Absolutely loved it! Bobby and the boys were tight. The guest appearences by Donna Jean and Jimmy brought beauty and a rush of energy. The opening set was a killer! Overall, a really great night.
Jeremy Moore, Chattanooga, TN
Great setlist but didn't seem as rockin' as 11/15. The venue was uncomfortably HOT. Far more unpleasant than Tuesday night. It was nice to see Donna Jean, but she's like the old friend you only want to run into every so often. She & Bob did some nice work on the Wheel. Jimmy was smokin' as usual. Bobby seems to be getting his head right again, beatin' demons and kickin' ass.
A.Peacock, Canton, GA
My bud Chris and I decided to catch the last Atlanta show and on the way down listening to some Europe 72 started talking about who nice it would be for Donna Jean to sing with Bob again. We arrived on time, got our tickets and settled in. And hey what a nice, non-Nazi venue the Variety is, will be back again. The lights went out and Ratdog started their intro Jam about 8:50. Then out she came, welcomed warmly by the audience, and started in on Here comes Sunshine like I hadn't heard for 30 years now! She left the stage as the band broke into a very nice Easy Answers leading into a great rendition of Senor (love Bob singing Dylan). She then reappeared for a crowd rousing Youngblood. But it was the Brown Eyed Woman/Ramble on Rose that propeled the show into that next level of awesome sound like having an acid flashback. Just when we thought it couldn't get better they busted out a Golden Road which totally brought the house down (It's the song that's been going through my head for days now). Then Donna exited again and Bob sang a beautiful Lazy River Road (If theres one thing that's better than Bob singing Dylan, it's when he does a Jerry song). Then came a Jack Straw that was perhaps the best I ever heard the Dog perform to close the 1st set. They seemed to melt into a one musical soul where the total is so much more than the individual parts.
The 2nd set opened up with a beautiful acoustic Me and My Uncle. Mark's acoustic lead was so good, I wonder some country superstar hasn't tried to steal him from Bob...What a great talent. Then as they ended a nice Masterpiece out comes Jimmy Herring. The powerful Even So/October Queen that followed provided a platform to show just how good 2 lead guiters can sound. And the Estimated Prophet (with Donna again) was perhaps the peak of the night, the enitre band just taking it higher and higher. But perhaps not for the Wheel that follwed was unbelieveably good! Then the obligatory Drums, etc....At this point I will be sacreligous. I believe Jeff Chimenti is the best Keyboard man that ever played a Dead tune and that includes Vince, Brent, Keith, Pigpen, and even Bruce (And I love/loved all of them). Jeff just does so much to make the Dog into the best Music out there. An earlier review on the tour mentioned seeing the Dog after attending the Cream reunion concert in NY and commenting how much better Ratdog was...I was thinking the same thing after seeing the Rolling Stones. But I digress, The SOTM that followed actually brought tears to my eyes it was so hauntingly beautiful. But then they turned up the pace with a rocking Two Djinn that was so good we figured it was the last song it being 12:20 already. But just when we thought it was over along comes one of my all time fav's...Lovelight, and how they made it shine that night. They turned it inside out and had everyone dancingt. Then the encore, a Brokedown Palace with Donna adding so much to the harmony, sounding like something from the 70's. A show to remember...get the CD, it will become a favorite.
Butch Worrell, Goodlettsville, TN
I was down in Atlanta for training that week, and they happened to be in town, so I took a cab down to the Variety Theater to see them. It wasn't sold out, so I got my ticket and went around the back to Shakedown Street. It was a particularly cold night for Atlanta, but I managed to hook up with some kids. We did a little trading and sharing and I headed inside after a bit. Tiny venue, and not sold out so plenty of room to move around. Even got a nice seat close to the front to go to when I got tired of standing. Donna Jean Godcheaux sang backup. What a nice treat. Her voice was in great form, and there were some tender moments between her and Bobby. The first set was great with Here Comes Sunshine, Youngblood, Brown-Eyed Women, Ramble On Rose, The Golden Road to Unlimited Devotion, and Lazy River Road. Maybe it was me, but I got the feeling he was really missing Jerry on Jack Straw. A really powerful, angry title hook/chorus, followed by the most delicate "we can share the women...."
The crowd really got going in the second set with When I Paint My Masterpiece. I can't remember which song, but Jimmy Herring joined them onstage and there were a couple of blistering jams, which fairly exploded into Estimated Prophet. Unfortunately, I had to bail out as it was coming onto midnight and I was worried I wouldn't be able to get a cab or a bus back to my hotel. From the setlist, it looks like it must have gone on past 1am. I'm kicking myself now.
Buttercup, Wilmington, DE
I was exhausted from the night before. I kept thinking 'how are they going to TOP the intensity of the night before.' Then I saw her sitting near the back with silver hair and a familiar smile. And then she walked out front and started singing; could it be her, YES it is Donna Jean!!! YEA!!!! Too AWESOME of a SHOW. I wonder if some of the people had any idea how fantastic it was to add her sound in with what I consider an excellent continuation of everything that was beautiful about the Grateful Dead. Bob should bring Kenny and play with Phil at the Fox in December. Maybe Jimmy will.
Jeff, Atlanta, GA
This show was absolutely wonderful. I didn't even think about going until around 4pm Wednesday afternoon when I said I couldn't believe Bob Weir was in town for two shows and we weren't going to either one. I decided that if I could find a friend to go with me I would take my chances on tickets being available-and amazingly I did find a friend to go with me, got there on time, got two tickets and a parking place right beside the venue. Sometimes things just happen that way--as though somehow I was supposed to be there.
It was an absolutely beautiful clear moonlit night as I drove down town and I knew the band would play Standing on the Moon which was lovely. I would say the band and its leader are definitely inspired!-very interesting!
For the life of me I can't understand why it wasn't sold out and why Bob Weir isn't playing much much larger audiences-obviously people are just not aware how amazing this band is.
I think my favorite songs of the evening were Senor and Youngblood--very very nice! Although the energy was so great that even songs I don't normally care so much for sounded the best I've ever heard them.
The guy sitting next to me commented after the first set that this show was magic, and I do believe there was some of that in the air! I had such a great time just watching the show from the balcony and experiencing the incredible energy that I didn't make it to the dance floor until Lovelight, which was unfortunately the next to last song of the evening. Too bad, because I could have danced for hours more, but I know it was already after 1am.
I ordered a copy of the first nights show that I missed and I must say the second of the three CDs from that show is my favorite (so far). A great Corrina and Might As Well. I've listened to it in my car for a week now and sing the songs all the time. I can't wait to get a copy of Wednesday nights show, and I look forward to the next time Ratdog is in town. :)
I believe I read some place that Bob Weir considers himself a story teller and an actor when on stage and I would say he has made great strides at perfecting his craft. He looked and performed the best I've ever seen--a master at his art. It was a wonderful performance and I hope to never miss another show. Will not miss Phil and Friends in a couple weeks either!
GC, Atlanta, GA