8/22/2003 Setlist, Photos, and Reviews


Friday, August 22, 2003
London Astoria
London, England


I was really excited about seeing Bob live at the Astoria. Queued, got my tickets, and got a good place upstairs centre stage. Bob came on and started playing BUT the sound mix was terrible. It was so frustrating--I could sense beautiful music being played--but it was out of reach. The distorted over-loud sound was a barrier to enjoyment.

Tony, London, England
Great show, opening up with a quirky jam, then Bobby gives each member a nod, jumps in the air and switches gears! Keyboards clear and punchy great flow. Superb funk jazz breakdown when Bobby left stage for the others to groove. Second set accoustic trio and blend into traditional songs fab!
     Venue was strict in curfew, crowd was sympathetic, and had a jam. Overheard very conservative first timers saying, "that was interesting".... I will be at Milton Keyes.

Sean, London, England
What a night, what a show. Maybe it was that this was my first Ratdog show or the fact that it was a lovely summer's evening in London town, with a warm breeze blowing down the street that seemed to put a smile on everyone's face. Or maybe it was the fact that Bob and the boys were on fire tonight.
This was a Friday night set. Played fast and hard. From the opening the Music Never Stopped, I could tell we were in for a good night. The band were tight yet loose, the audience was jumping and in such a good mood. The choice of covers just seemed to fit the night perfectly, and it was great to be in a good size venue where a clear view of the band really made you feel part of the gig.
The playing was very strong throughout and I especially like the saxophone contribution; I always felt the Dead songs really lent themselves to a sax. The closing two songs really summed up the night. Sugar Magnolia and Touch of Grey--I mean it was such a great close.
It was one of those nights where it was still warm on leaving and you want to go out to eat and stay up all night just hanging out and talking. But hey, I have two young kids who would wake at 5.30am so I had to hurry home to catch some sleep. But thanks for coming over Bob; it was a truely great night.

Welded, London, England
This show knocked my socks off!!! I had seen them last summer here and thought it was quite a good show, but I had no idea how powerful a band they really are until last Friday night. I wish I could have seen more of the tour. Bob has proven himself to be quite the bandleader/arranger, funny hand signals and all. I felt as though I was taken on a musical journey through many genres, never quite knowing what was coming next. It was rock, folk, jazz, old blues, even references to old cinema soundtracks.
     They really hit the ground running and kept going; Music Never Stopped all through Playin was brilliant, but the second set was where the band really went to the edge and back. The space/funk/jazz jams fit in so well with the old Grateful Dead tunes that it made me realize how timeless some of this material really is. And how great an ensemble Ratdog is. I'm still smiling a week on. I especially enjoyed the Wheel/Jam/Standing on the Moon section. Brilliant! Very few bands out there could play a transition like that with as much authority after many rehearsals, let alone on the fly. I really like the new bass player Robin; What he lacked in showmanship, he certainly made up for in musicianship and creativity, although I do miss Wasserman's stand up bass solos. Jeff Chimenti's keys were on fire all night. Kenny's sax playing was quite inspired, even psychedelic at times. It spun round my head a few times. But that may have just been the soundman having fun.
     Overall, I thought the sound was quite good, in fact as good as I've ever heard in the Astoria, which can be quite loud and distorted at some gigs (to my ear). I was right in front of the sound booth, so that may explain my more positive experience. The audience was quite charged and enthusiastic. It was an adventurous and rewarding night for many who attended. Please come back soon. You know I'll be there.

Jeff, London
A great show. I wish they come back to England soon.

Paras, Ilford, Essex