTHING could have prepared us for what was to come....
TERRAPIN!!! I don't know about you, but I think this song is about the greatest thing since the moon landing. From our northwest corner of the country, we jammed with the boys through a hot jam that lead nicely into Bass/Drums and Jams. Pulling out Standing on the Moon slowed our feet down, but lifted our souls on high. As one girl put it, "we miss you, Jerry".
Closing the set with Sugar Mag was a great choice to get us rockin' through the end. Those of us in the front went absolutely insane during Sunshine Daydream, probably reveling in our own momentary sunshine daydream here in the usually gloomy northwest.
Now, the encore... I was hoping for Throwin' Stones or maybe a Aiko Aiko->ManSmart/WomanSmarter. As much as I dig on U.S. Blues, there may have been a better closer out there. Still, it is great to see how strong Bobby is getting on Jerry tunes. Speaking of, I personally think the "touch of grey" on Bobby's face suits him anyway. So while I was not exactly ready to pledge allegiance to the flag, the vibe was hot all of the way into the end. Go Ratdog Go!
Duke, Vancouver, WA
This was my first Ratdog show. I left a piece of my soul in that crowded ballroom. Ratdog is without a doubt one of the brightest stars in the sky for me. I never got to see Jerry play, so hearing some of his most personal songs makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I took in the '98 and 2000 Furthur Festivals, but those shows lacked the personal feel of Ratdog. Back to the show!! The play between Rob and Bobby is unreal. They have a little fold in the music that seems to shoot you right into the show without effort. Even when the show needed a spark there was always someone waiting to pounce on the lull in sound. Time will heal any slow spots in the future, I am sure of that. "Liberty" is one of my favs, and it was an intense crowd grabber to close the first set. That second set still gives me chills--"Terrapin" into "Standing on the Moon"; I cried like a little school girl. Tears of Joy. I hugged my girl and yelled to the crowd in sure pleasure. Thanks for the show; I won't miss them next time they come around. Ratdog has the torch... let it burn!!!!!!
P.S. I have been to some loud places, the crowd noise before the encore was unFucking real. I wanted to put my hands on my ears, but I diddn't want to be that guy. Cheers to the crowd, you were out of this world. How about the "Schnitz" next time??????
Brian, Zigzag, OR