12/30/2008 Setlist, Photos, and Reviews

Jackie Greene opened; Phil & Friends closed

Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Bill Graham Civic Auditorium
San Francisco, CA


Come on ya'll.......I know it was a late (and hopefully magical) night......but I'm in need of a review or two......


Schultzy, Scottsdale, AZ
Excellent Show. 7hours. Thanks.

Paul William Smith, San Francisco
I guess all those people who were raving about the Fall Tour weren't on glue. Outstanding show -- the band was as good as I've ever seen them, Bobby was energetic and on top of his game both as a singer and a guitarist, Karan was wonderful, Lane was in the pocket, and they were so good that the setlist -- if I'd just seen the list and not been at the show, I would have dismissed it -- didn't matter. Just like at the best Dead shows.

Jeff Beresford-Howe, Oakland
Maybe I was on glue, Jeff, because I was bored. Partly it was the venue. Bob's set is more intimate then that 7000 seater. Phil had the energy to fill it and the sound to boot. Bob had his moments, but his sound was not great and there were some seriously dull patches. I hope y'all had a better time than I did. Happy New Year!

hamal, emeryville
One thing about the BG Civic: it's a *very* wide venue, with the speaker stacks a mile apart. On top of which, there are essentially no speakers down in front for the people who are near the stage.

What that means is that if you're not somewhere around the soundboard, the sound is just not going to be very good.

I of course prefer more intimate venues, too, but it's nice to see Bobby really commit to rocking out.

Can't agree about Phil philling out the sound: I hate the my-band-is-better-than-your-band shit, but I thought Ratdog blew Phil's band -- sans Larry Campbell, who really keeps that group's sound hanging together -- off the stage.

Jeff Beresford-Howe, Oakland

Well all I have 2 say..there couldn't be any better way 2 bring in the New Year...I was pleased to see The boys 2 nite..they looked like they were having fun..I really enjoyed the setlist ..Phil was full of energy..the only complaint I have is the sound was a little off..Other than that ..I had my smile from ear to ear...and it's been a great while since I have been on the West coast...trully miss it..It's great 2 be here..the best part of going to shows is seeing some old freinds I haven't seen in years..Joey D ..it was great seeing you..Craig and Caroline..you guys are the greatest..and Hugz you haven't changed a bit..Wanda and Bill..haven't seen you guys since 99..it's been like a family reunion..WOW!!..we are everywhere...Hey..Happy New Years to all the Fine Deadheads across the land and Happy New year to Ratdag and Phil & freinds...Weir still truckin after all these years!!!!

Caseyjonz731, Orlando,Florida
I generally hate the sound in this venue as well, but I was at the pit railing on the right, and there WAS a set of 3 low-end boxes with 3 tweeter arrays facing the crowd at stage front to compensate for being too close for the hanging arrays. I thought it was very considerate, and mixed at a good level, too! The between-band acoustic mini-set of Phil & Bobby was lots of fun, and Jill Lesh ended up sitting on a stage-edge monitor watching for a while. There was a giant turtle with a rectangle cut out of the belly suspended from the ceiling along with four giant mesh nets of balloons for a major drop. There were hundreds of Deadhead vendors and community followers complete with dogs and babies and "Miracle" signs; when we arrived, I thought they must not have opened the doors yet, only to find out this giant crowd was just the "community" still truckin'! Kudos to Weir, Karan and Lane, all energetic and happy to be there - it seemed like Phil and Jackie Greene were on a mutual high, grinning like fools suring a lot of their set; good vibes and good music all around (but a little tightening up would perhaps have been useful, as Ratdog had a 2 hour 20 minute set!) Happy 2009!

Doug Currens, Tiburon
The set list doesn't tell the story of this show for sure - bobby opened with a real hot shakedown - I was really impressed - it seemed like a mid- second set song. The sound was also real good. i heard bad comments about this venue but for me - up front to the right side as well. I could everyone in the band clearly.
Too many high points to list them all but completely enjoyable!!
Thanks Bob and Ratdog...

btw... anyone notice that Bobby took off a few pounds? certainly looks a little trimmer.

rich, SF
Shakedown was running on all gears, Dear Prudence was awesome, and Easy to Slip was great. Wonderful time. From the wine country into the urban jungle can be very entertaining!

Tyler Brown, San Luis Obispo
1st night jackie was on
bobby didnt quite do it for me, he had his moments but i was left less impressed
1st night phil was epic, very cool birdsong, very nice, spacey sound. all in all epic.

2nd night, phil came out mediocre but by te time he they went into help and then particles elevator wit molitz on te helm i was mind blown!!! unreal!
then the maggie's farm was a good one.
as for bobby's set, he redeemed himself;f with colors shining! i was impressed. the sound was uptempo- the setlist tight the mood awesome...what a terrapin.
after the balloons it was all good all the time, the ripple at the end was the most intimate version ive ever heard. it left me in tears...until i found out about the 2009 tour...yea!!! see you all at shoreline on may 10th!!!

have a grateful year!

sam martin, sf, ca
Great show all around. Bobby and Ratdog were sounding better than ever I thought. Phil and Friends were unbeleivable. Happy to be a part of it!!! Happy new Year Y'all!

rich, marin
...ok, clearly it's "me". Didn't find it that spectacular.

hamal, emeryville, ca
great time.i was not ready for a 7 hr show 0r 6 30 with out counting the in between set ups , does any one have the whole set list for the hole show, if so please email me at alderdnb@aol.com thanks true dead forever

danbo , lake hughes
Ok so this show was legendary.

My brothers and a friend drove out from Boulder CO and hours and hours later saw california.

I dunno who still thinks cali is the best place in the world bc its filled with more homeless and just plain bad people than anywhere else besides chicago or detroit. but aside from that

I sat in line for hours to get a good spot, some good peeps in line. but mostly old heads trying to huddle up together, kinda scared of talking to others...Some cool peeps in line though, Metallica guy and old guy whos ears bled keep on truckin. The line smelled like good good dank all day which was amazing. Security was mostly outside to keep the beggers away and keep us safe. I almost handed over some nuggets to a cool old security guard who was jonesing. The venue is in the shade all day which makes the pavement freezing. Doors open and I forgot to hide some joints on me and accidentally pull them out at the security check, lady guard just laughs and tells me to 'get on in there' so cool. Bad vibes though early on and actually for both nites. People tried to reserve seats for their lazy friends and I didnt like that, reminded me of all the old farts at red rocks with shirts and blankets on the bars at the bottom- I really liked it when these tough ass guards told them to move their shit, bug eyes old people are amazing- why dont you mature? Anyways the show was great. I personally do not like J green and actually his band was pretty tight both nites even though he kept singing. Ratdog first nite was great. I love to long sets hope that might stick around. Phil was good too and I loved how his bass just BOOM BOOM BOOMED you can feel it in your chest cavity if you're up in the pit. The intimate phil/bob/jay set was great and was like an old marx bros movie bc bobby came out and started yelling and messing with the setup and then cheruki (sp) was yelling but you couldnt hear any of it so it just looked like a silent movie. The dark stars were great and i really liked the lil set. Move to ny eve next nite and the curtain came down the lights were off and on both sides of the stage are beautiful blond girls acting like angels and this huge turtle ;) which I was staring at the whole 1st show starts to lower. It comes within feet of us and stops then starts to flip over. THERES A CLOCK IN ITS STOMACH! THe countdown begins and the curtain rises to Sugar MAG!!!! HUGE!
THeres little kids throwing balloons on stage right and the band is just blowing away as balloons drop and the pop pop pop of them is just continuous for the rest of the nite(Seriously who thought they were cool popping balloons? You have bad vibes and suck!) sorry but the show was full of bad vibes and over doses. Girls and guys alike LYINg on the GROUND in the PIT! I mean thats dangerous. THen throw in some punk ass rasta dred locked wanna be hippies and theyre ugly ass gfs trying to make it to the bar or the old use to be cool husbands and wives drunk and trying to do the same thing and toss in a fight or two and you have the W O R S T ground of people Ive ever been amongst at a dead show. Truly awful. Seriously think before you eat that extra 1/8 or two of shrooms. One kid started a fight in the lobby after the first nite almost hit his gf and a friend of his had to be tackled to the ground b4 security came with a strecher to take him out of there. Totally bogus california crowd. I loved the venue. I loved the music. And some of the people we great truly amazing. But the bad apples we impossible to look over and really soured the two evenings in my opinion.

To summarize I have to say this was the best experience Ive had besides the blossom show of the last dead tour. I just wish cali was more like everyone tried to make it out and less like a horrible horrible place. Bad people and bad vibes almost kept me from enjoying it till I just shrugged off the old hags and balding has beens and just let my smiles piss them off further.

To all the .org ers I had a great time, and I seriously think the Phil crowd and J green crowd and general West Coast Drug crowd looked quite poor compared to us. Hope to see you all this spring and I really enjoyed seeing the few familiar faces.

Keep on Trucking Happy New Year and Keep your Vibes Happy


Derf Sanderson, Lake Jackson TX/Powell Ohio
Well...I didn't see all the old od-ing, fighting, lame old bald west coast heads (though we are aging, ain't we!)...phil was on, jackie is improving, bobbie was boring and dragged on his jams forever, though in good voice...
Still the trio was nice, st stephen, terrapin, born cross eyed, shakedown, jack straw were highlights...After seeing dead shows for a few decades, it wasn't the pinnacle, but nice to hear them reinterpret some chestnuts and bring the next generation along.

Now who were all those dirty strung out (East Coast?) kids out front? I thought Phish tour didn't start till spring?! Truthfully, that was kind of a small, weak lot scene compared to the old days, but times change...True, the resident SF street people make the lot kids look pretty tame. Word to the wise..re:the west coast scene ...if it makes you question reality, grab your wallet and keys, and seems just a little dangerous...that's kind of how it's been for a long time. That's life in the big city (or on the western/left edge of the continent)...Should have seen the LA forum (and many other places) during the touch head days...lots of scary non heads in the lot exploiting the scene...oh yeah, and one head did die (or was it two?) That's why they got banned in various locations and specifically why some folks don't like urban shows...it's a hard place to dissolve your ego, let go and feel safe. Oh yeah, and decades of drug use do tend to amplify not so favorable personality traits...You kids out there take note!

Anyway, bring on Dead spring tour!

August West, Santa Cruz
Phil was a little flat that night ,but, Booby Kicked my ass again...GREAT SET The Dear Prudence just about brought me to tears

Mike Wallett, Sun Valley, Idaho
All the reviews above are good, but I too must say that I did not find the first night spectacular. I'm not trying to sour the mood, just keep things in perspective. Legendary and Epic are terms that should not be thrown around lightly.

For me, I was disappointed to learn upon arriving just before seven or so that Jackie Green's band had already played, and that I missed it! Those concerns were alleviated, temporarily, when Bobby opened with a great shakedown. But Bob's set was too long, too spacey, and too dull at points to really keep myself and the crowd going strong for what became a seven hour show. Maybe it was great for the dosers, or the over dosers, but I found long stretches that were too tough on my ears. Maybe it was me. Plus there were the set breaks. Thankfully, the venue was huge so there was much to do to pass the time during down moments and keep things interesting.

Phil's set was great. Started strong with Bertha, peaked for me with New Speedway Boogie, and I loved the Viola Lee closer. To me, Jackie Green was the highlight of night one. He carried the night vocally, particularly on the Jerry songs. Also great the next night vocally on the golden road and dont let me down. But I couldn't help but think when I left night one that it was really a sound check for night two.

Also agree with Derf that there were all kinds of bad apples at the show that made it hard to fully enjoy the experience. But one thing I have learned over the years is that, with the Dead, like it or not, you take the good with the bad. And on a night like dec 30th and 31st, at a concert and venue of this size and magnitude, in SF, I was not surprised in the slightest. Thankfully, though, there were plenty of good souls in attendance as well, much to the delight of this solo traveler.

Thanks for a long great night of music. I certainly wouldn't mind a future cd/dvd release of two hours or so of night one's finest moments, along with virtually all of night two.

jeff, las vegas/detroit
I loved Ratdog's Set. The Shakedown was incredible. I know they do it a lot but this one reached past the outer stratosphere and flew through space like a funky starship enterprise. It was easily the best one I've ever heard Ratdog do. Even up there with some great GD Shakedowns.

Sure, the setlist was heavy on the ratdog tunes. But the band's ratdog! And everything was played top notch, full vista cruiser.

Standouts for me were:

The Weight

For me, and for a lot of people the best part of both shows were the two trio sets.

First night's Black Throated>Dark Star>Easy to Slip was exquisite. Phil's bass leads on that reminded me why I love his bass playing on Weir tunes. The Dark Star was just perfect and the Easy to Slip was passionate.

Carlo the Ski Nose, PDX
What a way to enter the New Year, Bobby and the boys were very good and did some nice jamming on the opener Shakedown, a wonderful She Belongs and a stellar Jack Straw, nice to end with prudence and touch of grey, I thought PAF would have a tough time to follow, but Bobby and Phil came through with a nice Trio of songs with Black throated really sung well, then alas PAF came out and just tore it up. Having not seen them I was totally gased, even Bobby was on his knees watching the last hour on the side . Then it happened 31 years and I got my St Stephen, which was after and intense Terrapin/China/Borncross-eyed, and if the Saint was not enough they went into Satisfaction-WOW-closed with Viola Lee and walked off with the trophy for the night-Great Show

Blanch, San Diego
to any music lover,friend of the dead!
it,was the best.all the musicians was at their best!
bob weir's voice,just love it.
something for every one,even the ones who knows nothing,about music. just be greatful,&love to them.
love,peace&happy new year!
love huguette

huguette, goleta,ca.