4/9/2005 Setlist, Photos, and Reviews


Saturday, April 9, 2005
Fox Theatre
Mashantucket, CT


Well, I just returned from Foxwoods and what an unbelievable show tonight. Ratdog opened with a nice jam and then kicked into Cassidy. From Cassidy it was off to Bird Song. Absolutely beautiful version. Easy to Slip was very nice to hear, and Bob sang this with his heart and soul as with every song tonight. Loose Lucy rocked and the crowd was definitely all charged up. Lazy River Road was very well-done, and it is nice to see it in the mix of songs. Big RxR Blues rocked and Ratdog was tight all evening. Off to the acoustics! Candyman, although I don't care for this one too much, was well done. FOTD solid. LLR was nice. West LA was good although I was hoping to hear UJB or The Wheel. Begonias rocked! Come Together was solid. Then the Dog finished up Bird Song and Cassidy. One More Saturday NIght ended the set. What a surprise, never saw that one coming, hahaha. The band left briefly then came back for Brokedown Palace, which was beautifully done and much better than the version I heard in Burlington last year. For my 8th show, this was one of the best. I must say that Bob is looking great; he shed some pounds, trimmed the beard, and is looking healthy. Thank you Bob and company for sharing this beautiful music with us. Hopefully those who gain joy from music will share that joy with others. Peace and blessings.

Danimal, Winsted, CT
Wow! I've been to about ten Ratdog shows and this was easily the best as far as jamming and musical showmanship is concerned. Some very tight and pretty versions of songs tonight. Cassidy opener!! Nothing was subpar except for maybe the Supplication jam. I could be wrong but it sounded like they were going into one of those Blues for Allah jams (Stronger than Dirt? They've been playing it,) but it ended up being Supplication, then with Bobby singing "My lightning too" over the jam which I think is from just Lazy Lightning. Bobby even threw up his hands in confusion looking at his guitar neck after the change from Easy to Slip (forgot the chords maybe, or maybe just confused at that point as I was).

Everything else was great though!!! Loose Lucy sounded solid and a great, danceable version, as was Big Railroad Blues. Lazy River Road was very well done. I love how they kept weaving in and out of Bird Song, which seems to be something they do now with certain shows. Bobby was very with it on stage, and his voice sounded great. The sound in the venue was a bit too high-pitched and loud on some guitar and saxophone parts. I usually never say something like that either. Come Together was great, Bobby nailed the lyrics. Then, back into Bird Song, and back into Cassidy!!! A great way to close out the main part of the show show. Of couse Sat. Night was played at the end of the very long set (no break tonight) I never ever get sick of that song though, and Brokedown after the very short encore break was well done.

This band has become extremely fluid in their jamming. Bobby has done an extremely great job at taking Dead staples and breathing new life into them. Everyone in the band played great!! I can't wait for NYC next weekend!!!

Thad Ayazides, Charlestown, RI
My first show at the Fox theatre. A beautiful venue; not a bad seat in the house. As we walked in I was following my girlfriend who immediately evaded security and walked us down the main aisle to some great seats about 12 rows up. We stayed there comfortably the whole night and were never bothered. Some cool brother in front of us even let us use his ticket stub for bathroom runs so we wouldn't lose our seats. This was my first Ratdog show in a few years. The opening Cassidy and Bird Song were light and well-jammed. The sound in the theratre I thought was very good. Easy to Slip stood out to me as a excellent version. An absolutely rollicking and tight Big Railroad Blues was a highlight, I thought, of the first set until I realized there would be no setbreak.

Candyman came next, with Bob singing over the bands chorus of "Look out, look out, the Candyman" at the end. A very nice change of flavor from the old GD days. Excellent version. Friend of the devil was a good sing-along tune and the crowd was very much into it. Even Looks Like Rain was well-played and jammed up at the end. I even heard a little St. Stephen tease in there in the last few chords. West LA Fadeaway was nice to hear. They did a fantastic cover of Come Together. I'm hoping this becomes a staple; it was well-played and Bobby hit all the lyrics right on. The Bird Song and Cassidy they started earlier were finished up and then we got a kick-ass rock and roll finish with Saturday Night. By the time they finished up a heartfelt Brokedown, I was very glad I had decided to pick up tickets from a friend that afternoon. I have Providence, Hampton Beach, and Boston to look forward to, and if those shows are on par with the Fox Theatre show, I will be very satisfied indeed. Overall excellent performance, good sound, and good vibes.

Steve, Pawtucket , RI
This venue was just as good as the theater at the Turning Stone (Just as good seats, second row! Woo hoo!) The boys were looking a little tired, but that was the best three hours I have had in a long time!

Karen, West Milford, NJ
"Come on Boys and wager…"

A mini casino circuit is an ironic tour schedule for a band that does not take too many chances, but that is exactly where Ratdog found itself on Saturday night when the band played at Foxwoods Resort following a two-night stand at the Turning Stone Casino. Sticking to a formula is not always a bad thing, though, as the band proved with its one set performance highlighted by near-flawless playing, if not by adventurous discovery.

When the band opened the show with a smooth "Cassidy" it was a sign that the night would most likely be somewhat typical. The band would go into "Bird Song" and possibly meander through some jams reminiscent of the songs throughout the show before reprising them together at the end of the night. This is exactly what happened, but that did not take away from the show, which was marked by some truly excellent renditions of classic Weir material.

"Easy to Slip," a cover that’s been in Bobby’s repertoire for many years, seems tailor-made for this band. Kenny Brooks’ saxophone complemented the gorgeous opening to the song, and the band gelled perfectly as the outro jam was backed by some eye-opening harmonizing from the group. Ratdog has really become a great band over the past ten years, and while they were singing the refrain "it’s so easy," they made it seem so easy to make inspirational music.

"Looks Like Rain" was another highlight and one of a select number of songs that Ratdog clearly performs better than The Dead. Again, a sax line added by Brooks perfectly embellished the song. While his sax is sometimes inappropriate (on the Weather Report Suite intro for example), there are songs that benefit greatly from the new melodic parts provided by its smooth lines. With Jeff Chimenti’s creamy piano playing adding to the song’s sad beauty, Weir sung the hell out of it in a way only he could. Things even got rockin’ enough for Mark Karan to tease "St. Stephen" as the band swelled behind Weir’s emotional singing. Sometimes you just have to be thankful to see a living legend perform his best material to the best of his abilities and this was one of those times

The spirit of Jerry Garcia is always an integral part of any Dead-related show. Recalling the spirit and bringing it to the music in a subtle way is essential to bringing that magic that can only come from Grateful Dead music. While a typical "Loose Lucy" and a soulful "Candyman" did fall somewhat flat without this X factor, "Lazy River Road" proved to be a surprise treat because of it. Oddly enough, the band’s run through of the unassuming late-era Garcia song seemed to bring about the feeling of Jerry moreso than the beloved and well-known "Scarlet Begonias" or the encore of "Brokedown Palace."

Despite being 57 years old, Weir handled the extra long set perfectly well. The band seemed to simply skip the break after a barn-burning "Big Railroad Blues" and go right into the acoustic form that usually starts second sets. "Friend of the Devil" remains a song that is always worth hearing partly because of the solos that get kicked around each time. Weir nailed his part during the solos very similarly to the way he played it on the "American Beauty" version, and Chimenti delivered a fresh and inventive piano solo.

The band nailed The Beatles’ "Come Together" out of a Space jam and, although the song is more potent with a certain pair of drummers behind the kits, it was still one of the more powerful songs of the night. Covering a Beatles song is usually a daunting task, but this version may be even more enjoyable than the Abbey Road cut.

As the band closed the show with a rushed and predictable "One More Saturday Night," it left the feeling that Ratdog might benefit from taking some risks more often by rolling them laughin’ bones instead of betting on the tried and true. That did not take away from the band’s great performance, though, and the crowd was spit out into the alternate universe that is a giant casino with that special Grateful Dead feeling thanks to a beautiful "Brokedown Palace" and a great all-around show.

Chris Drewry, Waterbury, CT
Outstanding show. The guy who did the mixing turned the high end up louder than The Who to a point where every time Bobby moved his fingers on the neck of his guitar, it was extremely loud. The sax and lead guitar were also extremely loud. Definitely needed pieces of a napkin in my ears.

Cosmic, North Jersey
Great setlist. Scarlet was awesome! Friend of the devil was so good! I cant believe BOB isn't playing stadiums with this sound he's got. Gotta love BOBBY; his voice was AWESOME and he looked good (some people said he looked tired). I cant wait for the fall tour. RATDOG is a can't miss tour this fall any true Deadhead will enjoy.

Walt B, Coventry, CT
Well for a change I didn't find myself in a casino strictly to walk around and find/ acquire abandoned credits on the slots. Atlantic City was my playground for that hobby. Of course this I did manage to do prior to the show , which was sold out. I should perhaps walk around more with my index finger up but beings that this is a casino I knew some put aside comp tickets would be available..go uncomped , whatever.. and just prior too the show they did allocate some xtra tix for sale and like apparently stepped in line on time for I was the last person to actually cop one. Strangely this same thing happened at the Warfield a couple seasons back .. the last ticket phenomanom. hahahah !!! As usual it was a great show but other things happen in life pre > during > and after shows... and this time it wasn't so much the fifty or so collective bux I found abandoned on the slots during the couple hours I chose to look around... it was that after hangin out with some friends / associates it soon became like 4 a.m. in the wee hours. I had a Chinatown / Queens ticket back to NYC... and was ready to go. So I'm sittin' there on the bus and I notice this hippie kid standing out kinda near these busses... the last ones to anywhere for hours. Took it upon myself cause I knew he was gonna be stuck... sometimes ya just know.. and you choose to help any way you can. Fortunately I didn't spend or gamble everything I brought or found... anything you gather is just another thing to lose. That's a law !! Written in Mission In the Rain. > > So anywayzz he was heading to Maryland ... no ticket... of course... he is a righteous deadhead like me and often I have no ticket... hahahah!!!...so after speaking to and bribing a bus driver I got him on a bus to Port Authority ,and simply gave him a few bux to help him along... one thing about him he was all smiles from the moments long prior to speaking with him... said he had a great show and ( seemed )happy to be stuck in Connecticut after a great show. Certainly know what it's like ..but I was going home... he was ( hopefully?) hitting another show in a couple days... and those abandoned credits ( $) I found would Help > Slip him on the road ...perhaps likely get there just on time for the tuning jam. :-)

alan, Kenzo to the TL