11/15/2008 Setlist, Photos, and Reviews


Saturday, November 15, 2008
Tower Theater
Upper Darby, PA



Seth, Wynnewood, PA
Very impressive show. Milestones was maybe the highlight of Ratdog's history. Too bad so many sat for this display of talent. Some very good jams, tight vocals tonight, the band was really together all night.

The beer was better than last night. I guess we flushed the lines.

Condo, Lancaster, PA
Well with no teenage kids in tow tonight i was able to kick back and enjoy the night out with my wife who has now seen the Dog more than ten times since Penns Landing 2001. We arrived on time and anxious for still another show.

We were mesmorized immediately by the eight minute jam---> "Jack Straw" opener which was excellent. The early "Cassidy" was a surprise and not unexpectedly it resurfaced toward the end of the second set for the song's crescendo finish. A pleasant reprise as well was "Dark Star" from Friday night as the band had only played the first stanza of the lyrics on Friday and finished the song tonight late in the second set, first with an instrumental jam.

Bob must have heard me scream "Hard Rain" from the fifth row tonight because he played it right after I loudly requested it following "Friend of the Devil" in the two acoustic song second set opening. Actually when I heard the key of D for the FOTD I thought Hard Rain might be next. My wife and I both love that anti-war Dylan song and Bob naturally does the song live better than the bard himself.

The Miles Davis tune in the first set caught me by surprise but displayed the band's increasingly eclectic ability. I thought was a John Coltrane song and I was close but not quite. "Rooster" was well executed but a little slow and although tightly performed it tended to drift off to somewhere sleepy. "Dire Wolf" on the other hand was a crowdpleaser.

The first set ended with a raucous "Hell in a Bucket" and left the audience eager for more.

After the break, FOTD and Hard Rain gave way to two songs that frankly I had never heard Ratdog perform previously, the enigmatic "Even So" and the swing era style big band production of "October Queen." [I am not really sure of those titles] I knew that wasn't Count Basie up on the stage but at points it sure reminded me of the Count at Sunnybrook 1980. Once again the band's versatility shined.

Another fantastic drum solo gave way to the stuff jam a la Dark Star sans Bobby but then also with Bob. The reprise of Dark Star brought everyone back to total focus, especially two night attendees like myself.

What can I say about the Half Step? It got the fans dancing in their seats after the unfamiliar tunes and segued to the DS.

I surprised my son at college a second night as he kept getting text messages with mini-reviews and the setlist, or at least a close facsimile of the list.

The sound crew who are looking real familiar these days got the mix right tonight and the second set didn't sound like it was too much volume for the system as last night did.

Of course the intensity of "One More Saturday Night" can not be overstated. I have seen the song performed by the Grateful Dead and Bobby in various forms from 1973 til the present-- literally dozens of times-- and this was the show stopper. The fans frenzied in complete unison riding every note and copying Bob's range and pitch on the primal screams at the end of the song which were unparallelled. Bob you outdid yourself on that song. My wife and I gave each other a hug and said "nothing tops that song."

The "U.S. Blues" to encore was nice though and crisply played not a sloppy useless blues but a rockabiily rendition replete with flagwaving of the American flag first with the stars then with a peace sign in the blue field-- a nice effect and well done. Was that the sound man waving that flag ?

Somehow i didn't notice till tonight that the bass drum had the Obama for President campaign logo like at the PSU Dead show and somehow i connected the election to the flag morphing to the peace flag in the encore.

Bob is still at the top of his game he is making eagles and birdies all over the place and though an occasional bogey score makes the scorecard the final score is always worth the greens fees. In fact tonight the price of admission was covered simply by the "Saturday Night."

Keep up the good work guys and **WAY TO ROCK.**

Come back soon y'all, HEAR?

mike boland, Reading PA
Stunning crescendos throughout. Unspoken connectivity in building intense at times. Sporadic vocal distortion from left speakers not enough to diminish this top shelf performance

WKL, Q-town, pa
The boys were tight again tonight for the most part. From about Dire Wolf on the show was epic. The Jabk Straw, Cassidy, Red Rooster, Dancin start although greet on paper seemed a little not right and I'll leave it at that. Second set was amazing I wouldn't have changed a thing other than maybe a Morning Dew out of Stuff in stead of Black Muddy River which was so pretty that I have no real complaints.

Thanks for a great week. I hope everyone has a great rest of the tour this was my last stop until the next one.


Chris, Bernardsville, NJ
Reading PA. put on some music and STOP typinggggggggggggggggg. THANK you!

Franklintower, Bronx NY
Really good show for the most part. The band works well together and they are are really talented musicians. I took my son and some of his friends (all teens) and they of course loved the Dead songs, but sat through most of the others. Even they got a kick out of Bob forgetting way too many lyrics. The energy and support of the crowd was terrific. In the past, I often wondered whether a RatDog show was worth the time and money. No more. These guys give it their all and hit some sweet spots often enough to catch them any time you can.

Andy, West Chester
Speechless! Unbelievable energy throughout. Jack, Cassidy, Rooster, Dancin, Dire wolf WOW. Great opening. I thought the boys were super tight. Second set, amazing with the acoustic FOTD. Super solid One more Saturday night closer! Much better than Friday. They really know how to bring me back!!

Steve W, Manayunk, PA
WOW! what a great show especially if you were there both nights it was a bigger treat. FOTD and Hard Rain acoustic.. NICE!!! Hard Rain was a great thing. Bobby can still bang out a few high notes,during Hell in a Bucket,I thought he was going to stop short... He stepped back and started belting them out. (he can still get his balls in bunch)
After Black Muddy River I heard the first few notes of DarkStar thinking that it was just a tease , since they just teased the Other One and they did the 1st verse Friday night. After a few minutes I noticed they were still jammin Dark Star. What a wonderful treat. You knew it was going to be a great night after friday nights amazing show and then starting of with a JackStraw opener ,

There was a man who once wrote "Shows are O.K."

Laina, More we need More, What a special two nights, We got to 1/2 step together. What a amazing 1/2 step it was.
LUV YA!!!!!

Jaxstraw, Mississippi
This show was GOOD but Friday was BETTER!!!!

Franklin.....actually i was listening to friday's show the entire time i was typing that......

mike boland, Reading PA
Nice review from reading PA. One person said you typed too much but that is what this section is for.

David S, Akron
Beautiful What a great way to end the weekend!

David, York
What another great show...this time from the frot row right in front of Robin! Again...Mark was "on-fire" and evrybody played their asses off! Well done guys....you know our love won't fade away!!!

Steve Wojtak, Buena, NJ
Wow, what a show!! I saw my first Little Red Rooster in 16 shows now, which was great, The Hell In A Bucket reminded me of the good ole' GD. Second set was Jazz Time. I didn't mind that there was no Other One. Last tour the played a split version over the two nights and this time they did that with Dark Star which was fine by me! I loved that jam at the end! The end of the show was really rockin' and closed things out in grand style! I'm grateful that I have relatives who live out here so I can go to these wonderful shows!! Thanks everyone!!

Scott Probeck, Boulder, CO
Thanks guys for a great weekend! It started friday when we "Got On With The Show" with old friendly Stranger and it ended saturday with a flag waving, foot stomping US Blues. In between we twrilled through a 24 hour Dark Star; Caught dinner with Catfish John; Gathered what other men spilled; were reminded We will Get By, We Will Survive; We Danced in the Streets; Faced Hell in a Bucket; Made Friends with the Devil; Bathed in a Hard Rain; Crossed the Rio Grand-e-o; drifted by Milestones and danced till the Rockin' Rollin' Music Greeted The Rising Shining Sun!!!!!!!!!!!..... They're a band beyond description...Were they ever here at all...........

Sunray Don, The Thumb. NJ
I won the mail order lottery for this show-1st row center-which of course was an absolute great thing. So, I spent most of my night watching fingers and strings, lines on Bobby's face and other subtle things that i would otherwise never be able to do. The sound was not great from there-especially couldn't hear Kenny much at all. Very weird watching him blow hard with nothing coming out-like mime sax. But, I have a new appreciation of Mark! Wow :)
Last show of the tour for me, only 3 this time (LI, Newark & Philly) Spring will be here soon......

Nuthatch, New York, NY
After Friday, there was no way we could get a show to top it, intensity-wise.

And we didn't......but a great show nonetheless! Highlights for me were Milestones, Hard Rain and the Dark Star.

I classify this show as introspective. There were not too many out and out rockers. Most tunes were mid-tempo in strength and took their time to develop.

A great two show weekend and thank goodness for being able to grab the soundboards 15 minutes after each show....absolutely worth the 25 bucks!

Come back again to the Tower, so much better than the dank Electric Factory.

Dan Marsh, Media, PA
yo guys everything sounded great, friday night was alittle bit more of a rocker for me but heard some great tunes tonight even called a couple in the beginning-jack straw, and hell in a bucket being most memorible---im not gonna lie second set i was feelin a bit lost in the middle would of cared for better song selection but who am i ill always feel blessed if i have some beautiful tunes to grace these ears....but anyway so happy when half step came around like somebody above had written earlier earth shattering well put. all in all a beautiful night im glad to have shared my time w/ all you wonderful people just one thing to say not trying to be negative at all but ive read some reviews speaking out harshly against the "teenage" crowd and i just want to put this out there i for one i would suppose fall under that age group and i am eternally GRATEFUL for you guys paving the path for me to walk on but in a way you guys need us too....i dont know about you but for me ill take a full house packed of open hearted open minded youngsters then a venue w/ more and more empty seats god bless our fallen bretheren and like i said all in all a great night filled with some lovely tunes thank you all thank you bobby!!!

paul s, upper darby
show was alright...wilkes barre was better on tuesday. hard rain gonna fall was AWESOME!!!love when bobby does bob dylan songs. one more thing bobby can still belt it out, hell in a bucket WOW!!!! Great seats for this one 5th row and i got them on wednesday of this week but nothing topped the seats at wilkes barre right up front leaning on the stage in between bobby and jeff:)!!!!!!

Lisa, Hometown
What a show on Friday night, just could not stop dancing. It was very nice to see Bobby again. last show i saw was in hershey. I just love the way i feel when i see this man and the way that he can perform. what a voice!!!!!!!

tricia, temple,pa
The boys have never sounded better. Kenny can really belt out a song! Jack Straw opener rocked! Second set, FOTD was smokin! Half Step, Black Muddy River, Saturday Night... amazing! Jaxstraw... Cant wait for more! Wish it was tonight!!! Great venue, Awesome crowd, Good Times!

Laina, Chalfont PA
was pure beautiful bliss during half-step & black muddy river. can't really put into words that moment. heard a lot of saturday nights & knew it was coming but there was something different about this one. it was really surprisingly intense and the best one i've ever heard. really tight show all around.

Matt , Scranton, PA
Great show! Nice Bucket. full of energy throughout the first set. 1/2 step was great. I think the people who sat next to us were at the wrong show. played space invaders the whole show on cell phone. Sat in sec. Orch Left row HH-seat 18 and 20. Sound was nice. Hope to see you all soon

Mark, allentown, pa
I had to cancel the westbury shows and the following weekend shows in mass and conn. My father had become very ill. Was not going to the U, Darby shows either but my girlfriend and family insisted I go. Fri. night I had alot on my mind and I lacked the positive energy of it being a great show all the way around it also rubbed off on my friends. I thought fri. show fit the way I felt it was very spacey and out there at times. Great Bertha and Jack-a-row, st. steph the11 It was what I made it. a good show. Sat. I was more relaxed about going we pulled in the lot and there was my buddy from Baltimore walking up the street. Just like that bang good vibes set in. We partied in the garage like it was 1985 at the Jerry shows. No hassles just laughs vendors and music. What more can I say it was a kick ass show. Danced and kept thebeat the whole time acting silly and stupid on top of it. Lots of laughs high fives and goods vibes. Only a few I tried to joke around with looked at me like I was some kind of alien or something. Oh well. Milestones rocked! My feet were moving as fast as Mark's fingers it seemed. made alot of people laugh. To each his own. fri. or sat. Bobby and the boys always try to give a top notch performance every night. The show is all of what you make it sometimes. Totally awesome show for me on sat. Thank you Bobby once again for making me happy and forgeting lifes problems for a short while. Yes and I type alot too.

Russ, Pt. Pleasant Pa.
I loved That October Queen>Deep End
Mark Owns that!
I love when Ratdog Does The Album Stuff!

BobbyZ, Bridgeport,CT
6th & final show of the tour for me (Westbury's, Wilkes-Barre, Newark and the two Towers) and this one was a real nice way to "get off the bus", in style. The one-two of Jack Straw>Cassidy, wow, what can you say? Maybe not the greatest versions ever but well-played nevertheless. I personally thought Rooster was excellent and enjoyed Jeff's contributions to this version. The second-ever RatDog Dancin' was a whole lot of fun followed by another always fun Dire Wolf. Milestones was out-of-this-world intense, WOW! And two of my personal faves, Shade of Grey into the set-ending Bucket were played to the hilt, Mark's solo in Shade soaring and Bobby trying to bust-a-gut with his over-the-top vocals in Bucket.

FOTD was nice to start the 2nd set and a typically emotional Hard Rain followed. Even So howled and, though it is far from my favorite song, this version of October Queen may have been the best I've ever personally witnessed and speaks to the level of playing that this band collectively is dishing out nowadays. And as others have mentioned before me, the 1/2 Step rocked & rolled with the best of them. BMR was mournfully beautiful, the reprise and 2nd verse of the Star to complete what they started the night before felt "just exactly perfect" in its length and execution and it actually shocked me during it that Bobby was letting it play out so nicely, another testament to his newly-found restraint in trying to let each song find and then run out its own course and it has made IMHO a huge difference, especially on this tour, to the enjoyment of the shows in total. He then finished off the Cassidy properly and then the band performed a Sat. Night that could rival any version out there. And I would have liked US Blues a whole lot more back in the GD days if they had performed versions like what I witnessed either here@the Tower or@the Change For Obama show that I was lucky enough to also witness.

All in all, a great six shows, all in great venues and all to one extent or another great shows in their own right, some just a bit better than others but I wouldn't have traded any of them away for any other unseen/unheard show. Thank you, RatDog, for a real good time and Spring '09 is right around the corner...


Alex, Sunnyside, queens, NY
Unfortunately, I do not get to go to too many shows but when I do I ALWAYS have a great time! This was a great show, loved Jack Straw into Cassidy, and Dire Wolf! set 2, was really cool, I liked October Queen, not very familiar with it but was impressed. Hard rain, what can I say but truly terrific. Mississippi 1/2 step, wonderful and I want to thank you for a wonderful time as always!!

Christine, Spring City, PA
Mike Boland Said best here for me the first set I would Have to say was one of the poorest I was disheartend yet that Second set, Set a turnaround point that by Jay's Solo {can you say roched and thunderd like a locomotive on a mission} Wow Wow Wow .and trust me Ive seen my share of Rat dog shows ...that when I heard Black Muddy I can hear an Eagles cry Bobby was singing and with Heart...when I heard Sat begin I was oh not again...hhhmmm but my heart changed and what emerged oh my my did we see a Mighty Saturday Night Oh Yeahhhhhhhhh....Yeeehhhaaa!!! Can you say US Blues It has to rank with the tightst Ive heard to date ...Wave that Flag ... the second Set sound was Right On ..and the walls felt Like they were coming down...and the whistle is Screeming Take me to The River

Brian Michael, Birdsboro.Pa
I'll keep it simple.... Let's do a Friday and Saturday night at the Tower again in the spring. Please!... What a great pair of shows, Thank You.

Mike, Cape May
Excellent show! Well-played throughout and a great setlist. Dancin' In the Streets had everybody groovin' in our section. Hard Rain was outstanding. 1/2 Step was smokin'. Sat Night works best as a closer, instead of an encore, IMHO. This one did not disappoint. Great crowd. THANK YOU FOR A REAL GOOD TIME!

Mike Kaczmarski, Boothwyn, PA
Yeah, no doubt friday night's intensity could not be paralleled, but that doesn't mean i'm taking anything away from this show. it was really good. friday was just special. and to be there for both, was just amazing. the way they tied dark star together in both shows, was a treat for those who got to go to both. Bob is really stepping up his game and the band has never sounded better. i cant wait til they come back to philly!!! o and it better be at the tower again. by far the best sounding venue i have EVER been to. can't wait for the downlaods to be ready...

Keven , Plymouth Meeting, PA
The second set Sat. was the best music I've heard with both feet on the floor !! Took my brother inlaw for his first RD show. In the middle of one of the jam's he look's at me and mouths HOLY SHIT !!! I thought the sound on the second floor of Ram's Head in front of Mark was great, which it was but the Tower rank's with the best !!!! Spring is in the air !!!!

stevel, B- More
Thank you all for the reviews, especially Mike B in Reading...I couldn't make these shows but I felt like I was there...EXCELLENT WORK by the boys and by ya'll to tell me how it went!

Pete D, Philadelphia