This was my second Ratdog show and the first for my wife. We heard about it less than 24 hours before showtime and it all came together in less than a day. We ended up with an extra ticket and anti-scalped it for less than face value. The venue was typical--a bar and dance floor on the main level with the stage and an upper balcony type area with reserved seats along the sides.
The show itself was inspiring. Bob looks in great shape and the whole band seemed to enjoy itself. An opening jam fed into "Shakedown," which got the place rocking in style. There was a smooth drop into "Queen Jane" to satisfy everyone's Dylan jones. Even as the song was ending, Bob was switching guitars. "New Minglewood Blues" was next with Bob playing slide and featuring "Utah Girls" and "T right here in Park City." "Salt Lake City" was next. (I had called this as the opener since the Utah reference in Friend of the Devil was used the night before in Idaho. I guess Idaho does not have its own song.) Next up was a tune new to me--"Lucky Enough"--with a hook of "maybe finding grace if you're lucky enough" or something to that effect. A nice "Big Boss Man" was up next. At several times during the jam, Bob was rapping into the microphone, but I think it was turned off. Similarly, he made a couple of comments to introduce the next song, performed acoustically. I think he alluded to the sad nature of the song. Anyways, it was called "Artifical Flowers" and it seemed like something that would have been appropriate for the Garcia-Grisman "Not for Kids Only" release. "West L.A. Fadeaway" closed the set at a little over 1 hour. (It wasn't until we got closer and eyed the set list on stage that we realized the scheduled set-ending "Eyes of the World" was preempted.)
We had been about 20 layers back from the stage during the first set. By the time set two started (after a 35 minute break) we were about 5 back. Robin, Bob, and Mark were all on acoustic instruments, Robin with an actual stand-up bass. Anyways, "Me and Bobby McGee" caught me by surprise. The woman next to us was ad libbing "Me and Bobby McWeir" during the refrains. An all-acoustic "Corrina" was next; our daughter's middle name is Corrina so we enjoyed this one in particular. "Miracle" was next with the band back to electricity. Verse three was where Bob's lyric recall failed, to everyone's amusement. Another nice surprise was the "Uncle John's Band" that came next, with Bob pantomiming being lost at "how does this song go?" A cooking "Other One" fed into a Bob-less "stuff" (a.k.a. Drums/Space) which featured a clear "Cryptical" tease. Bob came back for a surprising "Dear Prudence" and the finale, of course, "One More Saturday Night". The encore took "Going Down the Road Feeling Bad" and dropped in a few bars of "Dark Star" before closing the show right at midnight. (I thought it would have been cool for an impromptu "Midnight Hour.") Jay complimented the crowd for not getting busted for smoking pot during the show, and also thanked the police for not hauling the band in.
Note: The titles "Lucky Enough" and "Artifical Flowers" came from the set list on stage. Also, the tambourine was on hand but was left undisturbed. Finally, for the complete trivia buff, "Shakedown" was mispelled on the set list (Shakeown).
David P. Yells, Pleasant Grove, UT