11/14/2005 Setlist, Photos, and Reviews


Monday, November 14, 2005
Orange Peel
Asheville, NC


This was my first time out in about a year or so; therefore I was much anticipating this show. Even took a friend along for what would be his first Ratdog show. Arrived early and took in some sights in beautiul Asheville and by the time evening rollled around we were certainly ready. This show sold out, so when the band took the stage there was a full house waiting.

The opening jam, while not usually leaving too many clues as to what would be the opener led into a lengthy, exploratory Shakedown that found its groove and got us all excited. The funky part B (can we call it that?) to the opener laid down the funky lyric "Shake it down, shake it down down, shake it down down" This was interesting. Never heard that before. Wasn't that from an old funk tune from the 70's?

Minglewood came next and what can we say about Minglewood? The Crazy Fingers that followed Minglewood was for me the high point of the show. This has always been a favorite of mine, and tonight's version was particularly insightful and very groovy. Let me just say that it is this kind of jamming that has always been what separates this kind of music from other kinds. This is why I come to these concerts. If this stuff ever goes away (nobody else can really do it), the world will be a little bit less of a place.

Lucky Enough was raucous and energetic. I like this song. New Speedway really got a great response from the crowd. It seemed like everyone in the crowd had it at home on an album or something because everyone knew the words. I swear, in 20+ years of seeing the Dead I never learned the words to that song.

As I read the reviews on this site frequently, I am always surprised that "This Time Forever" gets glossed over or even dismissed as a song that the reviewer dislikes. It is a great song and I really hoped they would play it, and nail it they did. Shade of Grey came next and Hell, with a jam that went in and out closed out the first set.

Second set opened with a beautiful Blackbird that Weir took his customary musical license with. This band really sounds great acoustic. I think they should continue to explore more songs this way and am sure they will. A Dylan tune followed by BTW made the evening for my pal as this was his only specific request for the evening. Another satisfied customer, a convert?

The second set high point was probably the mega-climactic "Half Step" that once again took us 'a travellin'. Knockin' followed by a China-Rider closed out the set and a tired looking, possibly tour weary band returned to the stage for a real rock and roll song, The Beatles' Revolution. Thank you.

Frederick Stellato, Gastonia, NC
To answer the big question, about this “Lucky Enough > Jam (New Tune?) > Lucky Enough: there was a distinctive, separate jam in the middle of Lucky Enough – not just jamming on the bridge of LE, but a separate piece of music. It had defined tempo changes, and chord changes, and it looked like something the whole band had practiced together. It was very reminiscent of the “Stuff” segment on 10/27. They wrapped it up, finished the song, and almost came to a full stop before Sally hit the piano part of LE again. I may be very mistaken, but I’d bet money that this is one of the “new tunes” they’re working on.

Here are a few additional notes on MK’s setlist

Jam >
Shakedown >
Crazy Fingers
Lucky Enough >
new calypso tune/jam >
lady madonna jam/tease >
lucky enough
New Speedway Boogie
This Time Forever >
Shade of Gray >

Blackbird (brm@)
Masters of War (full band b@)
BTW > (b@)
1/2 step >
other one >
Stuff >
knockin' >
china >

E: revolution

To start, my only real complaint of the night: tickets were either Will-Call (for free) or Fedex (for $14) so almost everyone was in the Will-Call line, which didn’t open until 7:30. That was a definite mess, but thanks to the late start, most everyone was in before the music started.

The show was sold out, and here were a steady undercurrent of ticketless folks outside – with money, not begging – who had planned to score at the door. And being Asheville, of course, which is a hippie enclave, there was a pretty heavy wooky-dready presence at the show.

Preshow meet with MK, LazySuz, Picasso (_._), Gibby and Janice was great. Jamie made it from ATL in plenty of time, and was ready for some fun. Before the show we also met Heidi the Lurker and Jeff. We looked and looked for the elusive Mr. Larry, but he about as easy to find as Sasquatch and Nessie. The Orange Peel is basically just a typical small concert box – big stage up front, a bar on the side, and a nice big dance floor – the big room was maybe 80’ x 60’ and the capacity for the building was under 1000. Security was only there to push cigarette smokers out to the porch (joints and bowls were no problem.)

Finally at 8:50, the lights go down, and Jay steps out from the curtain.

As soon as Jay stepped out, he picked up a drumstick and immediately started on the drums, before he even sat down. Bobby was wearing the Pirate Shirt, which usually seems to herald a nice evening ahead. Everyone just picked up their instruments and leapt straight into the jam – no tuning or anything. ENERGY, INTENSITY and FUN were the 3 things that came to mind to describe the show. In 9 years of watching this band, this was the most high energy upbeat ‘Doggie show I’ve ever seen. And the MVP of the night was Jay Lane. Everyone who keeps saying Jay needs to kick it up a notch (Shaggy, this means you!) please PM me your addy, and I will send you a copy o the show as soon as I get it. Bob, Robyn, and Mark were notably on fire last night, but Jay was an absolute fury unleashed~ He totally shined on every song he played with the possible exception of TTF & Knockin (drummers hate ballads, what can ya do?) and his vocals were fantastic. Most people don’t realize that besides Bob, the primary voice you hear is Jay~ his vocals were great all night.

The Jam straight into Shakedown was strong – very upbeat, but it was “telegraphed” - you knew from the opening beat that Shakedown was coming. Shakedown was good and very enjoyable. The jam was pretty good, and very fast and intense. Mingle wood was quite enjoyable after that with Mango adding lots of color. Kenny horns add a lot to the blues tunes Bob picks. And FWIW, the Bob’s slide playing was tasteful and enjoyable.

Crazy Fingers was well-played….I’ve never been a fan of the song (ever) but it was enjoyable at first, then when they got to the bridge, it really opened up – I was totally getting off on the jam in the last half of the song. Finished with a big crescendo and everyone was real happy. What’s next…..quiet….they’re not tuning, but Jeff is teasing a quiet, tasty piano riff – and boom, it’s Lucky Enough, in all it’s beauty. I LOVE this song. My last 3 Dog shows they’ve played it (thanks Bob!) Now in the middle of Lucky Enough, where the bridge usually is – they launched into a whole different piece of music. A fast-paced jam, with Jeff all over the baby grand, it had the feel of a whole different song – almost done but not quite. As I said above, I think this is one of the new tunes. The band members were “talking” back and forth throughout the jam, particularly Bob, communicating in turn with Mark, Jeff and Robyn. It really looked like they were “road testing” a new one. Then they concluded the song, and basically came to a full stop, as Jeff again started the piano riff of Lucky Enough – and the conclusion to Lucky Enough was mighty tasty.

New Speedway was unfortunately a sing-along. And the crowd wasn’t in time with Bob’s vocal changes. It was very well-played, and will sound killer from the SBD, but the crowd’s vocals were a bit distracting. The band was totally locked together at this point and it was very nice. Bob had one of his 2 missed lyrics here, but I think the crowd was largely to blame for that. At this point, I’m thinking an uptempo set closer would be nice, and Bob launches into This Time Forever. A good choice from the Bobby ballads collection~ I’ve always enjoyed this one (and it beat the hell out of Ship or Senor.) The best part is that TTF leads to Shade of Grey~ SOG completely rocked the house. Robyn and Mark were layin’ down the groove and it was amazing. Robyn’s bassline was literally shaking the floor and you just FELT the bass from head to toe. Jay was working with Robyn to bring the house down, Kenny was on the touchpad, Bob and Mark were trading licks, and Bob hit the “Like a stone!” perfectly.

At the big conclusion, we’re figuring that must be the closer, when they rip right into Bucket. Very nice. I always preferred Bucket as a closer rather than an opener, and it wrapped up the set nicely, even with the mandatory falsetto howls from Bob - “Riiii-iiiide!” At 10:16, we’ll be back in just a little bit.
At setbreak, we recharged our energies, hit the head, compared setlist notes, and regrouped. We found Blow Away (great to meetcha finally), and then who should appear, but the legendary, mythical Mr. Larry, with Brian Brian as well. It turns out they had been there partying most of the day already~

10:44 houselights went back down…

What will the acoustic opener be? Bob, Mark and Robyn come out to play acoustic. A pretty little jam turns into Blackbird. Not always a fan of this but it was a pretty little tune, and you could see the guys having fun playing it. The acoustic tunes like this just seem to work better in a small intimate venue, where you’re standing 30 feet away from them. They finish Blackbird, and the whole band comes out, even Kenny…Mark & Robyn go electric, but Bobby keeps the acoustic. They start strumming and the first chord is very dark – we automatically assumed it was Victim. And then Jay just lays into the drums, a very martial, in-your-face, militant beat, driving, pounding, and Masters of War is whipping the room into a frenzy. I have a big note on my handwritten setlist beside MOW: “ANGRY!!!” That’s the only word to describe it. It was powerful, Bob was totally spot on with the vocals, and Jay was relentless. They kept getting louder and LOUDER, and the music just kept getting darker. MK was doing this fantastic thing with his geetar, scratching back and forth on the strings, which was just plain freaky, and then tapping his fingers really fast on the top string, creating all kinds of weird sounds. This may have been the absolute highlight of the night. I heard the MOW’s before this – and all of them were in an acoustic slot, and seemed dark and brooding, but kind of quiet. This was just over-the-top powerful.

Full stop and huge applause….and then they’re plucking out the opening to Black Throated Wind. Started slow and quietly, then quickly built in intensity. Again, Jay and Robyn were totally driving this tune to higher peaks. Mark was paying his ass off, breaking a string (2nd from the bottom, no I don’t know which one that is) and barely missing a beat as he yanked the busted one out of the way. As BTW was wrapping up, Bob picks up the Ibanez, and they’re flying straight into Mississippi ½ Step. Overall a very nice version, with some beautiful 6-part harmonies from the band (yes, everyone was singing.) Unfortunately this song also suffered a bit from the sing-along in the crowd. The crowd wasn’t always in sync with the band. And Bob had his 2nd vocal flub of the night, totally hosing the 2nd verse. He was laughing right along with us. J

FWIW, Bob’s geetar work all night was inspired. He was having a great night, as was the whole band. I haven’t mentioned Jeff and Kenny as much as the other guys, but they were solid all night. The last show I saw (Charlottesville in August), Kenny was the star of the show~ last night he had a great show, and was there just you when he was needed all night, but last night belonged to Jay. Best of all, everyone was smiling and looked like they were having a great time on stage. When they have fun on stage, it makes it extra fun to be out front watching.

Half Step flows right into The Other One……quite unexpectedly (they’re not supposed to play this until after Stuff, right?) Again, Robyn and Jay are a force to be reckoned with. You could feel the power flowing from the stage. Kenny’s on the touchpad again, and Bob still has the Ibanez, and it’s beautiful. One of the better RD O1’s I can remember. Stuff was Jay’s turn in the spotlight, and he really shined. Kenny was on percussion, and Jeff, Robyn and Mark were playing hard. They really looked ~ energized. I think the new tunes have everyone excited.

Bob came back out (with the blue ax again) and Jay finished the jam with a big flourish. Then it was time for the late-2nd set slow song, and tonight’s choice was Knockin’. An enjoyable sing-along song, obviously heartfelt and personal, but I was ready for more……The boys delivered with China > Rider. A nice closer to the set, and the >, which to me is the central part of any China > Rider, was done very well indeed. Again, 6-part harmonies to finish the night, and he crescendo and close.

The encore break was only about 1 minute. A few tuning noodles, and a chord here & there, and MK and I are both thinking JBG….another chord, and LazySuz says, “Oh no, not US Blues!”, and we’re still not sure, then Bob & MK both hit the opening geetar licks of Revolution. It took us all by surprise! It was fun and groovy, and something refreshing, when we expecting the same old, same old. Bob & the boys weren’t quite sure how and when to end it, so we got a bit of a false ending and a couple more choruses – all the while Bobby was making faces at Mango and Sally, who were cracking up.

The boys took their closing bow at 12:10, and truly, a good time was had by all. They looked sincerely happy to be there, and appreciative of the loving crowd, and we were certainly thrilled to be there with them.

ZHB, Charlotte, NC
Excellent fantastic synergy with the band. Half-Step. Shakedown. Black-Throated Wind--which was my first time at a live show, and I saw the Dead over 100 times--was excellent. This was the closest thing to a Dead show I have seen, and I have seen The Other ones and the Dead twice each. Better than Phil and Friends with Warren Haynes. Jam-boogie-time-fuckin-feets-don't-fail-me-now show. I was totally straight and danced hard the whole show.

BC, Hazleton, NC
WOW is all I can say. After seeing the Penn's Peak setlists and then hearing that Woostah was a bit of a drag (and dreading the "due" Dark Star), I didn't know what to expect. The boys delivered HARD. Powerful is the word I would use to describe the show followed by "off the cuff," as very little was expected or routine. Setlist first:

Crazy Fingers
Lucky Enough>
new calypso tune/jam>
lady madonna jam/tease>
lucky enough
New Speedway Boogie
This Time Forever>
Shade of Gray

Masters of War
1/2 step
other one

E: revolution

First off, cheers to ZHB (who brought bucoup of music), lazysuz & george, jamie (who was in FINE shape), the elusive Mr. L & his bud brian, blow away........

The initial jam was somewhat lackadaisical (from the opening drum line, the Shakedown seemed inevitable), but the jam had some China teases that made me think we were going to start there, but NO!

I have heard better Shakedowns from this band, but when they broke it down at one point w/ "shake it down, shake it down now, shake it down, shake it down now," I had to smile..... Minglewood rocked, although I think they dwell too much on the transition riff & don't explore the harmonic complexities & chord runs that this song has inherent to it..... Crazy Fingers was OK (never my favorite) but the texture was sweet......

OK, I love "Lucky Enough" so was glad to hear the opening chords and then midway through they made a departure into a calypso-tinged jam that seems to be one of the "new" tunes but w/ no vocals.....then Jeff busts out the opening piano chords to "Lady Madonna" & then they tuck it back to finish "Lucky".

New Speedway had grit & edge and was amazing. Then "This Time Forever" seemed to drag down the mood/tempo but once the segue was made into "Shade of Grey," the boys were rocking the house w/ the coda & then brought it all home w/ a rousing Bucket.

2nd set Blackbird was picturesque if nothing else... SWEET. Then what do we have? "Victim"?...... NO!!

Masters of War I had never heard live, but these guys rocked the hizzow w/ it. The BTW was one of the forceful & powerful I have ever heard!

Then, out of the blue, 1/2 STEP!! Besides bobby botching the 2nd verse lyrics and getting a large laugh from the crowd, it was beautiful.

The Other One rocked HARD followed by a sweet jam sans Senor Weir. Upon hearing the chords for "Knockin'" I was disappointed, but it really was a very nice, soulful version. The China-Rider was mostly inspired, although during the transition I was concerned that this outfit would not pull it off, yet they did magnificently....

Then the encore......REV-A-FUCKING-LUTION!!! Too sweet!!

Mountain King, Durham, NC