One of the greatest, if not the greatest Ratdog show of all time... tequila!!!! 10+ rating.
Tony R, Washington, DC
Athough the venue was far too crowded with practically no room to dance, Bobby tore it up all night with the best Easy Answers I've ever heard! The Dylan encore was beautiful.
Saby, Reading, PA
Great show! 4 Dylan songs (She Belongs to Me, Silvio, Senor and a Hard Rain's Gonna Fall). The Silvio--> Tequila--> Silvio is an excellent turn for the band and I was happy to catch it live. RatDog is a fun band, and when they play songs like Tequila they seem to be acknowledging that fact. The Hard Rain encore was an outstanding bust out for Philly. Thank you, Bob. The Beatles' Tomorrow Never Knows has a great groove that the drummer nailed. The Easy Answers jam took a sweet melodic turn towards the end and I wonder if it was spontaneous or something they do all the time with that song. The Black-Throated Wind with Bob on acoustic had brilliant vocals and reminded me of a version I heard Bob sing in Santa Cruz about 5 years ago. The high point of the night for me was Uncle John's Band. The version, at first, sounded kind of stiff and tied too literally to the original studio recording, especially when compared to the more groovy and flowing performances by the Dead in later years. Plus, at first, interestingly, the music itself sounded kind of hyper-spaced as if the music was speaking with a breath full of helium (Alvin and the Chipmunks play Uncle John's Band), but as I continued to listen that effect was less prominent and the song took shape as a powerful and melodic anthem. A great song and a great version. Weir appears to be mindful of his responsibilities as a live performer in that he does provide a fresh take on old material and keeps things fresh for the listener. I trust Weir's choices (and Dylan's for that matter) when it comes to developing new-fangled or "slightly altered from the original" versions of older material. Minglewood is a great example; RatDog played a version of Minglewood at the Electric Factory a few years back that included additional measures or maybe a momentary change in time signature and a new riff to the point where it even started to sound like a different song. It sounded great and it was clear that the change was rehearsed or at least discussed with the band beforehand. It is great to see Bob Weir enjoying the band he put together playing the songs he is able to pull from the Dead's cannon and his solo efforts, plus the always-tasteful selections from Dylan, the Beatles, or traditional origins. A great show from "the Dog". As long as they keep coming around, I'll keep heading out to see them. Thanks for ending the tour in Philly, the primo concert-friendly town in the country. The energy levels on the West Coast are too low to manifest the rock'n'roll hysteria that these occasions call for. New York has the most energy, but the concert venue logistics are too much of a pain in the ass for the fans ("NY's got the ways and means but just won't let you be!"). Thanks again for bringing the Dog to Philly! Rock on!
John Neumann, Philadelphia, PA
"Lord they're setting us on fire!" Man, what a show. All around good show. Don't need to go into huge detail, but... The Music Never Stopped was great; it got the crowd going and excited for the rest of the show. Easy Answers was one of the best I've heard. Of course the Silvio>Tequila was great. I was up in front, and I turned around right at the "Tequila!" part and the crowd was going nuts! Great song. Absolutely beautiful Black-Throated Wind. I wasn't particulary fond of the Standong on the Moon... just wasn't up to par. But the St. Stephen > The Eleven was great and so was Not Fade Away. I heard from a friend who's a history teacher that Hard Rain was played because 4/30 marked the 30-year anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War. Pretty interesting. Again, great show.
Kevin Makara, Horsham, PA
One of those shows that just seemed to keep gaining momentum as it went on. Joking with others outside in the rain that Here Comes Sunshine would be a good bit of fun for this show but was surprised to see it as the opener. The Music Never Stopped kicked the show into a higher gear and the band never looked back. Seen Easy Answers many times, but this was the best version ever witnessed by me. Love those Dylan tunes; Bobby does them with such feeling. Bury Me Standing is my personal favorite RatDog original, so that pretty much made the entire first set worthwhile. I was hoping to see Sivio-Tequila ever since it first appeared on a setlist, and I was floored at how great it was.
Second set was spectacular, and I could rave on in great detail, but I won't. Highlights being a beautiful BTW, an extremely well-played UJB, Bobby shining through on SOTM, and a masterful St. Stephen/Eleven that I was not expecting at all. SWEET! End with the big crowd favorite NFA and you have the aforementioned spectacular set. Thanks to RatDog for playing us in Philly a new tune... did I mention I love that Dylan stuff? Sent out dancin' with the ever lovin' One More Saturday Night. Thanks guys!
Deadscott, Doylestown, PA
Best Ratdog show that I've attended. As stated already, Easy Answers was perfect. The Silvio > Tequila > Silvio was outstanding! I was upstairs for that part of the show and watching the crowd below was incredible. Bobby sounded MUCH better than he did during the Dead's summer tour last year. And you always know it's coming at a Saturday show, but One More Saturday Night rocked and brought down the house! Great show and I'm glad I was able to attend!
Grateful Dave, Voorhees, NJ
Well hard to add on to these other glowing reviews, except to say that in ten years of seeing Ratdog, this Philly show ranks right up there with 7/30/02 Wilmington and 3/27/04 Penns Peak as the finest I've seen from the band. They are jamming better and more telepathically then ever, Bobby sounded in GREAT shape vocally and musically, and Robin Sylvester was the MVP for me on this night and the next show up in Johnson City that I went to. Now they have finally turned him up and he was just was astounding! Jay Lane was also at his very finest, and I have been hard on Jay's style over the years with my friends. Folks, they sounded very impressive and I would encourage everyone to grab a copy of this show. Oh, yeah, Silvio > Tequila was off-the-charts fun!! Thank you Bobby!
Tyler Ainley, Royersford, PA