Waiting as usual outside the venue it all began with a pleasant surprise. The manager of the venue, a very nice lady, informed me that there was going to be a Halloween parade, which was an annual event. I though nothing of it really due to the fact going to shows is a Halloween parade of its own. Little did I know this one was to be marked by a special event, the local middle school band was leading the parade. They were not only leading the parade but they were also playing SHAKEDOWN!!!! What a kick in the pants! It was too cool for school to say the least.
Fast forward 30 minutes.... Doors open and security was nice. The usual pat down but no rape and pillage. I was first in and made my way down to the front,stopping only to say hello to Dennis McNally for a second. There was about 15 feet of pit between the stage and the first rows of seating.T iffany was already up there waiting, and I chose a location just right of Bobby's mic stand between him and Robin. Within 10 to 15 minutes the place started filling up and the energetic buzz that always preceeds a show was in the air. The rail line up in the middle was L to R Tiffany, RockandRoll, Scherie, Her Daughter, Bird, Myself, Ripplebear and Dave. Right behind Bird and me were Jammin John and Rich. The rest were a blur of faces and names I cant remember. So on with the show.
Ten minutes late or so the boys came out and opened with a nice jam. It sounded familiar and I looked at Bird--she smiled and said Golden Road.... Three or four bars later, "See that girl barefootin along".... Energetic with a nice tempo. It concluded back into a jam and this one I picked up on immediately... Jack Straw! It kicked ass and I was so ready for it as well. It ran its course with Mark coming out of his shell ripping the notes out while we dug a shallow grave.... This eventually gave way to a jam of notes I know so well--Dark Star. It was only a jam, no words, but none were needed at this point. Was not expecting it at all, didn't even see Bobby reach for the slide but next thing I know weir into Lil Red Rooster. Awesome slide work by Bob with nice back up by the band. Kenny taking a solo and Jeff taking one as well tickling the ivories on the grand. It was hard for me to tell at first if it was going to be a Jus' Like Mama but it soon became apparent that Tennessee Jed was in town when MK hit those telltale notes. The whole crowd seemed to be really into it and we were all going back to Tennesseeeeeeeee. Salt Lake City had been played at soundcheck but I thought nothing of it until it broke loose next. Very up and one of the most energetic tunes of the evening. Then powpow pow there was a Book of Rules. Very good and I was thinking of Jammin and me being builders with our bag of tools. Couldn't believe my ears when Bob started strumming and Watchtower was into full mode in seconds. First set and it was hot. MK absolutely ripped it up, kicking ass on the lead, as he is prone to doing, but this was very good and over the top at times wooo hooo! I thought for sure this was going to be the end of set but a Dark Star jam followed and it got really weird, no I mean Really weird. So strange it almost lost the crowd, but I stayed with it and finally it gave way to the first verse and brought everyone back into the fold. A little anti-climatic at the end but a quality first set to say the least.
Thirty minutes later and the lights were dimming again.Set two was upon us. A little jam and right into The Winners. I had to laugh to myself traveling alone this trip as the Kippling poem hit home. It was Monday but we all had the Tuesday Blues next. Good rendition and I dig the song. It was good to go. It concluded and MK broke loose on the lead of Black Throated Wind with Bob still on the black Alvarez. This was a highlight to say the least with Bobby belting out the lyrics. Sooo good. Picasso Moon was next and I although I loved it, the crowd seemed to be just okay with the choice. Well if they didn't care for that too much there was no denying that the opening notes to Weather Report Suite gripped us all. Jammin turned to me and said "that makes your trip up here all worth while huh?" Yes it did but I was already pleased beyond.... This was just icing on the cake and a tasty cake it was too. A slight fumble of words during Let It Grow went almost unnoticed, and if it was noticed, the jam that followed made it disappear entirely. It was the largest LIG I have ever had the pleasure to witness. Just when it was ending Bob took it out for another spin around the block reiterating the power of this song. Stuff was on the agenda next which started with Jeff trickling out of LIG with Robin easing in some backup. Then it was time for the odd but killer sticks on strings with Jay and Robin double-teaming the Thunderbird. This was followed by an amazing display of Soup in action with Jay back on the drums. I might add here that Jay had a one man circus going on all night back there with sticks flying and flipping. No way around it... he's a nut. Stuff was over and it was time to Knock on Heaven's Door... very touching. A little more Dark Star followed with the second verse coming forth. GDTRFB busted loose and we were all headed where those chilly winds don't blow. It brought the house down. Now that is a set ending song if ever there was one with a reprise right at the end...awesome awesome awesome.
After a minute or so of cheers the boys came out for an almost a capella Attics. Very nice--if only the people behind me could have shut up I could have enjoyed it even more, still a very nice and complete show with stellar performances by all involved. Praise be to the Dog!
Patrick, Tallahassee, FL
I have to say that this was quite a memorable show. I just moved back to Syracuse from Providence and catching a Dog show was just what I needed.
The First set was killer. All I can say GOLDEN ROAD OPENER > JACK STRAW! Dark Star theme throughout the show was perfectly placed and performed. (I usually find it weak and a bit boring). Little Red Rooster is one of my favorite jams. Tennessee Jed was a great treat. Salt Lake City was a first for me and I dug it. Watchtower was best I've ever heard it.
The second set lacked some of the energy from first but was still amazing. There were a lot of great jams happening. Stuff and drums were cool. The highlight was the majestic Weather Report Suite Prelude Part One > Let It Grow. Wow.
The only low point of the show was the Attics of my Life encore. I was disappointed. The way the show went, I was expecting something to really finish off the night. I appreciate the a capella and thought it was sung very well, but I don't think that it made sense considering the rest of setlist. The venue was great though nothing can compare to Lupo's in Providence. One of the best shows I've seen. Looking forward to Nov. 9th Mohegan Sun.
Chris, Syracuse, NY