After a one year hiatus, Ratdog was back, Jamming on the River. The Jam on the River is an all day event featuring a ton of different bands, music, games, and other distractions. The old venue, just a block away from the new one, featured a small amphitheatre where you could sit and watch the show. The new venue had no such ampitheatre, electing instead to build a small stage and throw some folding chairs into a small "Premium" seating area. The premium seats were 10 bucks more than the G.A., so I just went with G.A.
My buddy Joel and I made the short drive up to Philly from Delaware, arriving around 1 PM, with Bobby & Friends not scheduled to go until around 7:30. We could have gone in early and caught some of the other bands, but tailgating is more fun. The parking lot scene was not really much of a scene--just us, and the car of Jersey heads next to us. Some shady guys came around selling shrooms, and one of the Jersey kids bought some. Unfortunately, they left shortly after the one kid ate them, so we didn't get to find out if they worked. Joel and I had plenty of beer, even when we sold some off for the reasonable price of one dollar each. Packing a good beer buzz, we eventually headed inside a little before six. The band before Ratdog was Pat McGee Band, a small band with a growing following here on the east coast. I finagled my way up to the front row and was glad I saved ten bucks in the process. The crowd for PMB was small, but they knew the songs and I got into the groove a little. I should have stayed where I was after the set, but I grew bored and wandered around. As the hour neared for Ratdog, I secured a seat around the sixth row stage right as Joel joined me up front.
The opening jam had us guessing a lot of songs, but the Hell in a Bucket that followed was perfectly acceptable. As the opening notes of the Other One emerged after the opener, the crowd went wild. By this time a very large crowd had suddenly formed almost out of nowhere--a very stark contrast to PMB. Someone a few rows over held up an Other 1 shirt. Needless to say, we were all surprised when the Other One ended and Tennessee Jed followed. A sing-along followed as the crowd bopped happily along. Bury Me Standing mellowed the crowd a bit, but the place went loony as the first notes of Scarlet erupted from the stage. A very, very well done Scarlet. So far the set was amazing. I asked Joel if Fire would follow, and he didnt think so. So I called Franklin's Tower. Of course Help on the Way followed, so that's close enough. Joel's favorite song is Franklin's so he was going nuts, especially when Help gave way to Slipknot! But suddenly the stage emptied for bass/drumz/space, and we were all left kind of dumbfounded. A short, but awesome set 1, nevertheless.
Set 2 opened with Wharf Rat, and Bobby introduced Peter Garret. Most of the crowd didn't know who he was, but I pointed out to those within earshot that he is the lead singer of Midnight Oil (Beds are Burning), who was just in town on Thursday playing a show I was sorry to have missed. I was going nutty because I love Midnight Oil. They give an awesome live show, and Earth & Sun & Moon is one of the best albums of all time, right up there with American Beauty. I believe Midnight Oil covered Wharf Rat on Deadicated which explains the song choice. Garret's dancing on stage was an absolute hoot, and I enjoyed his vocals a lot and was sorry to see him go. The band went into Two Djinn, and most of the heads mellowed further, taking time to smoke, as the aroma was becoming more prominent. Another Slipknot! emerged out of Djinn, and I was jumping up and down in excitement for the long overdue Franklin's. The place exploded as the band ripped through a very well done Franklin's. Bobby & Friends took a bow; we yelled Encore, but the show was over. All in all, an awesome, awesome show that has gotten me excited to see more GD related shows this summer.
Jason, Nowhere, DE