3/26/2008 Setlist, Photos, and Reviews


Wednesday, March 26, 2008
House of Blues
Cleveland, OH


This show was like a tale of 2 different worlds. The first set was easily the best set I have ever seen ratdog perform in 58 shows. Cassidy was an unusual opener but was greeted with open arms since i expected a mns or something else really predictable. Wrs > let it grow was magic and greatest story had my jaw dropped to the ground. It was also nice to be surrounded by folks during greatest story that recognized how awesome of a version it was to rock out to.

The 2nd set how ever with the exception of tuesday blues was flat boring and uninspiring. When the band started into silvio i wanted to start throwing shit. Would some one please get the message to the boys that no one gives a shit about tequila.

Also from i think knockin there was a guest on lead guitar dave some one ??? he was great but nothing good revive this show after it was brutally beaten to death by silvio > tequila.

All in all first set was a 10 !

second set was a 2...

and this venues sucks ass too... i don't buy into the whole mystic of HOB i think there menu, bars and theaters are shit holes...

Benny, Pittsburgh, PA
Well I know what you mean Benny, You should of just stayed in pittsburgh. All in all it was a good show, could of been much louder the Front of house engineer is horrible. This is a live show for the people that paid $40 a ticket. You shouldnt be worried about what its going to sound like on recording. All I know is I did a shot of patron then the next song was Tequila ironic????? Thanks Bobby!!!

phil, cleveland
I agree with Benny about the first set.Very Very Very "Electric"The WRS was very nice and the Cassidy Jam was Mark K's finest hour folks.SET 2 was going places,especially the Masterpiece.But after that,forget it...Average at Best.I really appreciate the boys playing the guts out,so don't get me wrong.Set one was the Best First set i have heard in a long long time.
One Grip:PEOPLE,STOP THE CHATTERING AND LISTEN TO THE MUSIC!!!!.I am big fan of having a having a "grate
time at these shows,but the chatter is just over the top.
peace and thanks again Boys!!

Brian Golenberg, Cleveland
Wasnt at this show but I've seen the dog many times and have been spared the silvio>tequila thing. but I have a feeling Im do for one. maybe thats why theres all the chit chat. sheeesh! the 1rst set looks more like a 2nd set.

desertdan, oakland
i thought the show was great and indeed the 1st set outshined the second but sense masterpiece and gdtrfb are couple of favs i really enjoyed myself it was my wifes 1st show and i don't know who that knucklehead who couldn't hold his alcohol and pissed on the floor next to me and splashed are feet you sick fuk a diffrent atmosphere and he wouldve of been ko'd but i held back my barbaric instincts but all and all great show and i'm probally truckin up to royal oaks friday!

randy, toledo oh.
This was my first dog show so I was very curious to see what they are about having listened to hours of downloads. I was also looking forward to folks' post-show reactions. Maybe my "virgin" thoughts will provide a different perspective.

I was in the balcony seats and my first comment is that the 2nd set, especially after Dave McN came on, was...and I shudder to say this...too loud, at least up there. Methinks the shape of the building had something to do with this. By too loud I mean to the distorted stage. I'm a veteran concert goer and I like loud music but this was the ear shattering type. No problem with the chatter!

Now, on to the music. I was very impressed with the band. Interesting that you say, desertdan, that the first set looked like a second set because I was thinking that during it. Seemed like they struggled to find their groove during cassidy and dark star but, thank God, finally hit stride during wrs and lig. Lazy River Road was a sweet interlude with, I thought, an above average job of singing by Bobby. Nice to hear him actually sing a melody once in a while. Indeed, Greatest Story was a jaw dropper.

I couldn't disagree more about the second set. Peggy-O seemed uninspired to me with Bobby's vocals way to low in the mix. But, Winners, Masterpiece and Tuesday Blues were masterfully done. Being my first dog show I was blown away by both Jeff and Kenny. Jeff plays a sweet organ and those piano solos throughout the show were awesome. Kenny's a vital part to the band not being simply a dead cover band and I enjoyed listening to him...and watching him work all night long. There's obviously a strong feeling against Silvio and Tequila but I loved that part of the show.

Scarlet was a much awaited sing-along and I really got a kick out of Jeff and Jay's switcheroo. Jay adds a great amount of personality to the onstage presence of the band including just the right amount of "look at me" swagger. Heaven's Door was kind of a dud as a set ender. GDTRFB was...what can you say...a perfect way to end the night. Nothin but good things to say about MK who was awesome throughout the night and Robin who does his job without flash but with an obviously great talent.

All in all I was very impressed and, if I could shave 20 or so years off I might think about moving on to more of the tour. Finally, respect required me to mention that no matter how enjoyable a show is, I really miss Jerry and thank God every day for the chances I had to see him and the hours of recordings he left behind.

Thanks for reading my thoughts submitted humbly and respectfully. Just sayin'

lookatitright, outer cleveburg
This was about my tenth RatDog show and while it wasn't the best ever it was very impressive. I have been listening to Let it Grow from a 74 Winterland show and thought this version was maybe even better and I don't think Bobby missed a line!!! The Greatest Story Ever Told was kick ass and I was begging for that song just before they broke it out!!!! While the second set was not quite as strong, probably cause Robin was obviously not feeling well, but still a great set. Bob was a happy dude most of the time..until some big dude came out to play lead and had alot of trouble leading....that kinda killed some of the buzz. GDTRFB was perfect....a great ending to my first Dog show of the spring!!!! See you in Baltimore!!

boneheadace, WEllsville ny
Hey Now, well I had a wonderful time. I knew with a Cassidy opener we were in for a ride. Darkstar/Reprise, Fennario, Silvio, I loved the set list. My ears work fine, I liked the mix, and the HOB put on another swell show. It was a full house and it was terrific to have Loonj in the House!
Soory things were'nt "exactly perfect" for Benny, but It's a Ratdog show, you got to dance to it. The crowd sure moved all night long. Maybe a shot of Tequila would help! Grate time , good show, can hardly wait for my next one!

Chief Conte, Bay village, Ohio

Maybe you ought to just stay home.

If you think there is something better going on that night than a Rat Dog show I'd like to know what it is.

The gig with all the smoke is hard to believe especially with MK going thru what he did but maybe prorities will change for the people booking the shows.

Michael Horney, Newark, De 19711
This was my 6th RD show and I took a couple old Dead Heads to their 1st RD show; we all had a blast. Here are a couple takes>

Set 1> Not a big fan of the Jam> to open a show because some don't flow too well and this one fit into the category. The Cassidy> Dark Star was solid but the real deal as mentioned before was the WRS>Let it Grow. Lazy River Rd. gave us a nice break before winding up with a a fantastic Greatest Story>Women are Smarter. Solid A for the set.

Set 2> As with the 1st set not a big fan of the way RD kicks off Set 2 and in this case it is with an acoustic set up to get the half going. Back in the day this was the big number from Jerry and the boys and now we get a mellow Peggy O? Thank God for the teleprompter because no way does Bob make it through Tuesday with out one. My friends really liked the Silvio>Tequila thing and especially the Scarlet before stuff so picky Heads let the newbies have their fun. Stuff was good but I have to say the slow tempo songs out of stuff is a downer and Knockin is just not it for me. I saw the Dark Star>Cassidy finale coming a mile away and while Dark Star noodled a littl too much for my friends they really dug the way Cassidy finished up everything. GDTRFB is a great rocking encore to send folks home dancing and McNabb did a good job with his solo during the tune. I would give the set a B.

HOB> I really don't mind this venue. I have been to many theaters and they all seem very hot and stuffy when you have a large group of dancing heads. The staff was cool and there were plenty of tasty imports to choose from at the bar not just domestic swill. My only knock was the PA was cranked up way too loud for the size of the venue. I remember at the end when the GD fired Healy and the sound in the arenas was weak and I craved for a big powerful sound from the boys, this was way too far the other way and I agree with the take it was distorted in the end. One big shout out to the crowd. While not as much of a dancin' crew these folks were ready to sing and cheer. Very loud response after the Let it Grow and Set I finish. You could tell the band was into it.

I will be back for more.

auggie, University Heights, OH
I have been going to"Dead Shows" since the early '70's, and have been to quite a few Ratdog Shows. I really enjoyed this show, over all and like some of the above reviews, thought the first set smoked, and the second set had some clunkers to it, however the second verses of Dark Star into the ending of Cassidy was grate! Yes, we could all be fine if we never had to be dragged through the Silvio etc. thing again! That is just soooo cheesey, even for Bobby!

The sound did have some issues. We were in the front of the balcony, and during the first set, Mark was way too loud in the mix. The second set did get very loud up there, my ears were hissing 2 hours after the show!

I think Mark has improved a BUNCH, still has a long way to go, and would like here him do something for his guitar sound. So glad to see him healthy!

To finish I would give the show a very strong 9 in performance and a 7 for the setlist.

Drknstormy, Cleveland, Ohio
Me and my roaddog did the ride from royal oak(detroit) to so thankfully the first set was as god as it was. during the second set i spent most ofit waiting for....something special for way psyched HOB crowd but it never came. my wife and i are going to fridays show (tomorrow) at the Royal Oak Theater. Finally Bobby comes to our hometown. They havent played Mich in quite it seems . Lets hope for something mind blowin

Mark P, Royal Oak, Mich
seen the Dog 10-12 times or so over the years...this one ranked as one the best for rocking and consistency. I had not heard Silvio-Tequila before and thought it was cool but could see how it could get old if you've heard it often.
Only RatDog would even TRY to open a concert with noodling. It did not work for me...semi-vet of Dead, JGB RD shows for last few decades.
but after that...wow. WRS just EXPLODED into a jam. wow (again).
BEST GSET I've heard...this song has never been one my top 500 but last night's cranked. Loved it.
I liked Peggy -O and never thought anybody but JG should sing it. Weir nailed it, (but he should leave Lazy River Road alone.)
The whole band just works. They're all integral. But who was this guy at the end? Not bad technically but who is he and what did he add? A little clumsy there for a few minutes.
Anyway, all-in-all an 8 to 8.5 out of 10 for me..and I have seen very few "10s" in my life. I'll keep going.
By the way...the sound sucked at HOB, as usual. muffled. Weir's vocals faded in and out for us. We stood right next to sound board. But as someone said: at least a cool beer selection and really cool staff.

mkav, solon, oh
My mom raised me on The Grateful Dead, and in '95 I begged her to take me to the show here in Buffalo, June or July. But Jerry was still alive. She said I was too young to go. In my defense I was 10 and knew that she smoked pot. Anyway my mom took my friends and I too Further Fest 2000 and I've been to "Dead", Ratdog, Phil, and other "jam" shows ever since.
So we made the trip to Cleveland and it was well worth it. One of the best Ratdog shows I've seen, that being a half dozen or so. Some of it was mellower but I liked that they didn't play every song that I hear on Sirius and most live recordings.
Also I was up front and thought that the sound was great, and there's going to be chatter at every show, deal. If you heard a drunk dude yelling really loud in between songs it was probably me. Finally Silvio>Tequila rocked those of you who don't like it can suck an egg.
Thank you Bobby and Ratdog! Peace to all!

Rob, Buffalo, NY
last minute invite w/ a little road trip to boot! just like the old days! thanks mike. have seen dozens of RD shows.. this one ranked pretty high up there.. 1rst set was in my opinion one of the best i've seen. just rippin! i was surprised 2nd set W the peggy O, winners, always liked that groove. geat fricken show... i know i know some of the slower jams can get to people but it always impresses me how patient the band can be. mk was incredible i thought ..but who in the heck was that "surprise" guest? didnt care to see that.. great work guys i'll be back

daner, buffalo,ny
For me a fair show I have seen a lot better and some worse this is atleast my fiftyth show like the open with The Cassidy Dark Star but they seemed off cant say why just didnt seem to get into rythem not to say it wasnt enjoyable peggy o was sweet and i noticed they seemed to have a fair amount of sound problems they dont seem to sound as well at clev hob saw them at agera and tower city and both of those shows ripped over and above as quick as you lit up you were hit with a flash light and ask to leave saw this happen maney times this is ratdog not not billy joel all and all there were some grate moments and some very nicely done songs 6 out of ten

longstrangetrip, cleveland
This was a fun show. The HOB has a great sound, I don't know what some of the people are talking about. I seen about forty or so shows here from all sorts of bands and I never had issues with the sound, also I am usually riding the rail too so I don't know if that has anything to do with it.
Anyway, the show was great the opening jam was kick ass and Jays new kit sounded awesome. The whole first set blew me away, easily the best first set I ever seen or heard. Second set was jamming too and not as bad as someone whined about.
It was pretty cool to see McNabb come out as I seen him play with Ratdog one other time during his very short stint with the band. Man, he was sweatin' bullets but played well.
It was kinda crazy seeing MK's radiation treatment mask sitting on his amp. We were right in front of him letting him know how awesome he is and after Masterpiece he lost it and busted out some tears. Love ya Mark. He tore it up through out the show.
I don't mind a Silvio/Tequila once in a blue moon, it picks up the pace. I haven't witnessed too many to hate it.
I really don't have any criticism of the show except for the lame sing alongs and the trolls who try to slither their way up front halfway through the show.

Jason, Eastlake, OH
Your welcome, Daner. I like to give a shout out to Chelsea, a total stranger I met on craigslist for overnighting me the tickets the day before the show. This allowed Daner and I to reunite and get to the show. I was thinking of the 17 dead shows I did see before Jerry's passing, I can't think of many, if any, i didn't see without you, daner, so it was a natural to reunite for a road trip.

As for the show, I like the venue: extremely small. There couldn't have been more than a thousand people there, tops. It was like bobby was playing in a local pub. The first set was, in my humble opinion, absolutely smoking hot and rockin. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but holy shit, I find it very hard to critique any part of that first set. It was really something especial and certainly something to remember. Second set was a bit surprising, almost like a tale of two shows, but I nevertheless was very pleased with it. Coming full circle with Dark Star-->Cassidy was definitely unexpected, but much appreciated, conclusion to the set.

I didn't think I was going to either Cleveland or Syracuse. Chelsea mailed me the tickets without receive money in return (your check's in the mail) and just this morning a buddy in 'cuse called me and said he landed two tickets for the landmark this Friday! Giddy up! Back on the road heading down the other direction of the Thruway!


Maven66, Buffalo, NY
So has Weir decided to wear the same clothes for the whole tour? Checkout the photos from previous shows on this tour.

tg, usa
This show was not great. The set list was slow. Seen a lot of shows and this one was medicore.

Jerry, Glenfield