Once again, Bobby tears the roof off the 9:30 club. This show was a powerhouse of slammin jams. Every song was upbeat and funky good times. From the Shakedown opener into Music Never Stopped, we knew it was going to be a long, long, crazy, crazy night. The raunchy Wang Dang Doodle was a perfect fit for the crowded atmosphere, not to mention the suprising Picasso Moon that seemed to "roll on in" out of nowhere. The funky, upbeat Eyes of the World closed the first set with a bang. The second set rocked even more. Twilight Time, Victim Or the Crime, & Fever rocked the acoustic set, then I Need a Miricle dropped out of nowhere which got the crowd an uproar! Then it was time to "tear that old building down" when Samson came before Drums. This was the show stopper... definately a Sunday song! Then came Terrapin Station wich was perfect, and the closer Turn On Your Lovelight which was the closer at the last 9:30 show. Two encores this time! White Lightning & Johnny B. Goode, which rocked everyone to the last note!
Thank you for a real good time Bobby!
Neil Lewis, Stevensville, MD
This is the first time I have been to the 9:30 Club since it has relocated from F Street to V St. in Northwest Washington. V Street could be anybody's conceptual idea of Shakedown Street, but once inside, passing through minimal or non-existent security, the venue contained a spacious balcony overlooking a slightly smaller main floor space. I was home visiting the folks for Memorial Day and my older sister came along to see what all the hype was about. We were treated to a very special show indeed.
The crowd's average age seemed a bit older than usual, but far more responsive than any crowd in recent memory. And the band played to it. They treated us to two great opening songs in Stranger and Music. It was great to see Bob belt out a passionate Queen Jane, and Wang Dang Doodle was a pleasent surprise. To add to the surprises, a very loopy Eyes was emitted to close the set that was so long that it left some around me wondering if the band had forgotten to finish.
The second set began with Bob and Rob reaching way back in time to pull out Twilight Time. Victim and Fever followed as the show lurched into Miracle. The crowd responded very well as we all started to sing along. The karaoke continued in Cold Rain and Snow. Bob seemed to jerk the band along in the first half of this set, evidenced by the several failed attempts to get Wheel off the ground and going. Samson was done with little instrumental aide as the guys yelled out the lines to a very strong beat. Strong hints of Amazing Grace were sprinkled throughout the ensuing drums/bass and the band worked through a very strong Terrapin, and Lovelight rounded out a very strong show. My ears are still ringing from the noise the proceeded the close, and I am sure my voice will come around soon enough.
For as great and strong as the show was, the encore was just as disappointing. AJ swallowed every word of White Lightning and it took a while for most to recognize Johnny B. Goode. The music was good, but the lyrics were almost inaudible.
Overall, the show was a good length (over three hours) and probably the best show I could have taken my sister to.
Stash, Arlington, VA
Man! Bearded Bobby is having a FUNKY good time! I saw RatDog at their last 9:30 Club appearance and needless to say, I was way psyched for this gig, particularly looking at the setlists leading up to the show.
Lot scene was great and the extras were a strong move....
The opening trio of songs was as strong as I've ever heard. The thing I enjoyed most was the balance in the presentation--each member of the band just ripping but no one dominating the mix. Bobby was having a ball, particularly with all the crowd-favorite lines. Let's get on with the show, indeed. The Queen Jane was huge with nice long breaks between verses. The first set highlight for me was Wang Dang Doodle; Bobby and the crowd were just going bannanas. The slight return to Music Never Stopped was fun (very techno). Who can beef about an Eyes closer? I felt like I'd seen the whole show but there was more to come....
The second set was every bit as strong as the first; the high point for me was the Cold Rain > Wheel. Jerry was in the room and even Bob's vocals sounded a register lower. I've always loved The Wheel but felt the Dead always used it as a cop-out out of drums. This version was awesome! The samson was another high point--very gospel sound and feel to the whole thing. I'm not sure what one says about Terrapin > Lovelight....
Although I miss Jerry, I have to admit that his absence has allowed Bobby (and Phil) the room to really explore the catalog in a powerful and fresh way. Although Phil & Friends may have more pyrotechnical approaches, the thing which is missing is a legitimate vocalist.... Bobby is the deal--having been half the Dead's sound--and it just adds something so real, so soothing, and just so IT that it transports me back to all of those many glorious memories dating back to 1977!
Loved the show and can't wait for my next dose!
DC Head, Norfolk, VA