Once again. a well played show at a very good venue. A good looking set list played with precision, but not that much energy or enthusium IMO. Started out with a bang on the Help-Slip-Last Time then slowed up with Row Jimmy. And even though Josephine was sultry with a funky feel, the show dragged a bit as the band played flawless versions of Even So (nice work Kenny), October Queen, and Deep End. Happily the band came out of the set smokin' on Lost/Saint.
Set 2 started with again excellent playing on Mexicalli, Peggy-O, and the ever popular sing-along, Deep Elem Blues. The sShoolgirl was good, but still seemed to lack energy. We then got the highlight of the night with a well played St.-WT Bridge-Eleven that had the place really rockin'. After the jam was the awaited Dark Star finish from the previous night and Foolish Heart, both well played but again the energy level was not there. Got the expected Slip/Franklin's Tower and was prepared for a slow encore when they busted out a great U.S. Blues, which had more energy then just about anything else all night.
Overall, as I said a well played show, but certainly not with the energy level of the previous night or many other nights. That said, I enjoyed my time at Penn's Peak the last two nights and hope they can keep playing shows there in the future.
deadscott, Doylestown, PA
The show started out like a house on fire! Help > Slip > Last Time was smoking! Bobby getting into the "may be the last time, no, no no !!"--not quite like the old days, but still pretty damn hot. Row Jimmy was sweet, with MK starting to get his mojo going . . but then - all momentum disappeared, and the show drifted and dreamed for the rest of the first set. A lost opportunity. Second set, however, was stellar - great acoustic Mexicali, Peggy, and the show stopper of the night, Deep Elem, with Bob playing some very crisp rhythm and MK going off on lead. The joint was jumping!! And even though I've heard St. Stephen many times now, the song never lets me down, and Bobby and the boys played the hell out of it last night. Again, Mark's leads were vibrant, ringing, soulful. Come Together featured Jay doing his best Ringo work and doing justice to the the song's complex percussion rifts, and Bobby even got most of the words right! First time I've heard The Rat perform it, and I was very pleased! The expected Franklin's closer was nothing too special, but it didn't matter as every other second set song up until that point had been superb. The boys paid homage to the significance of Veteran's Day with a patriotic US Blues to finish things off. Overall, I give the show a 6--would have been much higher if not for the snooze-inducing second half of the first set. See ya in Boca!!!
Doc Rich, New York, NY
Night 2 of RatDog's big 2 night Penn's Peak stand was even better than night 1. I just wanted to get that out of the way right now. Help on the Way was a perfect show opener, and the Slipknot! was flawlessly played. Last Time was a BIG surprise to come next, and was HIGH energy!! Row Jimmy was average and Josephine was very nice. Even So never thrills me, but it was performed very well. The segue into October's Queen was great and it is a song I really get into. Mark Karan palyed an absolute scorching solo during the Deep End and Lost Sailor was the PERFECT choice. Both nights featured big Bobby combos to close the first sets. Saint of Circumstance was just what the doctor ordered, and we couldn't wait for second set.
This second set featured the acoustic interplay of the band at an all-time high. Mexicali Blues was followed by a sensational solo break during Peggy-O that had the entire band winding and weaving in between each other. Great stuff! Deep Elem Blues also featured this "group-mind"-type playing, and Saint Stephen > The Eleven might have been the unexpected highlight of the two shows for me. Unexpected because I've never been a fan of the Dog's versions of these Dead classics. I just never felt the band "turned the corner" fast enough. Well, they blew that previous observation away in a big way. The jam during Stephen was SO JAZZY and further proof of why RatDog is the best band out there. Jam was better on night 2 than night 1 and Come Together was unbelievably tight. MK obviously likes to get down on the Beatles' material. Dark Star part 2 was a classy way to tie this pair of shows together, and the Foolish Heart was one of the true highlight performances of the stand. Franklin's came next after a deft segue from Foolish and during one of Franklin's solo breaks, Karan steered the band back into the Foolish outro jam, then back into Franklin's. This was intense!! The U.S. Blues encore was decent and you gotta love that Hippie Bill dude! Overall, I thought Mark Karan was on fire throughout this stand, and Robin was nicely up in the mix. Another great experience provided to me and mine by RatDog. Thanks guys!!
Tyler Ainley, Royersford, PA
First nite ROCKED, but I was a little disappointed with the secound night. Way too low key and seeing people getting carried out of the show was pathetic. Bobby muffed up a bunch of lyrics throughout the show and seemed tired. Just was hoping for a more upbeat nite at Penn's.
Walt B, Coventry, CT
Wow! I thought this show was amazing. That version of Peggy-O was worth the price of the ticket alone. Both the band and the crowd seemed to have a great vibe. Great venue, great time! It's alright to be critical, but for christ sake chill out, sit back, and appreciate the fact that we still have this band of truly great musicians to listen to.
Bob, Allentown, PA
This was a really special night.... For those of you that weren't on the rail in front of Mark at the setbreak, you missed the coolest marriage proposal in the history of mankind.... Everyone made a circle around us, and I dropped to one knee, a complete surprise to my soon to be bride. Then bobby and the boys ripped off great versions of Mexicali and Peggy-O and threw a Foolish in to keep us smilin. How can you go wrong? These guys just know exactly what I need.... Thanks to everyone that made the night special. Unforgettable show.
doc, Linden, TN
Going on 11 years, and this is still one of the more memorable RatDog shows I've been to. I thought they were on that night. The people around me all seemed blown away at end of set 1. Then before the encore they were stomping the floor pretty loud--a be heard on sbd recording
Highlights for me were Help>Last Time, Sailor>Saint---and the entire set 2> This show was so hot, that I didn't even notice that they had the 'no smoking of any kind' poly inside until the St. Patty's day run in 2007.
Jimmy D, Manheim, PA