11/14/2008 Setlist, Photos, and Reviews


Friday, November 14, 2008
Tower Theater
Upper Darby, PA


Great show. Thought all the songs were played beautifully. Didn't think dark star was that great but everything else perfect.

Ben Robitzer, Wernersville
The show was excellent! Catfish,JackaRoe,Corrina on fire. Loved the originals and Darkstar was out there....St Steven/eleven powerful, Thanks guys Hope you had fun Elliot. Hopen for a Masters of war and even so tommorrow, wouldn,t mind a Lost/St either.

Jim Waniak, Somers Pt. NJ
7th time Ive seen Bobby & Ratdog this year and they just keep getting better. In a post from a previous show, someone said "Mark's solo's were 'uninsprired"...that person should have been at this show as he was on fire all nite...the whole band was! I've said it before and.....They have found their heart and soul of the band and there's nowhere to go but UP! Thank you guys and see you tomorrow night...I'll be front row, your left side with the biggest grin on my face!

Steve Wojtak, Buena, NJ
I thought that this show was just ok. There was really no rythym to it. A couple of nice jams, but in the middle of the songs, they just fell apart. I think Mark has to step up tonight and show why he's playing with Bobby. I was not impressed. Hopefully tonights show will make me forget about last night!! See ya there!

Steve W, Manayunk, PA
Very high energy, lot's of fun. A little distortion and some feedback in the PA. Steve/11 made the night, glad they did not end the show after Prudence.

Did anyone else notice all the beer was funky? Stale or bad lines or something.

Condo, Lancaster, PA
enjoyed from the 10th row. Sound was distorted @ times. The band was all smiles for most of the nite. Close to 30 years and still very much worth the price of admission! Making it to new years and looking forward to the Phil and Bob combo.

Alan, rising sun
After a nasty foggy rainy trek from Berks County to Upper Darby we were late but we weren't for the 8:20 kickoff and the show started with my classic favorite Grateful Dead opener: jam--> "Feel like a Stranger" then segued into the Dead's dance hall staple "Big River" reminiscient of the dance concert days at the Spectrum in the 1970s.

I had the pleasure of taking my teenage daughter and her friend to their first dead family show and they had just attended Steve Miller Band on Wednesday night two days prior to Ratdog.

Well they rated the show "ten times better" than Stevie Guitar Milller [although frankly I thought Steve really rocked the Reading Sovereign Center and I hadn't seen him in 14 years since he opened for the Grateful Dead in the 1990s]

We were extremely fortunate that I had nearly miraculously scarfed center aisle FF seats on TM on election night right after Obama locked up PA on his way to winning the presidency. I was counsel to the voter protection team.

I textmessaged the setlist during the show to my son in college and eventually all he could respond was "damn" to the very impressive setlist which I found thoroughly entertaining and well performed beginning to end.

After the acoustic three song open to the second set I thought the soundboard went a bit overboard on the volume setting but hey I am getting older these days and we were VERY close to the action.

My daughter's favorite was "Jack-a-roe" and she felt Jerry would have been proud of Bobby's spin on the Garcia staple. Bob's vocals were strong throughout and i hope to get a board CD set (of last night) when I return with my wife tonight for more Dog. Although this was my daughter's first show ever almost all of the tunes were familiar thanks uh to her dad's tape/CD collection she was bound to hear over the last 15 years....

Also thanks to her friend who convinced her the show would be great before she decided to go.

The band also performed my favorite "new" Ratdog tunes "Money for Gasoline" and much more so a real fine version of "Ashes and Glass" which was one of the only repeats from the March show at the theatre. That song has really improved with age.

"Lazy River Road" conjured up visions of 1990s Grateful Dead show memories and the first set really rocked to a close with an inspiring "Bertha."

For me personally I loved "Dear Prudence" and although I saw the JGB perform that song many times it was just as good as ever last night. Bobby Weir is amazingly still playin' at the top of his game. He has settled into a comfort zone as bandleader [the "chief"] and Steve W you must've had a bad day because i cannot agree that the show was "just ok" --i thought the guys were really rockin' last night and hopefully that energy carries over into tonight's show.

I was there at the Tower right after Jerry died and saw Bob slush through what was possibly the worst show of his career as he battled depression following Jerry's death and went throught the motions to fulfill his contract to play the fateful August '95 Tower pancake of a show. Of course everyone in the house was still shocked saddened grieving and in denial over Jerry's passing at that point.

Conversely I was also at the Tower for the legendary invitation only Grateful Dead show(s) in 1976 where my brother and I had front row seats. That was part of the first mailorder shows of all time. Why i tried to get backstage at halftime in 1976 i still don't exactly recall. We took it upon ourselves to personally carry out anyone with a flash camera at the stage that night in '76. Next camera flasher we warned "loses the camera."

Last night i was the one taking pix and some came out real nice others i just couldn't get the stage lighting right but hey the pix are on a slideshow on this computer right now.

Somewhat of a surprise was no Dylan tune in the setlist yet we got the Rolling Stones and the Beatles.

As I screamed to the band at the closer after repeatedly twirling my red bandana: "NICE WORK GUYS" I realized once again that Bob still gives it his all in a live performance as do Jeff Mark and all the bandmembers who are really comfortable with the line-up of the Dog. I always wonder how the saxman doesn't drop from playing that furiously.

Wave to the Bob we did as we sidled up the aisle during the encore and i exhilaratingly headed for the back lot to get those young'ns back home with a slight loss of hearing and a big gain in musical understanding.

mike boland, Reading PA
Great Show, I have a new found respect for corrina. Bobby is still doing his thing, I 've been going to shows for over 25 years and I enjoyed the show even and the bit of distortion, bobby frogetting the lyrycs ( so what else is new?) . DarkStar, The Eleven ,St.Stephen in the sameshow? (who wudda thought this years ago), There where plenty of extremely nice jams thoughout the show from everyone.. Lazy river road and Row Jimmy would of sounded nice (acoustic).1st set .... opener, Stranger, Big River, and closing it out, DarkStar Bertha...
2nd set finishing up the show.... Dear Prudence > St. Stephen > William Tell Bridge > The Eleven

Jason , Glenolden, PA
I loved this show.! The song selections in the first set were great and the Dark Star was Intense!! No one was sleeping through that one!! The Bertha closer was sweet as was the Catfish John second set opener. When they started Corrina I thought it was Hard Rain but was pleasantly surprised in what it turned out to be. I liked the Ashes more this time than I ever have before. The music really was played well and reminds me a lot of Dark Star. One of these days hopefully I'll be able to understand all the words Bobby is singing. It seems like a hard song to sing. The end of the show was wonderful. I really had a great time!!!

Scott Probeck, Boulderl, CO
no married couples so we skipped dinner, stepped into chambers,banged down a couple of spatens and got to the show on time!!

good choice for an opener, "stranger", but some sound issues were being worked out with jeffs piano, big river was well sung altho the chosen beat didn't quite fit.....row jimmy was well played and with attention to the quiet sections of the song --- money for gasoline again, as it did at the tweeter last summer, got the place rocking and obviously bobby likes singin that tune --- he then got out the 335 for lazy river road which had a nice country bounce....then a jam in A and i was thinkin possible bird song(yikes) but kenny started doin the dark star lick and whoa!! what a version - the light show was perfect for the song -- nice exit and a rockin&rollin bertha!!! bobby did the offbeat townsend stroke! tour de force -- now i know why i always come back for the rock show!!!

2nd - catfish john and an excellent upbeat tempo and demonstrated the bands' collec tive vocal ability!! dem boys who rarely sang at the beginning have become a force in background vocals -- nice work -- bobby sent kenny/jeff offstage for a smokin 4 piece rendition of jackerow ---mark cut loose with some excellent leads and quite the train shuffle tempo -- dynomite!! --- gotta confess, not a fan of corrina but the overall production of the tune was good except for the bright lights hitting my eyes!!!....last time was little herky-jerky with a speed change after verse 2 -- not bad -- the reapting riff in the tune has to be dead-on for bobby to get that jagger-like finish to happen ....ashes to glass worked well and nice entrance into prudence -- bobby's geetar was feeding back and the band got a little loud over the vocals during the tune --- its such a great composition that even the sound issues can't hurt that selection --- then came a great finish with a stong stephen into my favorite dead tune - "it goes to eleven" !!......great rock show!!! anybody whos thinkin about hitting the show saturday should make the move -- the band is hot!

brian, philadelphia
WOW..... If you are a fan of this music(and I hope you are) you need to see these guys NOW... That first set was SICK, other than the lyric issues 0n Big River I could not have asked for it to go better.My 2 favorite ratdog tunes Money for Gasoline AND Odessa.That was the BEST Odessa I have heard yet from these guys.Although it seemed the people around me did not enjoy the ratdog songs as much as I did, but they didn't seem to know them.Very happy with the perfomance BUT a little to loud for the system they were on.In one word...........................GO.

Tommy o., Hamburg Pa.
I forgot to that "Uncle Sam" for the handing over of the setlist.THANK YOU.......Peace..........

Tommy O., Hamburg pa
"Oh jeez. That was smokin."
First set was amazing. Nice Stranger opener, followed by an extremely funky Big River. Bobby had some problems with the lyrics, but it still rocked. Row Jimmy had that peaceful, easy feeling, while Money for Gas rocked the Tower Theatre. Odessa was powerful and explosive, but a lot of people still seem to not know Ratdog's studio songs. The 1st set ender of Bertha was undoubtable the BEST Bertha I have ever seen in my entire life. Such amazing energy throughout the band, combined with the energy of the crowd, was mind blowing.

The second set opened with an unexpected (on my part), and nicely played Catfish John. Jack-A-Roe gave me the chills :) Corrina was nice, but as usual with Bobby, I think it lasted too long. Lost a lot of people's interest. Ashes and Glass was beautiful, another studio song that not many people are familiar with. Dear Prudence made my heart melt, to put it simply. St.Stephen was a shock for me. It gave me an eerie feeling when everyone was singing louder than Bobby and Co. but that also made the song that much more beautiful. Completely rockin version. T.O.G. encore was zippy, and got people moving.
All in all, one of the BEST Ratdog shows I have ever been to. I'd highly recommend buying the live CD


Ramblin Rose, philladelph
All around great time. They keep getting better and better. Mark really brought his A game and Bobbys vocals were perfectly crisp. Might have to go to NYE!

weirjammin, Bel air MD
Reviews ARE FOR the SHOWS. You know "music". I really don't think people care about who your daughter seen or what your son thinks!!!!! Reading PA. That has to be the most ridiculous review I've ever READ.
Bronx, NY

Franklintower, Bronx NY
franklin in the bronx NY i must take exception.....these shows are about the total experience and NOT just the music.....

since i have written professional [i.e. paid] reviews of dead shows for the media going back to 1980 i think you have tunnel vision. If you want the music only then wear a blindfold to your next show. Don't read my reviews --i am not forcing you to read them.....

mike boland, reading PA
Absolutely the most intense and in your face Ratdog show I have ever seen. The second set was the best I have ever seen the guys play.

Mark Karan is a god!

Dan Marsh, Media, PA
haha well put mike i dont know why ppl are so quick to be nasty to eachother here were all here for the same reason! let there be peace love and happiness for all of you

paul s, upper darby
They really nailed this one! Fantastic show! Had a great time and by the looks of it so did everybody else. Reminded me of days gone bye

Dog 53, Bethlehem
My 4th show of the tour and this one was the "come back down to earth" show after witnessing the two great weekday shows in PA & NJ. Nice to see/hear that they maintained the high intensity level . The Stranger jammed and the River funked. The 1st Row Jimmy of the Fall tour was sweet followed by one of my fave Dog tunes, Money for Gasloine. LRR & Odessa were great despite their 3rd appearance on the tour but, just as the show started, it ended big with the 1st Star of the tour into a rollicking Bertha.

Catfush John was fun as usual then the first Jack-A-Roe really ratcheted the energy level upwards, followed by a really slinky and superb Corrina. It looked like Bobby was going to bust a whole lot of veins the way he was belting out the Last Time and this was just a continuation of his great vocals on this tour. Ashes & Glass simply continues to get better and better with each time played, stuff was stuff and the tour's 1st Prudence into Stephen/WTB/11 was a fitting ending to a really good night of music, capped off with a Touch of Grey. Has me thinking of sneaking down to FL for the end of the tour...they're just playing great right now...

BTW I, too, thought that it kind of got loud on this particular evening, a problem that was remedied the following night. And total kudos to the Tower Theater for letting us just be us...


Alex, Sunnyside, Queens, NY
Having so much fun I've apparently forgotten how to count, LOL! Correcting the above post to the 5th show seen/heard on this tour...:wink...and still smilin' wide over all of them...:grin...


Alex, Sunnyside, Queens, NY
Not a review of this show, since I wasn't there. Wanted to complement and thank the photogs for all the fantastic, inspiring pix. Superb!
OK, so here's the rub. Really wish the band would lose the Obama logo from the drum kit. It's ruining all these otherwise spectacular shots. Can't stand seeing overt political statements coming from the stage. Have always felt mixing politics and musical performance is lame and obnoxious. But obviously the Obamabots can't resist taking a few victory laps. The campaign/election is over guys - you won. We get it. Love Ratdog, Phil, Mickey, et al., but wish they would drop the political pretension at concerts. Peace, Love, and Rock n Roll.
John P.

JP, Duluth