7/9/2008 Setlist, Photos, and Reviews

Gov't Mule opened

Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Center for the Performing Arts
San Jose, CA


I was really looking forward to seeing this show at the Mountain Winery - so this new venue was kind of a bummer. As for the show - it was probably the least inspired of the 10 or so Ratdog shows I've seen since 2005. I still believe in Ratdog - but I hope the second show (tonight) is better. Highlights were Graetest Story and nice acoustic Peggy-O - lowlights were the lame slow and disfunctional Iko-Iko

willardness, Santa Cruz
A fine show- the place was rockin! Great crowd and stage energy!
Venue turned out to be fine- air conditioning keeping us cool.
Ticket exchange worked out okay too.

irenie, Belmont, CA
I didn't mind the change of venue so much...you can go to the winery any time, so a change of pace wasn't so bad. I agree some of it was a bit dysfunctional (a ton of forgotten lyrics and verses, and generally things were played at a very slow sing-along pace, esp. iko iko, truckin, & ohter one. even me & my uncle was very unusually slow.

There were plenty of highlights though...the jam between help & slip was hot, slipknot was tight and played loud and strong, and following up that opener w/a stones tune set a good mood for the night.

the song selection itself was very memorable -- greatest story is always a good one even at that slower pace (I get to shows rarely so I rank song selection higher than performance ;-)) there was a long & strong heavy drums jam w/matt abst, and some jams that reached pretty good heights and a couple that fizzled. But hey, one man's height is another man's fizzle...

in the end, Ratdog didn't quite eclipse the epic, relentless jams of Gov't Mule, who really set the stage on fire from the first stroke. especially when kenny brooks came out and jammed w/them...there was a real jazzy riff exchange between him and warren in one tune that was fantastic. and bobby joining Mule for Sugaree provided one of the tighter dead songs of the night, even then w/forgotten lyrics though. Johnny B Good was a disappointing encore. I expected Franklin's Tower to close out the Help/Slip they opened with, but maybe we'll get it tonight as part of a 2-night sandwich. Either way, should be fun...

Overall, a hell of a time, one can't complain too much when these affaris are so few and far between these days.

All good things in all good time.


bushmeister, palo alto
Bobby was on fire last night. GREAT show. Played with lots of energy. Greatest story, iko, peggio really rocked. The venue was surprisingly cool. Dance space and plenty of joints. They were really loose. Cant wait for tonights show. See ya there!!

fantasy, ca
The venue was chill (minus the fact the bar sucked) but overall I was totally unimpressed with the show. Other than the Peggy-O I left a little bummed. Hopefully, the second show will have more inspiration and better setlist.

sproutseven, redwood
Setlist note: That wasn't Matt Abts who sat on drums but someone else...

Juan, Palo Alto
ratdog is in a bit of a rut, its like they are a little bored of the material, its just not very inspired. you want inspiration, look at the phil setlists lately, and better yet check out their music on archives, the guitar jams are for real, not the kind of weak plastic crap we saw on aiko last night, yuck city.

hoo ha, balt. md
Good catch....Setlist note: That wasn't Matt Abts who sat on drums but someone else...

Anyone know who it was? He was quite good.

Lizzy Lightnin' ....any ideas?

Ben Anderson, Burlingame, CA
sorry to hear it wasn't just me who left the show last night feeling pretty let down. I am not bustin on Ratdog, I am just being honest that last night's performance was way under par compared to other Ratdog shows I have seen. I agree that the band looked bored - and all of the jams and solos just got loud without any creative spin. There is a difference between jamming on the melody of a song - and just playing scales loud and fast. Last night sounded like scales being played loud and fast with disregard towards the actual song they were jamming to. All of Mark's solos last night could have been applied to any song, and you would not know the difference - except for Peggy-O - that was cool

willardness, Santa Cruz
Drove down from Oakland. Scored a hotel room right across the street. ticket exchange was flawless and quick. Venue is huge with huge sound. love it. really nice ushers who let my girfriend and I go up front. had to tell some tall guy to sit down a few times soI could see. "uhm....mr. Walton, can you sit down please". lol....kidding!

I had a great time. I thought the show was full of trippy slow psychedelia. the Truckin' was long and drippy with other one teases through the whole thing until they finally dropped into it. The high was Greatest Story for sure. yeah the show was a bit slower than Idaho, SLC and Murphys but the tone for the night was set that way by the Mule also. Warren seemed to enjoy a slower heavier blues night. We'll see if they rock tonight. I'm still waitin' for the rest of Cassidy>Terrapin from murphys.

btw: I agree, that was definatly not Abts up there. Unless he gained a few pounds and lost his hair.

btw 2: (not sure if this is the right place to say this but... I know people are 'doggin' on bobby for his take on the songs we love. I know it's all opinion here but lookin' at a setlist and hearing the show are two different things. I saw Phil's mardi gras show with his new line up. great show and pretty hot when you look at the set list. but the Caution wasnt that great. setlists mean nuthin'. I love bob's versions and phil's versions. it's a whole different approach. I remember times over 20 years ago when I walked away from Dead shows saying "wtf? did ya catch that awful Althea?" I guess I'm beating a dead horse here....whatever, I'll leave this discussion for another forum. I'm just glad these songs are still being played live for us.....

desertdan, oakland california
yep, willardness, you and 1 other person were disappointed. Too bad, you missed a good show.

And yes, you are bustin on Ratdog. Best go see Phil or DSO next time, leaves more room for us to dance and enjoy.

Ben Anderson, Burlingame, CA
right on, desertdan.

thanx for your positive review

Ben Anderson, Burlingame, CA
for ben:

people can have a negative review. and quite frankly many heads have been expressing the very same thing as willardness commented on.

i love the Dog...but come on. you think they hit it out of the park everytime? as jerry said, "we fail more than we succeed!"

"Best go see Phil or DSO next time"... hey ben, GROW UP.

staggered lee, the big apple
Right on Ben. To the complainers, you guys should go to the phizone furum, and if you dont like Bobby then you shouldnt be there. Leave more room for good vibes and the heads who appreciate it!

fantasy, ca
so we can have to think every show is 5 stars?

staggered lee, the big apple
so there's no room for criticism here on ratdog.org?

(does criticism = complaining?)

deadheads have always been critical listeners who express their views from show to show.

if we can't comment analytically...then why have a review page at all?

staggered lee, the big apple
I've never posted a review here. In fact, I don't hardly ever read show reviews. However.....I went to this show with 3 other people. All of us were really confused. The band was SO GOOD at High Sierra just a few days prior, but was loose, sloppy, and uninspired on Wednesday. I still love Ratdog, and understand that bands can have a bad night, but I feel that I should weigh in to set the people straight that thought this was a great show. Obviously, they had a good time, and it didn't really matter how the band was. That's awesome, but for the record.... this show was not all that good. There were a few high points, but for the most part it just wasn't there. Don't waste your time listening to this show.

JDM, Santa Cruz, ca
if anyone was paying attention last night - Bob said "time is miraculously not flying by, so we need to figure out another song to play" then they went into truckin - NOTE: when bob says time is not flying by in the middle of a show, you may not be witnessing the hottest performance.

I love Ratdog - I listen to the streams all day long (and dead streams) and there was no way anyone can tell me that Iko Iko was mind blowing last night. Also - the light show was pretty lame too, half the show was just a red or blue solid background projected behind them, then every once in a while they projected some snowflake shapes.

I've seen Ratdog about 10 times now, and I recommend them to all of my friends. - but last night was not stellar.

I think they just had an off night, and tonight may be great - however, I have a hunch that the shorter shows also don't allow for the fully committed ratdog experience.

Anyway - I guess the definition of positive vibes to some folks is giving every show 5 stars. Everything is rainbows and unicorns -

willardness, Santa cruz
I do not think that anyone can give a trully accurate review of a show after only being there, you need to hear a good recording "in the light of day" to be objective. Everyone is somewhat affected by what is going on in and around them during a performance. I thought that Britt show was great (although the setlist might not reflect it) so I rated it as an 8 (I am glad to see that it has 5 stars though). I do not think that the Grateful Dead or any Dead related band has played a trully epic show (rating of 9 or 10) since 1989 or early 1990. But here's the deal, people can only base an opinion on what they know and can compare to something else. I thought that my first Dead show was epic but it wasn't, however, I have heard a recording and it is definately somewhere between really good and great.

I remember at the Dead's 20 year anniversary show they handed out these little hand bills to everyone with a poem on it. The gist of the poem was about how the boy's felt about playin' for 20 years but it ended by telling the deadheads that as long as we keep coming we'll have a band. Well I guess RatDog (and Phil) are now that band, and like the Dead were "they're not the best at what they do but they are the only ones that do what they do".

Thankyou Bobby.

Rich, Nor-Cal
Confused ??? I thought the slow aiko was a blast Kind alike a 85 version on grateful dead cd

mark j, petaluma
I totally agree with some of you...the show lacked in more ways than one. It was not stellar and it wasnt the best show I saw this tour. I'm just not down with the whole "bob vs. phil" thing. Its a conversation that's mute. Theres no point. I've even been asked "who do I like better?" I have no idea how to answer that question. So when people come on here and start saying bob is lame and phil rules...well, I can't stay quiet. I know this isnt the right forum for this talk and I'm in no way saying people should not express their displeasure in a show just the whole comparison thing gets me thinking.

the show tonight rocked. Bill walton yawned during dark star.

desertdan, oakland california
Yeah...for sure. Why compare them...they do there thing and I'm glad they still feel up to doing it. That goes for all of them...just saw Mick and his band and they ripped shit up on fire. Haven't seen Billy K play in awhile but I love seeing Phil and Bobby anytime I can. Some shows are better than others...music is like magic, kinda elusive but rock solid at the same time. I've seen a couple bad GD shows. A couple bad Phil shows, a couple bad RD shows....and a fuck load of dripping sweet lysergic meltdowns that tickled the bliss button till we surfed an avalanche of joy. Ain't no shit....lead with love y'all! I know you got it in you. It's a choice you make everyday with every interaction...it's worth the effort everytime! Music is a personal experience for the listener, sometimes we all know it rocked, we groked it group mind stylee, sometimes the dude right next to you loved it and you thought it was boring...totally valid. Be open to it, Love y'all! Peace

tobo, minglewood
these shows were right down the street from my first show 8/20/72 san jose civic the show was killer truckin other one china rider to lay me down all very nice.... the venue inside sound was great 2 row balony all in all 2 very good shows so why the neg vibe ???? blows me anyway long live ratdog
peace wolf

wolf, sactown
My wife and I went to the show on the 9th. Came with three other couples. We all took the day off work left the kids with sitters and took off in the motor home. Boozin smokin and laughin what a blast.The heads in our crew that have only been to a few shows thought it was the greatest thing they had ever seen. And it was for them and thats great.The more seasoned heads in our our crew (100 + shows ) know the show was slow loud and mushy. But thats fine I still had a great time . The show was totally adequate entertaining and worth the money. I have been to great shows before and so thankful when it happens,but dont expect every show to be epic. I am just thankful that members of the Greatful Dead are still playing. I am really great at work some days most days I am just average. As far as Bobby vs. Phil people need to get over it! It just doesn't matter.


Stefan Huntley, Auburn
Ummmm....so-so. There were a few very good moments, but overall low energy. i had a great time bringing my ten-year-old nephew, but that didn't effect the performance, nor the way y'all will hear the show ;)

Hamal, Emeryville, Ca
Help opener! I felt the band was at home (they were with friends and family) and had a good vibe on stage. This show was jazzy, tight and energetic! Robin was very solid and enjoyed his playing throughout (nice bombs on the Other one). Jeff was his usuall self and his playing was surperb! Mark riped it the entire show. Jay played really well as did Kenny. Bob was grate! I thought the show was grate start to finish! Peggy O, Me and my Uncle, To Lay Me Down.....PLEASE. Give this bad larry a listen and then review........

Keith, atlanta
WOW ! It was the best Ratdog I have ever been to ..Loved it !!!!!!!

Carla, Truckee CA
Four words: To Lay Me Down

Shannon, Mill Valley, CA