8/20/2008 Setlist, Photos, and Reviews

Opened for The Allman Brothers Band

Wednesday, August 20, 2008
New England Dodge Music Center
Hartford, CT


Sweet Bejesus. I don't even know where to begin. Saturday in Mansfield was a great Dog show, but the Allmans took it up a notch and seemed to dominate the vibe. A COMPLETE role reversal tonight. Thank you Bobby. Thank you Mark. 50+ shows of Dead, Dog, and Phil--perhaps more surreal moments tonight than any past show...including complete removal from reality at times. Terrapin opening, are you kidding me? Weather Report that was just scorched until the first of several complete sound drops. The first one occurred at a very serendipitous moment and actually worked for the band as the song was finishing anyway so they just stopped, picked up their acoustic gear, then absolutely killed KC Moan and Victim.

The sound gremlins popped up again at least 4 times during UJB...even Bobby was flabbergasted. I hope it wasn't a venue sound staff issue, because the scene was so chill (capped beer bottles for sale until midnight) we all need to hope the Dog plays here again.

People have been complaining about Dylan covers...you won't be complaining after hearing the early watchtower.

After the UJB sound dropping twilight zone, Bobby realized a potential tarnish to an magical night & the band responded by closing on fire. Karan did know it was his 600th and it was in the top 3 best Karan shows I have ever seen.

It started with a slow Knockin' (it is supposed to be slow people-please realize that Bobby sings this one for himself and his pal Mark!)...beautiful. Then, displaying true Dog grit, being too tough too die...segue into Touch of Grey. I hope that dichotomy wasn't lost on the crowd.

Terrapin Flyer encore forced you to dance, love Warren.

Allmans later made it a Dylan triple as Greg belted Lot to laugh, Train to Cry. Dylan is a musical grandfather, and in certain circles you don't forget your family. And did I mention the Allmans paid their respects to their touring buds later in the night by jamming a smokin' instrumental the Other One?

Keith, Norwich
TEMPO - is the only problem with the Dog today. They sounded great tonight, exceptional setlist as well. Some great guitar, a few major sound problems especially during uncle john's band. not their fault though. The allmans were louder in volume but did not sound as good. my only advice for the Dogs is that they need to keep up the volume and especially up the tempo at times on certain numbers. MK impressed me tonight and I am generally more of a Kimock fan. I think they really just need to let loose and rock a touch more and they would be a premier band and at least share the bill with the Allmans rather than open. I hope I was not too negative with this review, I am very critical but think this is one of the best Ratdog shows that I have ever seen. Been to at least 25. Rock-on, sounded great.

Tom, NYC
Great show, thought the sound drops were bs..... but hey Terrapin and weather report, can't complain. As always Bobby was smokin and the band was hot. I agree it needed to be a little louder but they sounded crisp. Allman's were louder, but a little sloppy sounding. Left half way through Allman's set...... I had seen what I came for.

jz, manchester
Sounds and looks like an awesome show! Seems like they are really picking up steam as the tour progresses. One question to anyone who went to last nights show, did anyone from RatDog play with the Almann's during their set? Has anyone from RatDog played with the Almann's during any of the Almann's sets at all this tour? Warren steps in with the Dog every now and then, but how about some of the Dog stepping in with the Almann's?

Frank, Greenville SC
Killer dog show! Killer set list. Fun Brothers, yes, Kenny played with them on one tune and went bezerk, the tune escapes my fog right now, then Jeff, who Warren introed as his very good friend, then Jay during a killer 5-man drum jam w/ Oteil on Butch's kit. A lot of fun, in spite of the bs in the dog sound and the bs getting into the free parking lot that did not open til six with the cops telling people to "just drive around". Saw one accident and one overheat from the traffic jam that ensued from "just driving around" for two fucking hours....get a clue Hartford! Can't wait to hear the crowd continuing UJB each time the sound went to zero, kiler vibe! Peace.

rp, Franklin, MA
Saw RD in Cleveland and Syracuse in the spring and it looks to me like they are starting to hit their stride again with MK being back for an extended period of time to work out the kinks. Can't wait to catch them in Canandaigua Lake tomorrow night.

Quick question from those who have been to the Summer shows with the Allman Brotheres: what time has RD been taking the stage? I saw them last year at Darien Lake and they came out at 6 to a mostly empty venue. The eary start got most of the crowd by surprise. Any input would be greatly appreciated!!



Jim, Buffalo
Kenny on Same Thing
Jeff on Who's Been Talking (not Mt. Jam as ABB site says)
Jay on drumz.....

rp, Franklin, MA
The encore was really good. The set was too long for us (me with wife and 10 year old kid) as we wanted to see the Allmans but also wanted to leave by midnight. We think a few of the songs could have been eliminated or shortened, for example, no need to reprise Uncle John's Band. I've also always found All Along the Watchtower to be a dull song (Except the Hendrix version), although the Ratdog version was better than many of the GD performances of this song I've heard over the years.

Danny, Bolton CT
Great show last night. Weather was beautiful. Last time I saw the dog was in Northampton, MA a few years back - I was really looking forward to the show and the boys did not disappoint. Highlight for me? Jack Straw. My all time fav tune. Made my night. Band sounded really good. Very nice WRS, KC Moan, UJB, Ten Jed. Sound drops did get annoying after a while - the crowd sang a little louder as it went on - funniest thing was at the end of the show when bobby went to the mike to say something (sound kept dropping out) and he waves towards the mike as if to say: "oh f it". By the way...what ever happened to the meadows parking lot free for all? We got there @ 5 expecting to get right in the lot instead paid 20 bucks behind the coffee place to hang out. Oh well.

Pete, Westfield, MA
After having seen both disappointing shows in San Jose, this show was the complete opposite. The band was tight and Bobby was ready to belt out all night. I've probably been one of MK's biggest crtics, but he certainly brought it last night- he was superb. The sound cutting out 4-5 times was complete BS and if as I suspect that if it was the venues issue (as I think it was) Bobby may never play the Dodge Music Theatre again. Nonetheless, this was a show for the ages...

UncleJohnCT, Connecticut
To Jim's question..

On Saturday night in Mansfield, Ratdog came on at 6:30 (to a half-empty venue) , played till 8:30..the Bros. came on at 9:00 till 11:00..get there early!!
have fun!!

JP, Danvers,Ma
Had seen The dog a few times before . They seemed to turn it up a notch a little . Casy moan was awesome . They sounded fantastic , my son of 7 years had a ball . as did i . Sharing those times with him makes me melt . I've been to lots of shows at 41 years old ,I never saw the sound just drop out like that , what a shocker.Oh well I ll bet someones ass is in a sling today .

Ron , Agawam ma.
Thanks for the reviews folks, the first thing I do every morning is check out this site to see what folks are saying. After seeing the Mansfield show I just knew they were going to go on a roll! Seems like that is just what is happening, Cream Puff!! I am jealous for sure. BOBBY and company, please add a show to Foxwoods Casino, or maybe Orphium in Boston, Twin Rivers RI...not so much...LOL. Can't wait for the fall tour, it is starting in NY so hopefully more in the NE. They are gearing up to full Ratdog shows , 2 sets and all, can't wait. Rock on

Everett, Cape Cod
i missed the show ive been waiting for. hope it wasnt my review about dylan covers. you guys got a ratdog setlist to die for. i really wish i had made the trip. the guy i travel with was so pissed about the hampton show and then hearing maggies on sat. nite he down right refused to drive to hartford yesterday, and we have traveled to venues a lot farther away. I HOPE THE BAND KEEPS THIS KIND OF SHOW (SONGLIST) GOING ALL THE TIME. hope i get one like it when i see them next. I really would like to go to the halloween show (its my freinds birthday), but right now its not looking good. who knows, miracles happen. i am envious of those of you who got to go.

mark, nashua
I have 8th row for the Michigan show and I am so looking forward to seeing Bobby again. It has been since my last Dead show in 94. I am psyched when I see these set lists.
Would love to see Estimated, Lazy Lightning>Supplication,
Black-Throated Wind, Sugar Magnolia, Minglewood...
I have to admit, I didn't go see The Other Ones or The Dead because it was too difficult to be there without Jerry.
Regardless, I am really looking forward to it, like the way I used to get before Dead Shows. It is good to feel that way again, especially this time of year!

Iam, Michigan
Freakin awesome show!!
It's been years since I have been to a Dead type show, Gosh I miss them! Ratdog blew away the Bros in my opinion. Everything was in sync excpet for a few sound system glitches. Hopefully Ratdog will be back in Hartford, CT - Definately go again.

Troutbum, Canton, CT
Great show! I've never seen Ratdog but I am defintely hooked. I thought RD's sound, despite the few dropouts was much cleaner then the ABB.

The only downer was after the set when Bob tried to encourage the audience to vote...the soundman turned off the mic. I hope that wasn't done intentionally.

Chris K., Milford, Ct.
Great show! Sewn up tight!
(First time I have seen Rat Dog. First time at the Dodge.)
The band had already taken the stage as I was walking in to the pavilion around 8PM. As I got closer to the entrance, the noodling had developed into a jam. As I got into the seating area, I could hear the subtle undertones of Terrapin. By the time I found my seat, there was no turning back, they were committed to the song. The jam continued evolving until the words, "Let my inspiration flow," echoed through the place.
Jack Straw was nice and Watchtower was awesome. The jam in Watchtower was reminiscent of spoonful, which I remarked to my fellow listener (Lee from New York) that I thought was about to launch and then it went back into Watchtower. My notes for the show read, "Where am I jam," and it was intense.
The following was the complete Weather Report Suite (Prelude, Part I, Part II a.k.a Let it grow). Wind and Rain as I call Part I was a blast. The Let it Grow devolved into a sick jam causing me to write, "Where did I grow jam :}" and back into Let it Grow.
I had never heard K.C. Moan before, but I really liked it. From my vantage point, it looked like Bobby was playing an acoustic guitar for that song, which turned into Victim followed by another jam. Tennessee Jed is always a crowd pleaser but, what followed next had me shaking my head.
Out of Ten Jed, they went into an Uncle John's Band which had audio cut outs that seemed sort of intentional and also ill placed for the audience to sing. Now that it is the light of day and reading other posts, it seems that the audio fades were a glitch. It was confusing at first (almost seemed like someone tripped on the power cord and the speakers shut off). Into what the Rat Dog community calls Stuff, I wrote down Drums->Space->Jam-> into Heaven's Door (which started softly with melodic humming). Into Touch of Gray which was what I could see in the crowd (i.e. mostly gray beards having way too good of a time, dancing, howling, and most of all being friendly to all).
As a mind blower, out of Touch, they went back into Terrapin! Terrapin went on and on with the reprise that just would not end. It would crescendo and then come back down and then ramp back up and then wind down...sweet! The jam picked back up and they went back into Uncle John's Band! Lee, the head who kept telling me about peakin at the Beacon, remarked, "You picked a good first show to see Rat Dog!"
Indeed I did.

Tye-Dyed Tom, Southington, CT
Yeah, I'm sorry i missed the show. Ratdog is probably the most fan loyal band ever. When ever they play the northeast corner a second or third venue, the setlist fills in just what we need to hear after the last area show.
However, can't always get there to dance to the tunes in real time anyway.
So I bowed out of this show, Knowing it would be wow!. Happy 600 th show Mark !!!!!!

Loren, Nashua
Insperational. I haven't see RD in over 10 years but was impressed with the band and the energy they exuded.

Warren's work on Flyer was wickedly sick. I have heard rumors in the past that when the Grateful Dead recorded that riff, they used a good amount of studio effect to clean the riff up as Jerry just couldn't play it that fast. I think that's BS and Warren proved it last night.

All and all a great night. Wish I could say the same for the Hartford Police Dept. (witnessed some unprovoked ugliness on the way into parking), Meadows, Security and sound system. They definitly had it in for us last night

Hymus, Madison, CT
Really enjoyed the show. I haven't seen Bobby in about a year. The Terrapin, Jack Straw & WRS were an excellent way to get things rolling...
The only two songs that really lost me were Watchtower & Touch of Grey. Personally, I have heard better version of Watchtower recently.
However the KC, Victim & Tennessee were pretty sweet.
I had to chuckle during the sound drops. Did anyone else notice the collective groans from the crowd?
Overall, I thought the jamming was solid and it was a very well played show, even with sub-par sound at times. I look forward to seeing Bobby again in the near future.

Chris, Trumbull, CT
Great bobby show, gotta love the WRS, highlight of the northeast run so far for me. The sound drop outs were pretty disconcerting, but hearing the crowd pick up UJB to fill in the blanks was just amazing. The Allmans were much tighter than SPAC the previous night, and it was just simply AWESOME to hear Derek take most of the solos for a change. I wish it happend more frequently.

The people who were running the venue were not well prepared however. What was the deal with parking earlier in the day?? We asked a cop when the would open the main parking lots and he goes (very gruffly) "not tonight", when asked why he says "the concert promoter is ONLY EXPECTING 7000 people", and that they weren't going to open any of the lots till maybe 7pm at the earliest.

anyone at that concert knew there was more than double 7000 people.

Evan, Buffalo NY
After a great show in Mansfield I was looking forward to our 4th row in Hartford. The Dog delivered bigtime. Just may be the best set I have seen them play. Outstanding set list, great energy from the band, good audience participation during the sound drop. A magical nite. Thanks to the boys.
Hartford blew this one, they only needed to see what Mansfield did (parking lots opened at 1 pm for a 6:30 show). Self created parking mess. In Dog We Trust!

John I, Coventry, CT
It is 3:00 and I am still in Boston, MA and I said to myself, “self” what would be a good thing to tonight? I know how about a road trip to see Bobby and the boys in Saratoga, NY 3+ hours away. So I burned a couple of CD’s and fired up the heavy Chevy and headed out. Not having any tickets or not even sure where to go, I haven’t been there since The Dead played there back in ’88 (I always had someone else drive for reasons we won’t get into now). I walked up to the window bought a ticket for the lawn met some new friends and had the best time at a concert in recent memory. I was so far back that all you could do is “feel” the music. The band was so tight and Bobby was fantastic; it was a great rendition of Scarlet and WOW the what a range Bobby had on Two Djinn it just blew me away.

I’ll see you all in NYC w/Phil
I hope the music never stops

Qzmoto, Boston, MA
After reading all of the reviews of this year's summer tour preceding Hartford and given an opportunity at the last minute to go to this show, I was chomping at the bit to find out for myself what the boys were doing. And IMHO, they're doing just fine! They gave me what I thought was the best setlist of the tour so far and matched it with mostly great versions of each song (though it was tough on certain songs to appreciate the playing due to the BS FOH PA drop-outs! ARRGH!). 1st time hearing Terrapin as an opener and though I wasn't there, 1977 must have been a cool year when the GD did it as an opener back then and kudos to Bobby for reviving this set list placement, especially whaen they do it justice like this version. Karan was ripping it up after the "inspiration" part and was very loud and clear in the mix from where I was sitting (ORCH 200, Row T, Seat 235) and was happy for that after reading many complaints that he was under-miked in the prior shows. Same with Jack Straw, Mark ripped a mid-song solo that, if anything, was too short but ultimately effective. Watchtower was kewl but one of the real highlights of this show was the Weather Report Suite, where the band and especially Mark was totally all over it. Just a great, great version that had me dancing and grinning from ear to ear from beginning to end. KC Moan was fun but the Victim may have been the snarliest version I've ever heard the Dog perform. Bobby sang it as if he was living out the lyrics on stage and the band hit crescendo after crescendo just as they did during Weather Report. Just perfect. Tennesee Jed rocked and was full of joyful vim and vigor. UJB was prety good, at least what I heard of it due to the PA drop-outs, Stuff was wild as usual and Knockin' was sorrowful and beautiful at the same time, this rendition gave me the chills but in a good way and then touchingly followed by Touch and this version was eminently danceable and I took full advantage of it to do so. Nice way to end the set and I specifically mention that 'cause the setlist posted has Touch segue into At A Siding and that's not the case. They walked off the stage and returned 'bout two minutes later with Warren alongside Mark having a very animated conversation presumably 'bout what they were about to play and figuring out who was going to play what guitar part. If that indeed was what the conversation was about then I'm happy to state that they they totally figuered it out 'cause the guitar interplay between the three guitarists was downright incendiary, their guitars absolutely HOWLING all throughout At A Siding>Terrapin Flyer and made for another legitimate "...WOW..." moment. The UJB reprise that followed was a nice and neat way to close the show, once again despite the PA problems and it was a shame that those same problems persisted during Bobby's closing words at the end of the show.

All in all a great evening of the Dog, marred only by the bogus PA problems, and hands-down the best Dog show I've ever seen on any outdoor-venue Summer tour show to date. Kudos to Mother Nature ('cause you could not have scripted a more beautiful evening for an outdoor show in the middle of August) and to the fan-friendly Dodge Music Center for not getting (too much, wink) in the way of those that just wanted to have a good time. I sure did!


ajcmixer, Sunnyside, NY
One word -ah 2 words - MARK KARAN - First of all , I brought my 2 1/2 year old daughter who loves to dance to the Dead and Ratdog all over the house - grabbing people off the couch and twirling them around the room. Did we all get the CD as did I? Well, ive been listening to it non-stop for the past month and 1/2. Mark Karan just cooks with an open fire my friends. From the wawa effects in the opening stuff through Terrapin, Jack Straw , Watchtower, Weather Report, Uncle Johns, T Jed, Touch of Grey, and everything in-between. If you havent bought the CD , buy it, listen to it and that show was just about as pretty and masterful as anything ive ever heard. I tear, flat out cry, and goose bumps go up and down my arms when I hear Mark Karan play those sweet soulful leads, licks and solos. Does anyone realize what he went through, how hard it is to recover, the grueling chemo treatments, the physical pain, the emotional rollercoaster - and then to come back and play like THAT. Hot F___ING Crap. LISTEN to this show - as the first reviewer said - SWEET BEJESUS. He was on fire !!!!!!!!!!!! His guitar talked to me. For some riduculous reason Bobby prefers not to let him sing a song or two, but lookm out because you cant quiet his guitar and sing it did. Sing it did for my little 2 1/2 year old who doesnt get out of the house much because she had 2 open heart surgeries-but she danced that night and MK sang so sweetly to her - Thanks Mark and thanks to the band - We love you all ....................

John, West Hartford, CT
I cried like a baby during WRS and let it grow.... (Bobby, you're voice just kills me every time...) Jack Straw? Terrain? Sheer bliss I tell you. They blew the brother's away, and me right along with them. I'm overcome with joy just thinking about it. Thank you all, as always...for a REAL good time (again, and again, and again!)

Janet, Trumbull