The band was ON. I've seen Ratdog several times over the years, and this was hands down the best show I have had the good fortune to witness.
From the opening jam into a hard, driving Cold Rain and Snow to the closing Brokedown Palace, the band never seemed to make a wrong move. The venue, the Mid Hudson Civic Center, known for bad sound and uncomfortable seating, was transformed by the general admisssion policy into one big mellow party. It reminded me of the Warlocks at Hampton, in terms of the totally cool vibe among the audience. The music, however, was anything but mellow, with a hard, driving sound unusual for Ratdog. There wasn't a clunker all night, with an astounding amount of jamming to be had. Playin was great, especially when they resolved back into it in the second set. Big Boss Man, which they can often sleepwalk through, was powerful and impassioned. A great trippy Bury Me Standing into a blistering Last Time left the crowd wowed, only moreso after the band launched into Weather Report Suite. Often bored by the late era Dead's Let It Grow, this just pumped so much hard edged noise into the arena, it was impossible to resist.
The second set Twilight Time opener was lovely, and the acoustic Desolation Row perfectly captured both Poughkeepise (a Desolation Row if I've ever seen one) and our struggling democracy. This lead into the aforementioned Playin reprise, and then into an alternately hard and soothing Missippi Half Step. Onto an epic Other One, which, after a long jam, segued into a totally dissonant Knockin that never resolved into the major. This was totally trippy and out there. Next, Throwing Stones, harder than the Dead, and into a smile inducing NFA. The Brokedown closer was magnificent, bringing tears of elation into many in the audience.
This was a Ratdog show that compared favorably to many of the 200+ Dead shows I was lucky enough to see. Just a rocking good time for all. Standing there, just to the right of the sound board, I once again had the feeling I used to have, that there was no better place to be on earth for those three hours. Smile, smile, smile.
Steven, Poughkeepsie, NY
What else is there to say? This show was "SMOKING"! After catching the Dog in Syracuse at State Fair, I was looking forward to yet another good show.... This blew me away. First of all, the Mid-Hudson Civic Center was more than I could have imagined. General Admission and security that was--as I could see--nonexistent, just added to a great time. I felt that that Bobby and the Dog could really connect with the crowd. From the opening Jam > Cold Rain to Playin in the first set and then Knocking > Throwing in the second set, (oh was that a slam on the "oil war"), way to go Bobby. As I heard one member of the audience proclaim at the end of the show, Thank you Bobby!!
Mike, Angelica, NY
There is but One word to describe this show - TRANSCENDENT!!
Weird Bob gave the GA aud measure for measure from a Cold Rain and Snow opener, tghat felt like he was giving a snapshot of his own life, to a full bore Last Time, driving it all back home with a Let it Grow that gave wide open vistas of Weather Report Suite from a 70s Dead show and then shutting the whole 1st set down with a balls out for breakfast Big RR Blues. Second set, same as the first. Gently coaxing the crowd into the groove with Twilight Time and Desolation Row, the Weird Bob Gang revisited Playin into Mississippi>Knockin>Stuff>Throwin stones(like it was meant it to be played). >NFA Excellent crowd pleaser. Walked us out with a beautiful Brokedown reminiscent of sooo many treeemendous Dead shows everywhere. Oh yeah, Thanks again, Hippie Bill, for the setlist and the "Thank you Bobby !!" was me. :), :), :)
4 to fly, Saugerties, NY