8/29/2009 Setlist, Photos, and Reviews

Jackie Greene opened

Saturday, August 29, 2009
The Depot
Salt Lake City, UT


It is common-place to laud every performance by a Grateful Dead member, but I have to say I was very disappointed in the show. Weir's voice is a shadow of what it used to, as he struggles to maintain the melody, and sang many songs without a shred of meter, just splitting out the words rapidly in a weak, half-spoken voice.
This choice of songs were primarily slow, slow songs and, when there was a up-temp tune, he could barely manage the energy (admittedly I left at 1am before One More Saturday Night, after 3 hours of uninspired playing: I could not face a rendition of that song that would likely pale to its original glory).
The most energetic part of the show was the playful drum solo. The rest was mostly uninspired jamming that invoked Phish at their worse. With Bobby's screechy guitar, it skirted the edges of just noise. The interminable jamming on E-major during He Gone -> Other One was painful. The was barely any dancing last night.

I remember seeing him perform Sugar Magnolia on Letterman with the Dead in the spring, and wondered what had happened? And this from a 50+ year old that saw hundreds of shows of the Dead and their offshoot projects. A guy who, up to recently, bought virtually every CD offered by the Dead marketing machine in an effort to continue to relive the countless transcendal moments I had experienced. The upside, in the current universe, is that Dark Star Orchestra effectively recreates that magic of the Dead in a club setting.

Bobby, on the other hand, should have quit while he was at the top of his game. That was probably a year or so ago. Perhaps this show was just a bad night. But, after 40 years of playing, perhaps we should not accept bad nights anymore.

The Dead were the greatest band ever. When I took newvbies to see DSO to show them what the magic was about, they became enthusiastic Dead fans immediately. If I had done the same with Weir, they would have just shook their heads.

It is sad for me to write this review, but I have to speak what I feel, to get the negative energy out. We are blessed to have dozens of CD, tapes, and DVD that show the magic of the Dead. Part of doing anything important is life is to know when to quit. Perhaps that time has come for Bobby.

Steve, Salt Lake CIty
Steve in Salt Lake,

As a 50 year old Head since 1978, folks like you always amaze me.

You enter a show with an attitude and do all you can to fulfill your negative expectations. Then you cast your presumptions on all those who were there as if they are in lockstep with your jaded opinions.

Do us a favor and stay at home... "You're living in the past man" as Eric the Clown told George Costanza.

Get off your pedestal. You certainly "Can't charm the whistle off an evening train" so try "Pay for your ticket and don't complain".

Keep Rocking Ratdog!!

Steve J., Charlotte
BULLS@#T, Steve maybe you've come to expect to much!!When Ratdog was out here (East Coast) these guys were in TOP form. Not every night will be stellar.I like you have seen hundreds of shows and I remember Jerry having MANY off nights and we were not telling him to quit.Do you like your job?It is obvious to me that this group plays more for themselves than for us.Why else would Bob still be doing this?Do you think its for the money?NO WAY!!!!It is all he wants to do.Maybe next time just stay home with your dvd's and cd's and relive the past.I am currently shut out of Sat. night Further in Oakland,perhaps you have an extra you feel cheated into buying.I would gladly save the heartache of seeing your hero in horrible form.I think its time for you to move on.

tommy o, hamburg pa
well said tommy!!! I agree with you and steve from charlotte.
stay home and save the seats for those of us who can appreciate good music, weir is not the only guy in the band!!!

Man I can't belive this guy is complaining,I am just really happy to see the boys still rockin I am ready for a show tonight in Boulder and it probably wont be the best show i've ever seen but you know there is that chance and i've seen a bunch of them .That is the magic and why I'm still going at 51 .Hey guys as long as your doing shows I will try to make them.
Rock on Brothers

Big George , Boulder
Steve, how DARE you post an honest review of your experience on the man's website?

I find it incredible folks can say "you expect too much". Get real, friends. While part of the experience is being with fellow heads and enjoying a musical experience together, the band still has an obligation to put on a good show. My last few Bobby experiences led me to walk to the ticket window last night and buy a ticket for Gov't Mule on Sept 9th while people waited in line to get in to see Ratdog. FYI, RD charged $42, Mule was $28. I chose to bypass Bobby in favor of a Bonnie Raitt/Taj Mahal combo coming up this week. They will bring it for sure, while for me personally, Bobby's shows are a question mark. And after seeing the stelist, I'm glad I didn't go.

I find it funny Bobby's played OMSN on Saturday five times in the last two months and he plays "Salt Lake City" in Boise on Thursday and leaves it off the setlist for SLC, like it might be pandering or something. What could he be thinking?

I've seen a great RD show at The Fillmore in SF and enjoy the chance to go see them when I can. But if the concert dollar is stretched that month, Bobby will be a consideration, not a must see. I'm glad you fine folks who are more devoted will have a better chance to get a ticket and dance where I might have been. Enjoy!

>>>>"weir is not the only guy in the band!!!

No, but he's the guy it's all built around and he has a tremendous responsibility. Sometimes, he doesn't cut it. He IS human after all. Don't fault people 'cause they don't see it like you.

Enjoy your shows, everyone!

Slickrock Strangha, Colorado Plateau
since when could weir ever sing he's an inventive guitarist not gifted vocalist no one needs to be reminded of his vocal misques or any of his shortcomings if youve seen the dead it's somthing we all learned to accept and even love about the band when weir is on he's on but some nights he isn't the guy had a bad night ? ok but lighten up please i know weir did great in columbus july 5th and some of the shows i downloaded from the archive are stunning long live the dog!

james, coshocton ohio
Anyone who refers to themselves in the third person is a tool. Steve you are a serious tool.

shatapata, north country
'Salt lake city that's where I'm bound'!That my friend is why it was done the night before.That is what he could be thinking.Do you know your lyrics?Mule is only worth $28.You'll get what you paid for.Have fun!!!!

missin it, east coasters
Wow, I did not think the show last night was anything less then Great. Last year I was disapointed with the perfomance(possibly because The Mule was so awesome as an opener) but this year I thought it was awesome. They were tight and fluid. I have noticed that Ratdog is a more relaxed band as far as energy level, they have a somewhat layed bacj jazzy feel.

I guess we need to evolve with the band and not to expect The Grateful Dead or any other version of Bobby's preveous Bands. They are all what they are not what you want them to be.

Maybe Steve should Post his E Major Improve jam for us to hear and let us know what it should sound like?

All in all I only get to a few shows these days and have to say I really enjoyed last night.

Mike Tomassetti, Stansbury Park, UT. via Philly
Hey now....
I am looking forward to tonight's show in Boulder at an amazing venue with lots of history! As far as Steve's review...it's all in the eyes of the beholder. Everyone will have their opinion, which is good, otherwise we'd be dead.
I will listen for myself and make my own opinion, and enjoy every minute of the music tonight and for future concerts to come. Keep rockin Bobby! Enjoy the show tonight everyone. Peace.

Amy, Erie, Colorado
Hi Guys,
I have to chime in here. I was at the show last night and although steves review may seem harsh, there were many who felt the same way. I am only 27 and I am way more into phish/mule/umphreys/panic/sci than the dead but thats mainly because of my age. I have seen all of the side projects but only 1 dead show with jerry. I happened to like the show more than most people last night and I think it has to do with attitude. I can vouch that there were many people leaving the show and complaining, even before the 1st set ended. I think the problem is that alot of older heads compare them to the dead, I don't. They are just NOT the dead. From the tones they use to the way they interpret the catalog. I just take it for what it is. That being said, this band continues becasue of the name Bob Weir. If this was a new band that had no association with the dead I believe they would have little success as a NEW jamband. The acts these days have to have serious skills to make a splash. Check out Umphreys Mcgees catalog, they put so much into their music its unreal, no mindless jamming. Still, I have seen ratdog the last 3 times they have come here and I will likely see them again but I certainly wouldn't go on tour with them. Like I said, I had a good time and I like hearing fresh versions of old dead songs. NO, they are not as good as the dead in their prime but I read an interview with Bobby and he said that although he appreciates DSO recreating the GD experience, with Ratdog he is trying to offer a new interpretation of the music that he helped create. Anyway, if you don't like it then don't go to the show but if you are a fan and you feel it was a sub-par show, I think you have every right to post your feelings. A review is just that, what YOU thought of the show. Many folks enjoyed it last night and many didn't, its all about perception.

Ian, Salt Lake City
Thanks for a great show last night Bobby! Would have been happy to go home after terrapin flyer which was absolutely awesome to see! But pleased to be treated to a soulful, heartfealt, raucus second set. Dancing full tilt boogie most of the night as were most of the happy people around me ;) Went home grinning ear to ear...

Sully, Salt Lake City
Your all Crazy. I thought the show was fantastic. Get off the Meth people and get on the right track. God Bless Bob Weir and Ratdog.

Brian , Hailey Idaho
Hey Now,
The great thing about the dead community is yes options. I jumped on the bus in 87 and I was given the gift of seeing the band GD, JGB, The Dead 09, 04, and going to see the new creation Furthur in September. My heart has a gaping hole in it buy Jerry's passing still to this day. I saw the Dead this spring and I must say it was the same magic that happing with Jerry back in the day, in a way in some cases even better that Jerry's last years. That being said Steve you will not get the same experiences at a Smoking HOT GD show than you will at Ratdog. Stop waiting for that big pillow of smoke to appear on the stage left were Jerry will come out of and bring the house down . He's gone and nothing going to bring him back! Ratdog as come and progressed many of worlds and it was a great honor and privilege to see Bobby play. What do you think 40 years of hard core touring is going to do to him. In his 60's he is doing a fine job. It will never be the same but it was great to see him play with his band.

All I can say is... Bobby>>> thank you... FOR A REAL GOOD TIME!!!

Ryan , SLC
Last night was a smokin hot show.. While everyone is entitled to their own opinions to say that the energy was low would be totally false. Everyone around us was happy and dancing all night, lord knows we were rocking... Maybe Bob doesn't have the same bark in his voice like in '78 but get over it, the playing was tight, the jamming was inspired, and the song selection and order was spot on in my opinion. We are still talking about how good last nights show was. I'll be downloading the show tomorrow after work.

Charlie & Julie, Park City
dude way cool. it was jaming like how can you complain? I just think all the mormons are all stiff... what a wierd crowd too... I had a blast and so did my other friends that came with. cool thing was being let out and back in as you wanted. just had to find the right spot on floor and went on a ride and then it was over to soon. I also loved that they sang two songs with my name as the main character in it!!! freakin catfish john kicks ass!! expecially after a killer J. THANKS and keep up the playing! that sax guy kicks ass!! oh yea, Thanks for the pick too! I gonna play the shit outa it till it snaps.

john, baker
I couldn't imagine this show being weak or drawn out in any way. when do you see an at a siding flyer 1st set closer? Maybe Steve up there saw some dick's picks worthy shows and all but that was then this is now.Some are very mixed up on what the band is doing.It's Ratdog not The Grateful Dead VERY SIMPLE.Telling the MAN to quit .What's the matter with you?BOO that man Steve.Plus save the ticket for someone who cares.

N.Omalley, Scranton,Pennylvania
maybe the people who didn't like this show are just pissed off that Huey Lewis didn't show up to play his harp.

Seriously.....Odessa>At a Siding>Terrapin Flyer? to end the 1rst set? c'mon folks...that's Ratdog at their slimey jazziest best!! Would have loved to have been there. We were at The Depot for last years Mule/Dog show and had a great time. Love this venue. After living in SLC for many years, it was fun to go back and see Bobby there. Ratdog is just that....RATDOG! It's a whole different way of music playin'! hey are the real deal....see ya in Jamaica brothers!!!

desertdan, oakland
always grateful to have the opportunity to see Bob! There are a lot of opinions out there, my experience at Saturday's show was awesome! Thank you Bob and Ratdog for giving us a wonderful night. I danced my ass off!!

Jentry, Holladay, UT
Steve's review was right on. There was very little crowd movment or dancing. The only time I saw real excitment was during "other one" Just during the part with the heavy bass. At times Bobby seamed to be in a daze! Wheres the energy. Way too much money for what we got. The highlight of the night for me was Jackie Greene. Now there was some energy. And don't any of you give me any crap about not being a true deadhead. I have been seeing the Dead and Bobbie since 1969. This was by far the most boring show I have ever been too. Just saying it like it is.

Robert, South Jordan, Utah
Thanks to all of you who responded to my review. To set a few things straight, I am not a Mormon, did not enter the show with anything less than anticipation of real fine time. I have seen the boys in all their incarnations numerous times. To the gentleman who questioned my statement about E-Major jams, perhaps my degree in Music Composition gives me a different perspective than most.

To those who weren't even at the show, your blind defense of the band says more about you than me. To those who actually were there and enjoyed the evening, I am gratified that had a wonderful time. We don't all react the same to a common event.

At any rate, it's a free country and you are all entitled to your opinions. For me, perhaps I should taken a longer pull on the joint....

Steve, Salt Lake City
Just an FYI, I listened to the Sirius broadcast of the 8/31 Denver performance in my project studio on just mediocre Reference monitors and Bobs Voice sounded pretty darn good. Now I am wondering (because at the Depot on 8/29) the Vocals and the Sax sounded kinda weak. If maybe the Pa System at the Depot hindered our perception?

Just saying because it was so much clearer in my studio Monday night.

Mike Tomassetti, Stansbury Park, UT via Philly
sure didn't feel like me and my friends were alone dancing in front of the rail! :-) met some really fun people there too!

thanks guys for a good time at a fine venue! also, thanks for having jackie open for you even though he was not feeling well enough to come out with yall! it was a pleasurable evening!! saw you there last year with the mule and dug it too! thank you!

traci, park city, ut
We were there! It was Great!Dancing and having a blast in the front row! Got a setlist from a very cool roadie.The show initself had a personality all its own! Don't they all!Love ya Bobby! Since the early 70s every Dead show,Ratdog show etc. has had its own personality! That's why we love them so much!Whats not to llove? Wish Bobby and the boys come back our way soon!!!!!!!!!

Linda, Evanston,Wyoming