Wow!! Penn's Peak is this wooden structure that sort of looks like a ski lodge on the outside and an old Pennsylvania congregation hall on the inside. I was amazed by the lack of security in the lot and inside after a grueling night at the Electric Factory. You could walk right up to the front of the stage, leave, come back, and find the same spot that you had left before. I was right in front of Bob, and as a guitarist, I was left with my jaw on the floor. I also have to say that since I first saw this band, Mark Karan has improved so much, and I was cheering him on all weekend. As a matter of fact, the whole band has seemed to improved considerably since the 2003 fall tour. The first set was really good, and some highlights for me were the "Bucket" and "Big Railroad Blues," which shook the whole venue. It was the second set, however, that really moved me. There were alot of different people in attendance at the show--not just Dead fans, but locals from Jim Thorpe and other parts of the Poconos. It seemed like Bobby had that in mind when he was writing the setlist. The second set took off and almost seemed to turn into a church revival with people dancing their butts off, and preacherman Bobby was up front leading the congregation. A must have show!!!!
Mike in Philly, Philadelphia, PA
WOW! From the get go it was a rockin show!! The Weight, Woman, Foolish Heart. It was all there. Jim Thorpe will never be the same.
Shawn Erie, Allentown, PA
Well all I have to say about this show is "Foolish Heart." Ever since I had heard they had been playing this for soundcheck, I knew they would whip it out at the Peak. A very nice venue, and view all around from the outside. Nice hardwood finish inside, lets the sound flourish like no other.
Bobby and the boys came out on stage and when right into their traditional "Bird Song" jam which I have seen many times, only this time I actually thought they were going to go into "Bird Song," but out of nowhere came "Jack Straw"! Within "Jack Straw" they did another "Bird Song" jam, then back into a "Jack Straw" reprise, then they finally did "Bird Song." Out of "Bird Song" came "Odessa," and that got everyone groovin', and just when you thought Bobby was gonna keep rolling, he tuned it down for "Shade of Grey," but got back into it for "Hell in a Bucket." At this point, I knew they had to do a Jerry song, and they did "So Many Roads." Bob sang this the best he could. Right out of that, they went back into yet another "Bird Song" jam, and then right into "Big RxR Blues".... Great version--first time I had ever seen them do it--and a great way to end the first set.
The second set rocked with "Me and My Uncle," "City Girls," and a classic version of "The Weight." A great song to play in this venue as it seemed to be just one big bar, but one with class. "Good Morning Little Schoolgirl" got everyone rockin', but Bobby made it a ladies night with a great verison of "Women are Smarter." The crowd went nuts, and its was just one big free-for-all. Right out of "Women are Smarter," the band did a freaky transition into "Two Djinn." I like this song. It's one of the better Rat Dog originals; what was great about this was the jam at the end that led to the transition into "FOOLISH HEART"!!! Awesome, Awesome, Awesome!!! They did it as best as they could incorporating Jay and Jeff. MK ripped it up on guitar, but Bobby's vocals were perfect. I knew this one was coming, Bobby was just waiting for me to come see him before he played it. Bass/Drums/Keyboard was awesome. They sounded better than Medeski Martin & Wood. Bobby came back out on stage and they did Space. WOW. Freaky deaky as they went into "Dear Prudence." Bob kept the "Bird Song" theme alive as they reprised it, but what came next was expected for a Saturday night. "One More Saturday Night," to be exact. That's what it was, and Bobby played it as always and jammed it out to the end. A great way to end the second set, but what better could they have done but to come back out on stage seeing about 1000 lighters in the air. They knew what they had to do, and they did it, "Brokedown Palace."
A gorgeous night, a hoppin shakedown in the parking lot, a beautiful venue and the best band on tour. What more could one ask for?
Matthew, Scranton, PA
Penn's Peak is a great place to see a show, high up in the mountains with a spectaculiar view. I got to see the soundcheck, which was a nice suprise. The lot scene was a party with no security, or none that I saw, and everyone was on great behavior respecting that. (The way it should be.) The band was tight, Bobby smiling, and I was right by the stage, which made everything so much better. Easy to slip, City Girls, Good Morning Little Schoolgirl, Women are Smarter, then a SWEET Foolish Heart, Dear prudence--the band is at its best. I've been to a lot of shows--one of my favorites.
Danny Besecker, Old Forge, PA