7/3/2008 Setlist, Photos, and Reviews

Gov't Mule opened

Thursday, July 3, 2008
The Joint
Las Vegas, NV


Great stuff. The show opened and closed strong. The Tomorrow Never Knows-Playin Sandwich-Deal were spectacular and cracklilng with energy, especially the Playin reprise into Deal. Had a '77 feel to it. That was a treat.

Bobby sounded great, best Dead material I've heard for a long time from either Phil or Bobby, though this is the first I've seen from Bobby in a while and I haven't seen anything else on this tour. Also loved the St. Stephen-Eleven closer with the Brokedown Palace encore.

Mule was good, though I'm not too big on Warren Haynes guitar style, and I dont know any of their music, so I cant provide any insight.

While waiting outside the venue inside the casino, I observed this couple, who were decked out in typical Vegas clubbing gear, approach one of the bouncer's to ask who was playing. After he told them, they looked perplexed and he said "its a Deadhead thing" and they walked away. What a great way to start the night. The casino (relatively small for Vegas standards) was packed with deadheads, a welcome change from the typical Vegas scene. Good small venue indoors, good crowd. Please come back soon!

Jeff, Las Vegas/Detroit
Thanks Jeff, for the good, positive review.

I hope some more folks can write reviews about what they liked, instead of complaining about so many things they didn't like.

In my mind, Ratdog has gotten exponentially better in the last 3 years or so, and continue to do so. Keep coming back for more.

Looking forward to the last 2 shows of this tour up in Saratoga.

Ben Anderson, Burlingame, CA
IMHO.... Aside from sound issues and a couple of forgotten notes/ words,not that unusual,.........Tommorrow never Comes, A......Playin in the Band
C-........MamaSaid, A.....Deal,A..(even with the mistakes)KC Moan,A.....Corrina ,B...Last Time ,B.....Ashes And Glass ,A..........Black Muddy..A+,St.Stephen..A+..William Tell,sorry cant remmember,the Eleven,A+,Brokedown PaLace,A+, OG Kush..A

morningdewd, las vegas
WOW!! After reading all the complaining from the early tour dates I had no expectations at all and was actually preparing for a dud. This show had so much energy and vibe it lifted me way up. The band was tight and seemed to be really enjoying themselves and the fans were so emotional and into it, it was just like old times. Hats off to Bobby and the boys for continuing to make it happen for us fans who so very much "need a show" from time to time. Thanks for delivering, I know I'll be back for more.

CrazyC, Sterling, VA
I thought the show was bad. I think its time for Bobby to hang it up. He looks awful . He's got a gut. I didnt feel any energy in the crowd. Maybe it was a off night but he needs to put out a better product then that. I just got back from seeing WSP in LA and Redrocks for the same ticket price and his show didnt match up to any of the 6 shows I seen. I am a Bobby fan and I hate to see and hear what I did last night. But I will go back when he comes . Because its always fun.

Scott , , las vegas
Scott, I missed the vegas show, but went to Indio and the SD shows, but I have to point out that I think it's terribly unfair for you to say that Bobby should hang it up because he has a gut and looks awful.

His music has changed, yes, it's gotten slower yes, and you know what? I love it! for the first time in YEARS he looks like he's actually enjoying what he's doing, and like this is HIS band and HIS ideas.

I've always said that it's about the evolution of the music itself... if you listen to any song you can hear the way it has evolved over the decades, Sugar Mag is a great example.. when it first came out it sounded like a cowboy song, fast and jerky, then sometime in the mid 70's it became this wild jam with soaring vocals... then in the 80's it became this booming closer, and by the 90's man that song could last well over 15 minutes with everyone chiming in on a solo...

If anyone wants something that sounds like it did back in 72, then buy europe 72, or any year for that matter...

the music is what it is now, and I for one and appreciative of Bobby still finding enough passion in what he does to continue to change and augment the arrangements to make them sound fresh and new.

Or we could just give up all together and go see DSO....

Rachel, Los Angeles
Ditto Rachel's comments and I'll just add that we'd prefer you stay at home next time Scott instead of showing up and bringing down the whole scene!

Kerry, Burlington, NC
I don't know where Scott was hanging out during the show, but down on the floor it was high engery, dancing, singing, jamming. Lots of emotion. Were we at the same show???

CrazyC, Sterling, VA
Thanks Rachel from LA, and Kerry from Burlington:

- for helping rid our positive group of fun-loving Ratdog heads of the ridiculous comments (and presence) of folks that obviously are not enjoying the show because of the state or space that they themselves are in, or Bob Weir's appearance, (how many deadheads got pissed off when Jerry Garcia got fat?) or Ratdog's choice of songs that evening.

It is what it is, be here now, enjoy this wonderful band's music as it evolves, with all the passion and enthusiasm and good energy that we can muster, and pass along back to the band.

Maybe these people will indeed do themselves and us a huge favor by staying home in the future and watching DVD's of the Grateful Dead, or go see DSO as Rachel suggested.

Ben Anderson, Burlingame, CA
I've been on this leg since Indio and have had a total blast, each night! I've heard every possible critique there could be. While everyone is entitled to have an opinion, let's remember that whenever we hopped on the bus, we've continued to come for the music and community. Let's enjoy it while we can. There's no need for negative comments. I remember days and nights when the boys were blowing our minds that, as far as I was concerned, all of us were at the center of the universe, a part of that synergistic organism that we called a show. The band was at the helm and were bigger than anything we could possibly imagine. When there's an off night, that just always reminded me of the fact that we're all human, but they always make up for it somehow. The fact that Bobby, Phil, Mickey and Billy are still forging ahead is a testament to the passion for playing and allowing us to be able to do what we live for. Not only have the shows on this tour all had many many outstanding moments, remember we get to dance, sing and play with our closest friends. I love the Dead and the branches of that magnificent tree with all my being. I've met, over the last 25 plus years, the most incredible people, in and around this scene, some of which have become my best friends. The music is always at the heart of it all, and we all shae that pasion. I don't understand why some decide they need to give the experience a grade. It's not about that. If they think they can do it better, maybe should ask the band to become their coach. That's just my opinion. Looking forward to more great times and hope to meet more of you soon.

Gratefulygroovin :)

Ivan, Santa Paula, CA
Bobby was on fire again. The west coast shows have been great. Anybody who wants to complain or doesnt like Bobby shouldnt go or be in this forum. The LA show was spectacular. Looking forward to Saratoga shows. See ya there!

mr.fantasy, ca
Look, everyone is entitled to their opinions. But I'd like to reiterate that my experience was very much in line with CrazyC's. I had been out of the loop for a little while and was in the "very much 'need a show'" vibe. Down on the floor in front of the band, there was a spirit and energy that I had been missing for some time. It was great to be back around family and friends and be a part of the positive synergy being transmitted back to the band. We danced and sang and jammed all night. I saw nothing but great big smiles for a couple hours. If that was not the case in other parts of the Joint in the Hard Rock, then I'm sorry you missed out.

Was it the greatest show in the history of music on earth. Of course not. But for an evening, it was a wonderful rebirth to see Bobby and friends tap back into that collective unconscious and remind everyone that the Dead's spirit is timeless and will never die.

I've seen WSP and Haynes and Herring countless times, and they just dont do it for me, and neither do their fans. I've conversed with many over the years who try and say bobby or phil or the dead just dont measure up to Phish, or WSP, or String Cheese, or whoever, and thats fine, if you want to go see jambands then go see them. However, conversations I have with people who are truly passionate about the Dead's music is about what they love and enjoy about them, not about trying to compare them with other bands (which, btw, is a futile effort) or "rate" them. We're grateful for what we get.

But IMHO, I'll take Bobby with gray hair and a gut rockin out to Playin and the Eleven, in that real earthy laid back psychedelic country funk rock blues, anyday. I dont need light shows or dope or whatever. Just give me some of those people with smiles on their faces who were dancing down on the floor, loving every minute, letting the music's infectious groove take a hold of their soul. Even at his age and weight, he still has a way of just tapping into that mysterious pulse and rhythm inside me that those other bands cant seem to reach.

I dont usually make a presence on message boards. I just wanted to let others know what I enjoyed. Thanks again to all the folks around me that helped make my evening particularly memorable.

Jeff, Las Vegas/Detroit
Thanks Jeff,

Comparing Ratdog with WSP, Phish, String Cheese, Phil & friends, etc. is a futile exercise. Truthfully, comparing any excellent band with a completely different excellent band is a bit hilarious, don't ya'll think?

I gather that most folks complaining about Ratdog are undoubtedly the ones yapping throughout the whole show, aided with a fair amount of alcohol.

Ben Anderson, Burlingame, CA
Come to Charlotte or anywhere nearby and we'll truly be Grateful...Love me some Ratdog!!!!

Remeber the tale of the Story Teller...enjoy now for ya never ...???

CaseyJonesed, Charlotte NC
Ivan in Santa Paula...you said a mouthfull. I too, relish the 'synergistic orgasm we call a show'. it s the best positive; high energy musical entity going today, and I wouldnt trade my 27 year Dead ride for anything. Its who I am and part of my 'make up'. shows trancend that energy and people like Ivan are its device.

Im pretty sure I sat next to you all night in row C at Indio; then next night I shook your hand before Bobby came on. take care my brother.... ALL of my brothers and sisters.

Jamon Whipple, Phoenix
Ivan did you actually go to the show???? ....your post,along with this one and a few more belong in the forum.this is a Music REVieW link for the show.not a soapbox for you or anyone else to proclaim their spiritualist qualities,or Weir nuthuggin for over 25 years.Blah Blah.Your post,....not one mention of the actual show!!!!......The only thing i agree with you about is... its about the music.speakin as a pro musician... sound quality,remembering the words and notes,,and the spirit and reinvention of the song is what matters.The Dead thru tape trading and Weir ,the greatest storyteller/musician,gave us the privelage ...now its become a right to proclaim our love or hate or all points in between.Its sad after "25"years you fail to realize this.Were "all in on it" or we wouldlt be on this site.Do you and others realize this site actually asks the fans to rate the show on a scale of 1 to 10.does this offend your senses too..?Review the show not the reviewers.SCOTT...I totally dis argree wit you but i defend your right to say it.I got pissed when Jerry got skiiiny.If it makes you feel better the show was great .Peace

morningdewd, lv

Yes, that was me! Love you brother!

Ivan, Santa Paula
morningdewd; sorry, I didnt realize you were a pro musician. lighten up

outyourwindow, phoenix
i made a spur decision to see the show at the Joint only after enjoying myself so much at the RatDog show in Murphys,Ca. I thoght this venue would be an 'intimate experience' rather than the crowded scene i expected at High Sierra. Ive seen RatDog many times before and i love this current recipe of musicians. i am very please to hear my favorite music being rightfully performed by the true 'owner' of the vocals.

The venue will not rate as one of my favorites, and good energy was seemingly hard to find. Ive been to a lot of shows in every sort of mental state, and this place didnt bring out the best colors for me. The music was amazing and i love to hear songs that were performed during my touring tenure(Corinna!!, Deal, etc) and to hear songs we latecomers could only dream of hearing(The Eleven, St. Stephan).

Man, it felt great to be on the road again and i was very audibly pleased. Everyone has a different trip at a show, and i cant wait for my next experience with RatDog. Thanks to all who make it possible for us fans to be excited about music again.

chris camilli, mammoth lakes ca
I was hugely disappointed. The band sounded pretty loose...which is normally o.k., but the sound mix was terrible...constant shreiking of feedback throughout the show.
To Kerry from Burlington, you give Scott waaay too much credit for his ability to "bring down the whole scene." Nothing is more of a bring down than the blind (or perhaps in the case deaf) faithful who are incapable of objectively evaluating a performance. On the other hand, Scott's assertion that it may be time for Bobby to hang it up is way out of line. I just think it's time they get a sound crew that knows how to operate the equipment.
I've been going to see the guys since 1969, and this was probably the worst experience I've had...primarily due to lousy sound quality.

NVFurthur, Las Vegas
When you listen to the playback you will agree that this was not a great show. The sound was awful . I was standing in the middle of the room right infront of the overhang. Maybe you had energy up in front of the stage but there was none where I was. Lots of people left in the last hour. Im not bashing Bobby he has just lost a step i believe. Hey mike jordan larry bird where great to but the lost a step to. Thats all I'm saying. And I am not trying to compare bands. I just think for the buck wsp put out a better product.

scott, las vegas
Great Show!!
This was my first time to see ratdog or mule and i thought it was incredible. The crowd was pulsating and bobby sounded clear and true.. the sound quality in the front was fine with the occasional feedback ring from someones instrument. Overall it was one of the best shows ive seen to date. Oh by the way does anyone know where i can get the audio for that show?

Michael, Houston Texas
I have nothing negative to say about this show other than I wanted more music. There really wasn't a slow moment. Bobby impresses me with his energy and dedication every time I see him. Nothing epic happened but the show was solid in every way and I had a blast as usual. I remember thinking the sound was not great, but I soon forgot about that once I got wrapped up the great setlist. However, I'm not sure any of these 1 set shows will achieve the magic that longer shows are able to create. Thanks to the band and the fans for a fun time.

Chris, Denver