This post isn't for the regulars. Rather, its for those who've never seen Ratdog or the Dead. I'm not a Deadhead. I only know the names of several Dead songs. I've never listened to Ratdog. And I'm not gonna talk about "Bobby this" and "Bobby and the boys that," like every other post I read prior to going to the Orlando show. I will say that I've never seen so many people singing and dancing together at any show anywhere. What a vibe for a newbie. Unconditional love everywhere. For the band. For each other. I can only imagine what it would have been like in the day when Jerry was at the helm. If they went so nuts for Ratdog, then the Dead must have been, well, the best live band ever. But most of you already knew that :)
Shane, Orlando, FL
How can that show only get a 5.9? Are these people insane? That show was so hot and so energized it was even better then Saturday night's show...... We loved everything about that show, and the setlist was awesome. The band was so tight and having such fun together and with the audience. I am so exhausted. I loved every minute of the weekend... what terrific music and so needed for me. I lost my Dad to lung cancer two weeks ago this past Sunday. It was as if Bobby knew I was there and what I needed. I loved the songs, the energy and the band. I could see them every night.......
Peggy Fallik, Coral Springs, FL
It has been two years since my last RatDog show, so you can guess my hightened anticipation for this event. The House of Blues itself is a beautiful place to see a show, with the all wood decor to the three plus bars surrounding the stage area and the sound quality and the mere fact that it's in Disney world; but the security was Nazi-esque to say the least; they seemed to have no patience with anyone dancing too hard, smoking herb, or any other infraction that they deemed untolerable. Hence the vibe was off for me and some of the friends I attended the show with. I have not seen people being dragged off and fighting their way out at a RatDog show before. It reminded me of the final years of the Grateful Dead, when the younger generations began to storm the stage and cheat their way in. Bobby seemed to notice some of the happenings down on the floor; it even threw him off his playing for a brief second. I will not return to the House of Blues for any other shows.
Now on to the music; the first set was boring and not well thought out. By now you would think that Bobby would want to capture his audience. He only achieved this during "Golden Road" and "Loose Lucy". The second set was a little better, but to open with "Masters of War" was a little disappointing; it should have been in the middle of the set. The latter half of the set was much better with "Dear Prudence" and "GDTRFB," but oto little too late comes to mind. Out of the 14 RatDog Shows I've seen this is second from the bottom. Oh well, there's always next year.
Robert C. Gruver, St. Petersburg, FL
This was an amazing show. Yes, I've been a Deadhead since 1970, but anyone trying to compare Ratdog to the Dead is missing the point. (Hey, I heard Paul McCartney was in a band before Wings.) Bobby and the boys own this repertoire in their own way. This great big sing-along has nothing to do with nostalgia, it is about being here and now in a very high place.
I thought the set list was inspired. The rhythm of the night was the result of all Bobby's experience, leading each of us through the emotions we were destined to go through that night.
Michael Fixel, Jacksonville, FL
It has been two years since I last saw Ratdog. I wish the show could have maintained more of the energy. The show was very up and down. Bobby has a weird view when it comes to stringing songs together. Now I now why Phil and Jerry called the tunes. Ratdog rules and I would see them any time they are close. I have traveled all over the east coast to see Ratdog, and it was worth it every time.
Cal, Melbourne, FL
WOW! This show was awesome! I have been a fan of Bob and the GDs music for about 15 years but have not got to see to many shows. However, I listen at least five hours daily. The show was unreal. After going, I packed up and went to the three following shows. There was so much fun and dancing! What a great show, at a great venue. Great mix!!! The show was A++, and gets a 10.
Wes Johnson, Orlando, FL
My first Ratdog show in years; the last time I saw a member of the Dead was Donna in Nashville with DSO in January. To hear Playin to open I knew I wouldn't hear it again for two hours or so. I never liked Picasso Moon much until tonight, and the rest of the first set was good with a strong LRR, and a good Loose Lucy. Masters of War was a nice one to hear but not to start the set; it took a while to get going that night. Playin came back as I guessed and the Beatles ending was very nice. By US Blues, I had more whiskey than blood and enjoyed a great amount. Not the best, but good enough for a two and a half year Ratdog hiatus.
Borquette, Orlando, FL