Great show. A classic show. It was the type of show that was set to themood of the day. Overcast lazy day where blues fit the bill. The highlight for me of the first set was the Sailor > Saint. Wow, you could tell that Bobby just wanted to talk to us. It was great. The Jed was hot too. The second set was very tight and hot also. The TSTONES was a very upbeat tune to send us on the road. The Dark Star plain and simple was just CLASSIC. It sounded great. The band is great. This show although really allowed Kenny to take the lead in few spots. He is great. Overall not an all star set list but a great show.
Todd, Minnetonka, MN
After two days of soaking in the show, I think I am ready to write about it so here goes.... My friend and I pulled into The Pageant parking lot about an hour before they opened the doors and started letting people in. The lot was kinda happening, people wandering around and a few of them selling their wares and such. You could tell that this crowd was ready to get inside and get down to buisness.
At about seven thirty my buddy and I went inside and immediately found a spot in the center of the floor about 10-15 feet from the stage and then I went to wander around and check out the place. It was the first time I had ever been there. The Pageant is a really really nice venue with a lot of room to move around and not much restricting you from a view anywhere in the building. I wandered up to the bar and had a few cocktails and hung with a couple of New York heads in town for the show and a couple of Yankee/Cardinals ball games, really cool guys.... Anyway,the place was pretty damn packed and people were ready to rock so at straight up eight o'clock the band walks out on the stage to a burst of cheers and a very warm welcome.
They began the show with a Jam and then into a decent version of "Tomorrow Never Knows" and then came a tune that I had not heard played live in a while... "Mississippi Half Step." Hello Bobby and I was "on my way." I love that tune and it made me start to miss ole' Jer.... The band did a real nice job on this one and Bob's vocals were full of light and dead on. Then they went into "Wrong Way Feelin," a tune that I am not too familiar with so I chose to head back up to the bar and grab anotha cocktail. The song was fun but I just couldn't get into it.... Next up was "Tennessee Jed," which you would think they would have saved for Bonnaroo and I wish they would have. ..T JED is for me one of those songs that I caught at damn near every show I went to past and present so I wasn't really into it, but they did play it nicely. After that came the "Even So>October Queen" duo and actually this night was probably the best I have ever heard of these songs, probably because there was an extra trumpet and sax in the mix and the energy was really starting to pick up at this point. You know, the night was not getting any younger and people weren't getting any more sober and the band was gearing up for something that they knew was going to be spectacular....
The guys from Johnnie's band really brought some extra energy out on the stage with them and Bob and the rest of the guys fed off of that and the whole band just sounded awesome. They had their mistakes of course but for the most part the whole night they meshed and as a whole sounded really nice. Anyways, on to "The Deep End," another song I am not real familiar with so back to the bar I went and take a pee break. Good song, played well. After this came a really really smokin version of "Wang Dang Doodle" with Johnnie's drummer jammin out with the band. Pitched it they did. ALLLL NIIIIGHT LOOONG!!!! I was never a fan of this tune either but I also hadn't heard it in a while so enjoyed it and Wang Dang Doodled with everyone else....
Then came highlight #1 for me this night... "Lost Sailor > Saint of Circumstance." I love these songs and had not caught one since Tulsa a couple of years ago. I always welcome a LS>ST and just closed my eyes and let the music take me away to that special place one can only go when being there and hearing it live.... This was a real nice treat and it sounded exceptional and it also ended the set to a deafening round of applause. Yea, Bobby had hooked us and we were ready for more....
Second Set: Kinda slow (on paper) starting out with "Good Mornin Little Schoolgirl" but we all knew why it was being played and although the lyrical spin that Bob put on it they rocked it out and gave it the energy that they don't normally do on just any normal night. After Schoolgirl came a sweet "Althea" that Bobstar flubbed the lyrics to at first, but I gotta hand it to him--he recovered really nicely and didn't mess up very much at all during the whole show. We all gave him that "it don't matter we still love ya" cheer and he went on to play the most rockin Althea I have heard in years.
Then came the real treat. "Tanqueray," for Johnnie of course.... I caught this song a couple of summers ago at Riverport and wasn't really into it, but Friday night I gave it the attention it deserved and they rocked my world with it and played it to the best of their ability just like they did most of the songs that evening, or maybe it was just me but I thought musically, the band was DEAD ON.... Tanqueray brought down the house and it was a fitting tribute to a fallen friend. After this came "Little Red Rooster" and they continued on the bluesy jammin that they did here and there throughout the show--nothin special but again sounded really nice.... After a bit of noodling came highlight #2 for me and also a tune that I have never heard Ratdog play before.
"DARK STAR" and man did Bob play the SHIT outta this one. What I thought was awesome was that he sang this song sooooo good. He dragged out the lyrics and made it sound real psychedelic, just like the good ole days. I don't think it was an effect either; I think he was really putting EVERYTHING into singing this song as best he could. I enjoyed the hell out of it. It was an old tune that is always good to hear and I loved it. NICE JOB BOB! After two really smokin jams Bob comes back out for a sweet sounding "Sugaree," and then into another tune that I had not heard since 93--"Throwing Stones"--and play this one he did. The guys all rocked the house on this tune and it was nice to hear an old favorite of mine get some "stage time." It also closed the set. I thought for sure we were gonna get a NFA directed at Johnnie but it didn't happen.
After a short break before the encore the band hastily made their way back to the stage for a heartbreaking "Lazy River Road" that again got me think of the Fat Man and missing him terribly and realizing again that it HAS been ten years since he decided to take that journey into the Grate Beyond. It was moving tune and also played really well.... Is that it? NOPE! You knew it was coming.... Double encore and a song that I called before I left the house to head for St. Louis.... (Of course) "Johnny B. Goode" with Johnnie's drummer on Jay's kit and damn if they didn't play the shit outta this one too.... How could they not!?
This was (IMO) for the most part a tribute show for J.J. and it wouldn't be complete without the best damn JBG I have ever heard in my life.... I think I almost dislocated my hip dancin to this one.... WHOOO HOOOO.... Thank You for a real good time and R.I.P. Johnnie. there was much love and energy eminating from that stage this night and it was all directed towards heaven your way Brother..... See ya in the fall, Boyz!
BensDad, Ozark Mountains, Mo.