This show seemed to mirror the rainfall that night: on and off. The show started slow enough, with most people still trapped in the long beer and token lines in the basement of this magnificent venue. Sailor/Saint led into the crowd-pleasing Tennessee Jed with which everyone had a lot of fun singing along. Who would blame them; the instruments were turned up so loud that Bob was barely audible. This made for a sloppy rest of the set that muddled, stubbled and jammed through Bob's works that were barely recognizable. This in combination with the stuffiness of the music hall on a humid night caused most to actually sit down and wonder why they came. Playin' closed this disasterous set and gave hope that maybe Bob and the boys would redeem themselves in the next set.
An acoustic Candyman, Me and My Uncle, and BT Wind gave us a reason to believe that the show would not be a complete wipe out and got us on our feet again. I love BT Wind and it is the reason I go to these shows, and Bob didn't disappoint on this song. By inserting "I gave you my eyes, they were just a disguise," he made this arguably the strongest song in the show. From there on out, the instruments continued to swallow Bob's vocals. Ratdog made a piss poor choice in Uncle John's Band, and in my opinion they should never play it again based on the fact that it is not HIS, it's the Dead's. This could also said for SOTM, but I enjoyed it for it conjured up many lost memories of Jerry. Corrina closed the set and illustrated further the poor decision-making and fading vocals. Corrina is best in the acoustic section and the "punch line" ("there is no fear that lovers born will ever fail to meet") was completely inaudible and hence nullified the passion in the song. Touch is a completely overplayed encore and hopefully will never be played again.
Security getting into the place was real easy but they made up for it with the hawkish security in the aisles and seats. They nabbed more than a couple groups of young kids trying to smile on a cloudy day. Hopefully these fans will grow up soon enough. The beer was good, if you had the patience to get any.
This show was basically a downer after the great show that my sister and I saw in DC. I am glad she saw that show instead of this one. Bob Weir and Ratdog, I've seen better shows out of you.
Stash, Arlington, VA