This show was the return to the epicenter of wonderful Dead, no pun intended as this was, after all, in Berkeley, CA. Ratdog rose to this occasion with a very inspired show-- Half Step > Bird Song...right on!
It was a wonderful day in Berkeley. 82 degrees, not a cloud as far as the eye could see. We all were in the right frame of mind to receive the show, that was for sure. The show never missed a beat. After Ratdogs' set, Bob of course continued to Jam with the multiple members of the "All star Tribute Band" as they have been called. Bob seemed to dig the company: Trey, Warren and Jimmy, as well as the many others like Hamza El Din...this was a trip. When the show opened this throng of about 2 dozen men and women- including Bill Walton- dressed in white gowns performed Ollin Arageed..a long 10 minute or so jam the blead into Help > Slip > Sugaree, then some thing like but maybe not exactly Bertha, Dark Star, Eyes, SOTM, Scarlet > Fire, He's Gone > Franklin's. Bob was great on Brokedown, sort of broke all our hearts in the end to wonder where we might all meet again. But the band kept playin on, into a nice Dark Star > Touch to close.
Ratdog members switched in and out of the separate lineups with smoothe transitions. The highlight for me was seeing Trey jam Help > Slip with Bobby sort of grinning over at him. There was 90 second sound outage during Help, but it was not significant, yet it's always a bummer when that happens. Either way this Slipknot was jammin!
This was a heart felt tribute to a wonderful person in Jerry, but also a constant reminder that while He's Gone, the music does live on. The music is what brought us together this day and his haunting absence is electrifying while these fine musicians jammed his greatest songs.
In many ways I think Jerry would like knowing that today his music and his unique self is what broght us together, but also that these performers still are the recipients of profound affection by us all based on who they are as welll as who he was.
I don't want to get too heavy but hearing Scarlet > Fire on top of the Greek with the fireworks bursting in the distance over the Bay Bridge was an epic, and I mean EPIC, experience.
I just want to say "thank you for a real good time!"
Brendan McAuley, Old Greenwich, CT