8/30/2009 Setlist, Photos, and Reviews

Jackie Greene opened

Sunday, August 30, 2009
Chautauqua Auditorium
Boulder, CO


one of the, if not the worst ratdog concert ever. and I have seen plenty. Insomniacs should get this cd instead of a prescription for some drug, bc this would do the job just fine. and now its time for the idiots to berate me for giving an honest review, bc if you don't rant and rave about every note these losers take it as some personal affront. truth is, the real fans, the real heads, the real lovers and appreciators of this music are those who do and always have listened with a critical ear, honestly bored by the goin thru the motions, and truly loving the outstanding work that if often but not always present. if ya just love everything, then ya really don't know the great from the mundane and your a stepford deadhead. tonight must be better, so says the smart money (for gasoline). yee ha

mac, eugene
Majestic surroundings for a Ratdog show! Chautaugua is a special place and what a mystical evening! A memorable experience to hear Ratdog's unique, jazzy sound out in the rose garden by the venue. The lucky ones were outside enjoying the music and the moonlight! Thanks for coming Ratdog!

Maggie Rose, Boulder
Thought the show was pretty durn good, though I was prepared to be let down after reading some of the scathing reviews of the past few days. Last few songs of the show, Samson>jam>Black Peter>Touch of grey were excellent. Whole crowd was singing at the top of its lungs during Touch. Bob's vocals on Black Peter were impressive and Karan's guitar work was tops. Whole band sounded good - Kenny, Jeff, Robin. What's not to like?! Chautauqua was beautiful under the moonlight.

Nick, Denver
Chautaqua is a wonderful, beautiful place -- no question. As far as the band & music . . . well, we all have good days and bad days no matter what we do to live, thrive and survive -- I wish I was at the top of my game everyday at work, life etc., but the truth is some days we all perform better than others. With that, last night was performance (by both bands) was LACKLUSTER at best -- actually, just plain awful.

Jackie Greene came on on 8pm and played til 8:35; Bobby & co. came on at 9 and played to the 11 curfew -- no encore. BOOOOOOO! His 2 hours of playing music was weak, uninspired and hit some downright awful clunkers that were kinda embarrassing. Bobby, if you are reading this, "look out because here comes some free [unsolicited] advice": Thank you for the effort. Really. I know there must be nights when you'd rather simply not play and watch the TV eating chips and chocolate (or whaterver) anything but play a gig. Yet the show must go on and you oblige by showing up and doing your best. Thanks for doing that. But for heaven's sake, when you sing -- sing INTO the microphone, not somewhere in its general vicinity. We in the audience cannot hear it over everything else that is amplified. Also, use your freakin monitor if ya don't remember all the words or actually take an hour before the show and re-memorize the freakin words! We paid $60 a pop -- that's a week of groceries for this cat -- to see this show!

If you know the venue has a curfew (which your management should know about ahead of time), either seek a waiver or start the show early or just break the freakin curfew in true Grateful Dead form and spirit! If the venue tries to slap you w/ a fine for doing so, tell 'em you'll never play there again and will encourage all your musical friends to do the same idf they don't cut ya any slack!

With all that, Black Pete had its moments as did Touch of Grey, 1/2 step, dire wolf. "A" for effort"; "D-" for execution, in my humble opinion (of which all deads, including me, have a lot).

Today is a new day and Denver will be better -- I can't make though, but rock on fellas.

Eagle, The Out Reaches of The Galaxy
The show was too short is my only complaint. Only half hour for Jackie Greene? Rat Dog was excellent. Seemed like the sound was much better for Rat Dog then Jackie Greene. Loved the Dire Wolf a big suprise. Candyman was very cool, an awesome Corrina. Miracle>Playin and Miss 1/2 step and Sampson were both awesome. I liked the Casey Jones then easy to slip to open. Overall a very good ratdog show.

Bill, Cheyenne
My only complaint is the whole evening seemed rushed. From trying to slam a beer before going inside the auditorium to packing Jackie (I felt bad for Jackie for getting yanked off the stage so fast) and RatDog into 3 hours (8-11 is typical concert time for chautauqua). The Chautauqua is beautiful dont get me wrong but I knew it would be a bizarre setting along with a ridiculous curfew. That being said about the logistics, I have a hard time seeing how the show was "uninspired", "lackluster" and that "they were going through the motions". I agree some days are definitely better than others but *wow* I thought the show was pretty damn good myself. They played some great songs (the stagger lee>dire wolf>candyman was quite a lovely surprise) and sounded tight (Mark Karan was excellent) despite being rushed.

Well like my wife said when the show abruptly ended after Touch of Gray, "That's why we are seeing them again in Denver" :-)

JackstrawfromColorado, Colorado
I understand how some would not hear all that was offered. When I cupped my hands to my ears (somewhere in Half-step), I immediately recognized just how AWESOME & tight the music was. I enjoyed myself immensely! Looking forward to tonight.

melliemello, Denver
Hey Now-
I have one problem with the show, as others have had- only 2 hours of Ratdog for 50+ bucks! Not cool. Knowing the curfew was 11pm, the show should had been set at 7pm, not 8. Ok, now the show was a little 'slow' for my liking, but the music was nice. Tight on a few songs, not so on others. The song selection interesting, and the Sampson was beautiful. Yeah, Bobby forgot the words to some of the songs.....I guess it was the altitude. ;)
Great venue to see a show but the timing needs to be changed for musicians so that they can at least get in an encore! Outside was nice, as Chautauqua always is, the moon beautiful. It was nice to see Bobby in a very small venue. After the show Bobby walked right by me into his motorhome, everyone saying to him 'thanks Bobby'. He seemed to be in a rush to the comfort of his traveling home for some reason....
Thanks boys for a good time for 2 hours!

Amy, Erie, Colorado
I appreciate the honesty that most folks are putting on this site. You can't have the sweet without the sour, right? Well last night was definitely sour, in my opinion. Bobby was just not feeling it, and when I keep reading "...he was just going through the motions..." that was definitely true. When he kept forgetting the words, and the crowd would cheer him on, there were several instances where he just threw up his hands in this 'I don't care' kind of way. Did anyone notice that his mic seemed turned down? Was that on purpose? I think it was, because we didn't get what we all love Bobby for--the goofy high notes and the non-sensical verbiage and such. Only one set? And no encore? Bummer. Seeing the Dead most recently in May, he seemed to be feeling it much more then. The only highlight in my book: Corrina. I think he might have felt it just a bit on that one. And the rest of the band was pretty good. (But come on, we are paying for Bobby). Oh, and the venue was BEAUTIFUL.

For those going tonight--hope you get a better show. No way in hell am I putting out $80 for apathy.

Leslie, Denver
Yeah Leslie, I'm not sure Bobby's mic was turned so much as he just wasn't singing into the thing (when he remebered the few lyrics that he did)! He seemed to be singing (actually "Bob-Talking" is more accurate) somewhere in the general vicinity of the microphone which just didn't cut it. Stagger Lee was embarrasing. I think if you were to ask the band about last night, they would simply apologize and proimise to do better tonight. And I hope they do --- play better, that is. No need to apologize when ya give the effort -- "Don't waste your breath to save your face when you have done your best; when even more is asked of you, fate will decide the rest."

The whole band should have gotten a note from horseshack's mom excusing their absence from the gig last night. (I think I just dated myself w/ that Welcome Back Kotter reference).

Hee haw , ya'll!

Eagle, Outer space
Unfortunately, the muse does not always bring the magic. Enjoy !!

al, ilion, NY
I thought the show had its share of ups and downs. Ratdog, as a band, played quite well (especially Karan and Chimenti), and some of the jams were inspiring. However, sad to say, the weakest link is Bobby's singing (if you want to call it that), which leaves a lot to be desired...

Mark, Denver
To all the complainers,

There are worse places to be on a Sunday night than Boulder, Colorado listening to Ratdog with a couple hundred of your closest friends.

Jessica, Boulder
^^^very dissapointng reading all these reviews. if u people are so fed up with the band, bobs singing, ect. ect. QUIT going to his shows.

there are plenty of poeple out there who appricate what they are doing.

i just saw ratdog a month or so ago and the band was probably the tightest that i have ever head them.

Charlie, Palmetto florida
To all of you complaining about complainers:

We are not complaining -- we are simply reviewing the concert & scene. If it sucked, then those who read reviews want and ought to know that (and probably the band does as well -- though they know when they suck and when they're on). This is opinion, that's all. And in my humble opinion Ratdog sucked (musically speaking) at Chautauqua. The venue, as stated, is beautiful & wonderful.

To those lemmings who say, "don't go to shows if ya don't like them" you miss the point entirely. -- these are reviews of a band I dig -- when they're on, they have a great sound and terrific vibe (a la GD); when they're not, they sound like a bad GD cover band.

In fact, to those who say, "if you don't like the shows, don't go to them" I respond by saying,"If you don't like unfavorable reviews, don't read them!

That's all -- not complaining. Just giving a review of a show I was at. Been to a lot of 'em since 1981 and have a pretty good idea that I know what I'm talkin about. Take it or leave it. But don't come down on people because they issue an unfavorable review!

Eagle, Boulder, CO
I always have an amazing time seeing Ratdog!! It was a great change of pace seeing them in Boulder compared to other venue's, HOWEVER, I would hope that the band does not book here again...

Overall I did enjoy the show... the acoustic set was great, and I really enjoyed the way they changed up Mississippi Half Step.

Only complaint would be the venue's curfew!

Tiffany, Golden, Co
As a long-time Deadhead of 30+ years and 200+ shows, I'm really ok with hearing all sides of reviews, raves AND rags.

True Deadheads call'em as they see'em, and that's ok.

I think Jerry would've seen it that way too.

August West, Denver
I love GD and I love Bobby but I do have to chime in with a slight bit of letdown. First, it's always a pleasure and privilege to get to see Bobby and Ratdog andI'm very glad I got to go. I'd never seen Bobby in such a small venue and most of the sound was good, except on the left edge the vocals were often lost.

For the first time ever I had a few disappointments. 1) Low vocals as above 2) Bobby forgot the words in several places and I was embarrassed for him. It kind of made me a little sad because it happens to us all and I like to think of him as Superman. But he, like many us heads, is reelin' in the years and the memory loss comes with the territory. Please correct me if I'm wrong here: He forgot two different verses on Dire Wolf, catching up late. Then somewhere around Black Peter I think he accidentally sang a verse of Candyman before catching it. 3) No chiefing inside. Now, all venues are No Chiefing but we know how that goes :) No chiefing in Chautauqua.
4) I was very disappointed by the short length of time Ratdog played (2hrs) and that there was no encore. I was disppointed to hear the audience BOOING. I was expecting an encore but there was no need to boo the band for following the rules (also maybe lookup the definition of encore if you were booing.) They hit the 11pm curfew and had to stop. I paid ~ $65 and was expecting two sets and no opening act. In this one case I think the show from the outside the venue may have been better than inside, especially with the Flatirons silhoutted by the moon, good sound outside, and a smokey lawn. 5) I like Jackie but I paid to see Ratdog. For a show starting so late (8pm) and the 11pm curfew, that doesn't leave much time for meat and potatoes dancin'. Two hours of Ratdog should have cost less.
6) There were multiple times when Bobby had crew coming on stage to change out guitars mid-song and this was...um, distracting I guess. Maybe he had string/electronics issues but it kept happening.
7) Sadly, maybe you disagree, but it seemed to me that the other Ratdog members were sort of smirking with one another when Bobby would make a mistake, or signal some unplanned transition, as if to say to one another "What the hell is he doing?".

More positive: I love these guys and I will always go see them when I can. Like others said, you can't expect an A+ show everytime, especially from a guy that's played thousands of shows over the course of 45 years or so. Bobby still rocks, Ratdog still jams. Bobby's facial expressions thru the whole show were if authenticity and feeling - he was feeling the lyrics and his performance was overall good. I'm reminded of the RedRocks Phish shows,. which for me, were kind of dead - the boys seemed bored. But not Bobby. I saw 18 year old Bobby at this show, he was just wearing a gray wig.

Please forgive the negative comments. It's generally not my bag.


Another August West, Boulder or Something
Made the trip from NJ to Boulder. Had a wonderful time in Colorado with the family and capped it off with an amazing Dog performance in a setting that simply cannot be described with words alone. Had a chance to meet the band after the show and if there is a better dude than Mark Karen out there, I have yet to meet him. Thanks for the pic!

Colorado, great state, great people! Love the DOG!

Lee Navlen, Maplewood, NJ
I think what hurt this show the most was the sound in the place. I was half way back and it sounded terrible. The show sounds so much better on the disc.

mike weiss, orlando fl
well, i have to say i really had agood time at this gig. it was a little rainy. it was a little cool at times. but that did not damper my experience. what a great place for the band to play. the curfew was a total bummer for sure. the show could have started at 7 instead of 8. starting at 7 with no opening act would have put this show in a better perspective. maybe then we get the 2 sets we all want so bad. hell, we're used to that really. we don't need opening acts unless the it's obviously a big summer big dollars for the band tour, i think. but come on, starting with casey jones into easy to slip was really cool. candy man-corrina was a joy. from playin on was all played well including black peter. for me i wanted the big closer. alot of things would have fit. but i just figured we would get it tomorrow in denver ( another subject ). great atmosphere inside. no hassles anywhere. the flat irons, the moon, the proper medicine made a night on tour like all the other great ones over the last 38 years. mahalo bobby. see you tomorrow in denver. aloha.

cchuckieboy, kona, hi
Yes, I too was disappointed. We drove up and I was really hyped to hear Ratdog. I was a little weary because it was indoors but I was hoping that I would hear more creativity. I heard Ratdog in Telluride in 2002 and they were amazing back then because they tried different kinds of music. They even did rap. But not this time--I was listening to a GD cover band; Bob also seemed tired and like he couldn't wait to get off the stage. He didn't even acknowledge the crowd accept at the end when he bowed. With a performance like that, he may have to resort to playing in the casinos like other 60s bands. He should get back to being Ratdog and probably shouldn't play indoors where there are curfews. Sorry Bob--

Liz, New Mexico
I would have been bummed if Chautauqua was my only show this season, that is for sure. The venue is so cool, and Boulder rocks. Bobby wasnt really rockin tho. Not for this day. You look so forward to this concert, and it can be such a let down when its less than average. Thank goodness for the SD show this year.

Richene, San Diego
I thought the show was awesome. Yes, the curfew was a bummer, but I got what I came for, a religious experience. I am definetly a changed person after that. Man, that Native American vibe was all over that place. Where was that Santana cover tune on the set list (sung by the crowd). AWESOME GUYS!!!

notfadeaway83, loveland,CO