I got to the show a little after 7:30, with a long line of people waiting to get in. Once inside, I noticed it was definitely less crowded than the previous 9:30 Club shows I have been to in the past, Which made it easy to run into my friends Brad Rhea and Jackie who had traveled from PA to get to the show.
Brad and I were discussing what Bobby was going to start out with and who was going to call the most songs, then the lights dropped and it was show time! The band started off with a slow spacey warm up jam that popped into Lost Sailor > Saint of Circumstance. Brad and I both called this one and gave each other the thumbs up sign. My friend Lettie also said to me You always call them The crowd seemed pretty mellow during lost sailor and there was lots of crowd talk going on, then things gradually started to pick up when Saint of Circumstance crept in. A small group of fans including myself, Brad, and three other friends who came with me jumped up in the air letting everyone know it was time to start getting down! The crowd started moving a little bit more and more as Saint progressed. Bobby and the band must have been picking up the mixed vibes and shouted out "Sure donít know what Iím going for but Iím going to go for it for sure." Bobby had lit the fuse, because after that the crowd was definitely in a good mood and was ready to rock.
So Many Roads came next, which was played earlier than usual, and was in a more upbeat tempo that kept the crowd moving, Then the band changed direction with Wang Dang, a 9:30 club favorite. The fuse hit the dynamite and the whole place blew up! Tennessee Jed got the crowd singing and had a great jam between verses, and Josephine had a super funky grind to it, which got the girls dancing. Loose Lucy kept it going with everyone shouting "thank you, for a real good time."
Bobby had to get rid of some extra cheese when he threw in Artificial Flowers, which to my surprise did have a good little shake to it. Then, they slipped in with West LA Fadeaway which was long and hot, and a crowd-induced Aiko Aiko that closed off the first set.
The second set started of with just Bob, Rob, and Mark playing an acoustic El Paso that went into a long awaited Masterpiece. Everyone was all worked up when the band played this one, and you could tell when the place screamed "someday everythingís gonna be different" and cheered when the rest of the band came on to join the acoustic trio. A Dark Star teaser jam progressed into an explosive Estimated Preophet > Even So > October Queen. I had called this lineup also and gave another thumbs up to Brad. The Estimated was supercharged! Bobby gave out loud scats and screams and broke into a high speed psychedelic jam, with his guitar ringing out thru the whole club! The fire wheel was burning in the air that night as Bobby (standing in a shaft of light) screamed out the chorus of the song. Everyone was rising up to paradise!
Even So crept out of Estimated, adding an eerie element to the mix. Then the raunchy October Queen came and turned the place into a swanky romp! Everyone seemed to fall off into The Deep End but climbed back up during Heís Gone for the sing-along parts. Bass/drums were good along with The Other One Jam that surprisingly turned into Dear Prudence. That probably had something to do with John Lennonís birthday being the next day.
All of a sudden at the end of Dear Prudence, Bobby belted out "sunshine daydream" which turned into Sugar Magnolia... what a weird way to start of Sugar Mag. This was the first time I have heard Sugar Magnolia the 9:30 Club and it was a rocker. The crowd was surprised at the songís intro but rocked through it all the way till the end. The encore was U.S. Blues that had a full size American Flag being waved across the stage during the entire song! The band ended the show with their usual group bow the audience and walked off stage.
All in all this show was definitely much different than past 9:30 Club visits, but not disappointing. My friends and I were pleased to see the unusual first set arrangement, and the comeback during the second set. Even So and October Queen were great picks for the fall tour and Iím happy that I called 5 songs that the band played that night.
Neil Lewis, Stevensville, MD
We had a great reunion on Tuesday at the 9:30 Club! The usual suspects were in place at the head of the line when us local folks showed up. The doors opened and we all dashed to our first and second row vantage points and got reacquainted.
There was a magic element to this Ratdog show; a beautiful energy, a loving touch, a lift of spirit, a bright inspiration. There was a New Orleans feel to the night. And so many great memories of other concerts sprang forth as the set unfolded. Tennessee Jed and El Paso (ay yi yi yiiii) made me think of the Philly shows of the 70's, Wang Dang brought back the subzero day in January 1996, at Bill Clinton's outdoor inauguration celebration with Rickie Lee Jones, He's Gone conjured up Englishtown '77, and what a show that was too.
October Queen, Dear Prudence, and Sugar Magnolia made me feel loved and personally honored by a great musical genius. How is it that we each feel as though the songs have been written for us? All that's left to do is smile,smile, smile--and I still am!
Trish, Vienna, VA