7/25/2009 Setlist, Photos, and Reviews

Gathering of the Vibes

Saturday, July 25, 2009
Seaside Park
Bridgeport, CT


what a party. great scene and sound. bobby and the boys brought it hard. business as usual.

DC, Irvington, NY
Had to be the biggest crowd I ever saw for Ratdog in my 40 dog shows. Very high energy level. Loved it.

PennsylvaniaPete, Northampton, PA
Excellent show...and yes monstrous crowd and energy. You really had to be there for this one to realize it was truly, truly epic. The only other Ratdog show I can compare it to is perhaps 2007 Vibes. I felt like I was time-warped back to a 1960s fest. Angelic girls with flowers in their hair roaming around sans shirts, and super kind, respectful people everywhere sharing and helping each other out. For me this scene was 10x better than what I felt during the recent Dead tour...that's just my take maybe I didn't catch the right dead show. Long live the Dog! Oh yeah, the Jane Lane Drum Solo was the best I've seen in 20+ shows, and how about some props for the not-mentioned-enough Jeff Chimenti!

moses, norwich
This was a good show. I had not seen rat dog since penn state in 2007- Hi Jung En! and I had a great show then and met bobby and the entire band back stage and it was a blast...I have not been able to bring myself to see another ratdog show because I feel that the experience would never be topped.

As it turns out my inclination was correct. This show was a decent show. But the venue was too big for the song selection. It needed a help>slip>scarlet>shakedown>franklins or some thing really heavy and the show just did not muster enough energy for me and shame on me, I got a hamburger and cheese fries during scarlet.

Did I enjoy it? yes. Killer show?, not really. I found the whole vibes scene distracting. Looking forward to seeing bob in NYC in october.

I give it a 6. Days between birdsong was a slow finish with a sleepy ashes and glass to preceed. I love you bob but this show was sort of rushed and I have seen the GD 101 times, Phil over a 100, ratdog nearly 85 shows and about 100 phish shows...so I ahve seen lots of concerts- maybe I am just too old or expecting too much. I was back to my car by the middle of days between. Vibes traffic was not abig deal bit the day parking and shuttles were sort of rediculous...not a great vibe...

brendan mcauley, guilford, ct
FYI rat people. The band closed Friday (Hampton Beach) with an acapella Attics and on Saturday, Bobby cama out with Levon's band and did an (almost) acapella Attics at the end of Levon's set.

Beautiful, back to back Attics.

mr dave, boston
Great scene. Energy of the crowd was something I haven't experienced in some time. The band sounded great and from where I was standing (front & center), they looked like they were having a ball. Bobby leading the boys through flawless changes with his hand signals as they all watch him intensely waiting for his cue. You get a totally different perspective when up that close.

Brendan, It may have felt rushed because they decided not to play their acoustic set due to what appeared to be time constraints. They started tuning but then caught word that they needed to hurry it along. I believe it was close to midnight at that point.

Oh yeh, the drum solo was fantastic. Jay plays with the strength and stamina of an ox. Robin and Jeff, who dont get enough credit IMO, were excellent. MK was tight as usual and Bobby's voice sounded great. Kenny also hit all the right notes with his sax. You can tell they have been playing together for a long time; They are that tight. Aside from one missed lyric by Bobby during Scarlet (he didn't get back to the mic fast enough), the band was flawless. Definitely the hottest act touring right now.

Can't wait till the three night run at the Beacon.

Max, Killingworth, CT
I have to disagee with everyone here. I thought Bobby was loaded it sounded so bad I wish mark was singing. Between some songs it took almost ten minutes. The crowd had energy but the band was flat as hell. Bobby messed up the lyrics to almost all the songs not just scarlett. listen to recording and I think you will have a dirfferent opinion. Not trying to be hater here just was very unimpressed with the whole set. I have over 100 ratdog shows under my belt.

Dino, Monmouth Beach NJ
Well it was a very large crowd and everyone was pumped for RatDog, after Bobby's great appearance with Levon's band. Attics,Jed,and Weight were all fantastic with Bob in great voice. The band came out and with very little intro, started off into Festival! What a great surprise and very well-played for so rare a tune. Good start, then an absolutely slow and overly long Jack Straw sucked the energy out, to me anyway. Lazy River Road was performed at a top-notch level and was very enjoyable. Unfortunately, we just had a slow tune and from River they segued into another slow tune, Bird Song. I am not a hater of RatDog's Bird Song's like alot of others, but this one, while jammed out, didn't go anywhere with the jam. So at this point, the preceding three songs amounted to about 30 minutes of real mellow stuff, at like 11PM. Not a great decision to center the show around Bird Song IMO. They did pick it up though with a nice Bertha into Silvio(a song I love hearing at a RatDog concert)into Scarlet Begonias. I had been hoping for a Scarlet, and this turned out to be a decent one with good soloing by MK. After Scarlet(the highlite so far), there was like a minute break, but nothing close to ten minutes the way Dino says. They decided on Ashes(a big fav of my wife), and it had a great performance and nice jamming. Iko came immediately next and this was fun with good sax from Kenny. The Jam was okay, with the highlite(and one of the set's highlites)being Jay's great drum solo. Real nice. At this point I turned to my crew and said that I was sure that after the jam, they'd play some more upbeat stuff, I was thinking maybe Prudence or St.Stephen. Well, I couldn't have been more wrong as Bobby took the band into Days Between. After that was the expected Bird Song Reprise>Saturday Nite combo. Donna came out for the Ripple encore, and I got a good spot in line for the cds.
Overall, the band played real well. Bobby was in fine voice, much better with RatDog than 2008, and his playing was sharp. The rest of the band played more like a backing band on this night though, with not alot of hot spots by MK,Kenny,or Jeff. They very well may have been tired, but this was a set that was focused on Bobby's delivery of the tunes. Bob didn't mess up vocally very much, Silvio he missed a verse but I thought he was the best individually on stage playing-wise.
The biggest complaint wasn't execution, they played nicely, but nothing was over-the-top and raw. This, along with the slow-pace of the song selection left this a performance that I figured would get alot of mixed reaction. In the lot after the show and the next day, i was kind of surprised at the overwhelmingly positive responses I got from people. I think Bobby needs to understand that if you are the headlining band of a major music fest, the song selection should be a little more upbeat, but he'll do what he wants, just as he always has. I thought he missed an opportunity at that large event with that huge crowd to leave the attendees with a performance they'd always remember. I doubt that many hardcore RatDog fans will look back at this performance as the kind of landmark show this could have been. Listening to the soundboards reveals a well-played, enjoyable show to sit at home or drive in your car, but not one you're going to try and turn on a newbie with.

Tyler Ainley, Royersford,PA
The partier in me said play the party songs, the hardcore RatDog fan in me said play some jammy stuff and I think Bob kind-of got caught inbetween the two with mixed results though I'm not faulting the effort put forth, this band is IMHO really tight nowadays and have been for a good several years now.

Nice to hear the Festival breakout, really can't bitch ''bout a bandleader who was kind enough to repeat only five songs three times over fourteen shows and the rest twice or less and has broken out a new (to RatDog) tune or two as well as dusting off a couple of other ones...got to give the kudos when they're earned...

The Lazy River road, a song that used to bore me to tears back in the GD days, was really sweet on Saturday night, the Bird Song was nice but didn't seem to hit the stratosphere as it can from time to time but the Bertha w/guest vocalist Donna Jean rocked. Don't really care for the Silvio/Tequila but it did seem really appropiate for where we were and the Scarlet was pretty good, too, and while Mark played well I don't think that it was one of his better nights overall...the Ashes and Glass was one of my highlights, I love when he dips into the RatDog/Solo catalog but the Iko was totally played up for its audience participation and really didn't go anywhere musically. Stuff was really more of a monster Jay Lane solo and I, for a change, didn't mind that at all and while I've read some disparaging remarks about the Days Between, it was the highlight of my show, just a beautiful song played so nicely, this one was Jeff and Kenny all the way, I was near tears by the end of it but to each their own, I tried to enjoy for those that couldn't/wouldn't...

For a change, I thought the Bird Song reprise was really well played and not rushed through like some many others to my ear and the 1 More Sat Nite rocked with the false ending. Ripple sent us off in the appropiate fashion. All in all a nice outdoor show that ultimately didn't seem to find its own identity...on to Philly and NYC


Alex, Sunnyside, Queens, NY
I thought it was a great show. The only thing I didn't like was all of the glow-lights being thrown and Bobby and the band (not cool). I missed the line for CDs. Does anyone know where I may be able to purchase a soundboard?

Kurt, Bethel, CT
great show. to Kurt, really? you don't like people throwing glowsticks? maybe stay home then? (waahhh)

Adam, Philly
I have to agree with Tyler. The song selection could have been more upbeat for the size of the crowd. Also I agree that if you headlining a venue as large as vibes you should be packing your A-game. All in all it was a great time but I did enjoy the 2 Penns Peak shows on July 14th and 15th much more. Looking forward to seeing Bobby and the boys in Philly!

Dave, Hazleton, PA
To start, I was not at the Vibes this year (unfortunately), but I have listened to this show, both aud. and board. I have to say, it's good! The beginning may be "slow", but it's Ratdog. They don't normally "blaze". The Scarlet is one of the most spirited I've heard. The Bertha & Silvio are also both movin'. I'm unclear as to what people are commenting on. Again, I wasn't there and I know the Dog is a little laid back, but that's what they do. They also jam quite well, which I think i heard here. The Bird Song(s) were nice. Donna is always welcomed. I don't know, I would recommend it. As a side not, to complain that they took some time between songs??? Remember the Grateful Dead??? That was half the fun, trying to figure out the next tune. I give it a thumbs up!

doodle , Albany
Overall, thought it was a really nice show- I thought Bobby's singing was excellent all night, and he sang Birdsong and Silvio especially well (I admittedly have a soft-spot for Bobby singing Dylan tunes). Thought Festival was good but kind of a strange tune to open with; I would've preferred something a little more standard first.

I agree that the show was a bit slow at some points, but it didn't particularly bother me; Birdsong was my definite highlight, and I also really enjoyed Attics with Levon Helm; as noted by others, Ripple was really an excellent choice as a send-off. IMHO the weakest moments were probably the two most standard songs, Scarlet and Jack Straw- Jack seemed far too loud and even maybe overplayed, and Scarlet didn't reach the heights that it could have.

To Dave- saw the Penn's Peak show on the 15th, and thought it was about on par with this one; the earlier one had, I think, a much better setlist (who can complain about a Dark Star, a Crazy Fingers, and a Black Throated Wind?), but I thought the Gathering show was much tighter and jammed much more intensely, and I think Bobby's voice was much better at the Vibes.

Tim, Whitehall, PA
not the highest energy I ever saw, but its always good to see Bobby. Don't get him that often. anyone else realize that until the Sat night closer, it was jerry tunes all night- with a few ratdog interspersed. Think that was by chance?

Definite thumbs up!

jb, miami
This show was great. Short ,(all festival sets are a bit short) but sweet. mark karan was really on that nite. as always a JOY to see Bobby playing this great music that brought us all together. it was RAINING lightsticks, great visuals.

Cosmic Charlie, Atlantic City
For all the haters, PLEASE just stay home. give the ticket to someone who wants it. i saw the Grateful Dead 287 times, and 76 Jerry Band Shows (the REAL JGB, not Melvin's band). i first saw ratdog in 94 and 95, when the Grateful dead still toured, and havent even bothered to count the times . These are different bands playing many of the same songs. If 10,000 people made their ideal setlist (if they could all agree) and they performed this set "flawlessly" there would still be people who bitch and complain. Enjoy it for what it is spontaneous in the moment music that revolves more around the moment than the song itself. This is the REAL ACID JAZZ
Rock on Bobby

Cosmic Charlie, Atlantic City
anybody else realize that when bobby was playing saturday night it was really sunday morning all in all a good show except iko iko which i never get into anyway dont try comparing vibes 2007 and this show 2 different nights different circumstances etc. both were brilliant shows and i cant wait to see the boys at the beacon all 3 nights anyone else come home from vibes a moonalice fan i thought ratdog and moonalice were the 2 best bands there

phil, baldwinsville
by far the best show i have been to, everyone loved the show, everyone was dancing, everyone was in a great mood. biggest crowd i have seen at a ratdog show, can wait til they come back east!

kevin O'Rourke, saratoga ny
I really wish I was at the show everybody else seemed to be at, because the Bobby I saw and I hate to say this sucked.
It seemed like he was reading poetry , to music.
Never seemed to able to dance to anything.
I Love Bob, but there is a reason his face was on the T-shirt , with it aint easy being cheesy on it.
seemed like the whole night was a big cheese.
With his repertoire, I was a little baffled by the fact that he only seemed to do Jerry songs.
Sorry to hurt anybodys feelings, but this is what I got from the night. I was ready to send him a get well card.

karen, new preston,CT
why's everyone crying ? sleep in the stars...dig ? tell me all that you know... I'll show you, snow n rain. due to stellar choices this summer, I was able to see dog only in atlantic city and am grateful for the miracle ticket too ! my next show(s) are perhaps on the west coast soon... and I don't know about some of the complainers...too bad that everything must be perfect ? please ! it is worth going as far as 94103 or the 500 mile radius to see Ratdog. anywayzzz...Ratdog, P & F, the Dead... Thanx for the Inspiration ... maybe it's better to see an occasional show or several ... for I don't want to burn out on too many shows that I would actually think that I had a right to complain about anything in regard to the Tour . peace out . * alan

sparklinthereeds, undertheboardwalk
This might have been the worst Ratdog show ive ever seen. Cookie cutter set...I swear i heard the same damn set last year at the vibes?!?! and they were on frikin cruise control slow slow slow auto pilot. Mark Karan? great guitar player? What happend to those ripping solo's from 2006 and before? Sleepy Bob and the west texas tumbleweeds should be the bands new name..i know im not alone!

Jesse , Worcester
jesse, please stop going to shows, you dont get it and never will... i thought it was a decent show, bobby came out a brought a lot of heart that night.. cant wait till the beacon on saturday night!!

mark, great barrington, ma
Ratdog didn't play the vibes last year. Phil did, Billy did. if you cant tell the difference between phil, billy and bobby, maybe you should just stay home. perhaps you can do better--oh wait no one ever heard of you while you talk smack about PROFESSIONAL MUSICIANS, that most likely make more a night than you do in a year. lets all hear it for jesse the musical Genius from worcester that nobody ever heard of.

consider the source folks on these here reviews

Cosmic Charlie, Atlantic City
btw- ratdog only played 2 of the same songs in 2009 and 2007 (sat nite and ripple)
sat nite is to be expected EVERY saturday and ripple is a treat anytime especially with donna jean, so you don't know jack Jessee.

Cosmic Charlie, Atlantic city