Pulled into the "lot" around five o clock, everyone was just arriving and lot was thriving as Boneheads and Cheeseheads got their "heads" right before the show. Tenn Jed and I meet quite a few .orgers (see photos on T.J. thread) and some old and new friends before the show. As Tenn Jed and I were heading for venue we spotted Dennis at the stage door and had to go over and thank him for his kindness, as luck would have it guess who comes in from the bus? Bob! A good omen indeed, anyway enough for the meet and greet, it's time for the show.
We made our way down front to our incredible front row center seats, thanks to Ruby. For a change the band (Ratdog) started at 7:30 sharp; most people were still working their way into the venue as the Dog launched into one of their trademark jams that led to Shakedown Street, and let me tell you the Fox was shaking from the onset. I should stop to mention the one problem with our incredible seats, was the center fill speaker. What? I canít hear anything at the moment, did you say something? Anyways this speaker was LOUD and made the mix (sound) somewhat different to say the least. As we got used to the sound pressure pounding our eardrums Ratdog moved quickly through Easy Answers and She Says and landed on Eyes of the World. The band was on as Mark dazzled us with his tasty guitar work. Kenny B. pulled out the clarinet for a little journey through "Eyes." Another highlight was Robinís stellar bass solo (jam); brings back memories of early Phil really getting out there and having fun with it. Speaking of having fun, does anyone have more fun that Kenny B.? He sure looks like he having a blast or he's trashed out of his mind, one or the other. Back to the show, Bob pulls out the acoustic and launches in to a Dylan classic, "Masters of War." It seemed rather on the short side but maybe it just went by a little too fast. Which brings us to a blazin Mexicali Blues--this song may have stole the show. Johnnie Johnson's (RIP) horn section came out for this number and added some blues revue. Stewart Williams (sax) was making that pipe scream, awesome stuff. And what would Mexicali Blues be without the trumpet? The horn section stayed on for a rip roaring I Need A Miracle that was so hot it seem to raise the temperature ten degrees; Bob had to reach for a towel to deal with the sweat. Itís always good to hear Bob singing a "Bob" song from the old days. His vocals were really strong tonight and I heard him hit some pitches that surprised me, really on tonight. As they weaved Miracle into Tenn Jedís favorite of the night, "Wang Dang Doodle," The blues review was doing its thing and this was some fine St. Louis blues going down. Nice solos on this one, I have to say even Bob added a nice little solo with bends and all. Ratdog went "old school" Dead for the rest of the show. The Wheel, U.J.B. and Sugaree all were just superb. Songs like these were just what we traveled over five hours to hear, although I was hoping for "Lucky Enough" or maybe "Odessa," but it was an "old school" night and we were down and so was everyone at the Fox Theatre in St. Louis on this Saturday night. Ratdog takes cue and we are into "One More Saturday Night" and it was a real crowd pleaser. Oh man this song was fun. Time for one more--"Brokedown Palace", continuing old school, this song always leaves with that great kind feeling. Great closer and well performed on this night.
String Cheese took over and around 11:15 Bob, Jeff, Kenny and Mark came out with the Cheese and performed "Friend of the Devil," trading off vocals and solos. It was kicking. After that for us the show was over and we packed up and moved toward the door or better yet we headed back to Tennessee, Jed.
Stagger Lee and TennJed, TN/KY