10/16/2009 Setlist, Photos, and Reviews


Friday, October 16, 2009
Tower Theater
Upper Darby, PA


Been to many, many shows....They came "out of the box" on FIRE tonight!!! Happy Birthday Bobby....Phenomenal show...you proved that the "Old man ISN"T gettin' on"...

Steve Wojtak, Maple Shade, NJ
Wow! Sounds like a great show! Did anyone record it out there? Happy Birthday Bobby! Wishing you a rainbow for sunlight after showers, miles and miles of Irish smiles for golden happy hours, shamrocks at your doorway for luck and laughter too, and a host of friends that never ends, each day and your whole life through.

Maggie Rose, Boulder
long live Chief Bobby Amazing Show !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

jackstraw, telford
One of those shows where I personally would not have drawn up the setlist as posted (BTW, didn't Milestones end the 1st set after after a totally-on-fire Eyes or am I just confused? LOL!) but while hating the setlist I did not hate the performance of it, on the contrary I danced as hard as I ever have at a Dog show 'cause my feet led and the body followed and I was helpless in stopping them. Bob looked great, looked like he lost a bit of weight and FINALLY trimmed that out-of-control beard thus making him look like a mean-lean-musical-machine and the rest of the band acted like one and in tandem performed one for the ages. "What 62nd birthday?" he must have been asking us in the audience collectively and anyone thinking he was acting his age, well..........I don't think so. It's a beautiful thing when the opening Help/Slipknot is the worse song of the set, EVERY song afterwards was given that extra special effort, he actually attempted to sing every song (I thought he was in terrific voice throughout) and every song afterwards was a show-stopper in its own right. There was one point during Youngblood, usually a throw-away song in a set if I ever heard one, where he stepped back from the microphone and leashed out a note and tried to hold it like the old days, wow he exhibited some major spunk last night and he allowed every song to jam out and the jams in Crazy Fingers, Eyes, She Says, Death Don't, Two Djinn & Franklins are still ringing in my ears (literally, my left ear, was "sitting", LOL, Orch Left Center Row AA Seat 126, the loudest Dog show sound-wise I've ever attended). And Ripple was oh-so-sweet. Somewhere in the rest of this year I'm going to be listening to this show and find myself smiling wide to it and that will say it all. If I could have rated this show more than a ten I would have, Happy Birthday Bob and thanks to you and the rest of the band, they played absolutely tremendously all night long and it would take up too much space to list all they did. Have to get off the bus and not attend tonight's show@Philly but will attend the rest of this tour in NYC and I can only hope that they sustain the stupid-crazy energy they exhibited last night thru the rest of the shows where it doesn't matter what they play as long as they play it and add that RatDog touch and turn whatever into musical gold...:-smile


ajcmixer, Sunnyside, Queens, NYC, NY
death dont have mercy and either do the TARDS who think every show was great. falling asleep on ORANGE SUNSHINE...not easy .Hey MArk,hows about gettin Bobby to finally do that CRYPTICAL buddy! BIG IRON, MULE SKINNER BLUES,ooh ooh,that VIOLA LEE ONE MORE TIME!!!

big boy pete, atlantic city
I have mixed feelings about this show. The Tower Theater is one of the shittiest places to see a show. The traffic sucked, there was no parking lot scene except for some asshole-drunken old heads that yelled and cursed at the younger Dog heads, it was pouring rain, and the Tower is smack in the middle of the ghetto. I will never go see a show there again. As for the concert...Bob and the boys opened with a ripping first set that I wish I could have heard! I had great seats on the right hand side of Orch R but the sound quality was HORRIBLE. They had the volume so loud that all the instruments blended together and it just sounded like noise! I could bare tell a separation between the guitars and sax. Glen Danzig might as well have been playing on stage. It sounded like a metal concert, everything was muddied! Feedback was blaring through the speakers at regular intervals. I found myself hold my ears and wincing during the best part of Crazy Fingers! From what I could make out the jamming was intense and good. The vocals were buried and Bobby's voice was way off. It sounded like his voice was on a record and someone turned up the turn table speed. I left after intermission and I am glad I did because the second set looks pretty lackluster. The highlights were Help on the Way, Maggie's Farm, Crazy Fingers, and Brown Eyed Women. Too bad the volume was so loud you couldn't understand the lyrics. They seriously fucked my ears up, they are still ringing. The sound guy looked like a drunken biker who didn't know what he was doing. The MC announced that the Tower Theater has the best acoustics in Philly. If thats true the sound guy completely ruined them for everyone. I have never felt so ripped off at a show before...such amazing playing...THAT YOU COULD BARELY MAKE OUT. I have never left any concert, let alone a Dog show, early. I will never see them at Tower again, and next time I'm bringing ear plugs. One of the main draws for me has always been the Dead's dedication to clear sound quality! What happened here! It sounded like a Misfits concert! This is not punk rock!

4 out of 5 performance
1 out of 5 sound quality

I still love you guys...but I think Jerry would have spent this show outside smoking cigarettes. FUCK YOU to the soundboard operator.

Andrew, PA
That was one good show,and happy I went...even the poop song She Says...

Worth seeing "the Chief" alone... And I must admit on ducking out on many a Ripple encore...but I stayed and enjoyed that one immensely!

CU tonight "Chief"!

TigerMoon, Lansdale,PA
Sorry everyone but this was one of the most boring Dog shows I've been to. They sounded great and the Tower's a great place to see a show, but I was asleep by Stuff and out the door soon after. 1st set was pretty good highlighted by a smokin jam to end Crazy fingers, a strong
Brown eyed women, and a nice Eyes to end it, but come on.
Black bird, Baby blue, Masters of war, She said, Freedom. Pretty crappy way to get the 2nd set rolling and then to roll into Stuff, Sorry not the best setlist. I'm glad I took off and beat the traffic gettin out.

Petey, Germania, NJ
I thought this show was decent. I agree with the earlier post that this was the loudest Ratdog show I have seen. Thought the sound was good, could hear everything fine in the balcony. Never been to a Bobby Birthday Bash ! Bob loved singing Bob tunes last night ...that for sure. Looking forward to tonight. Happy Birthday Bob ! Thanks for all the Music, keep it rolling...aka Music Never Stopped !

Al, Clarksville NY
Missed a lot of my favs, but every song had it's moments. Hopefully tonite i'll get a few more of my personal favs. Jeff C reallly stood out on a few with a driving gospel feel on the keys. Always a great time. It's funny to see all the posts about the volume. It really was LOUD and my ears really are still ringing. It was rockin though. Looking forward to tonite!!!

mike mcd, west chester pa
I don't know what everyone is complaining about other than the sound was a BIT loud, It seems to me that everyone else is getting too old to have a good time. Bobby sure looked like he was having one hell of a time playing. I left the show feeling great and I thought the first set was on fire right out of the gate. I loved the blackbird opener and then the darkness of the following tunes. The setlist was played awesome and so tight but I agree it was a bit odd of a write-up, but that's why they make the show and we listen...because they SURE AS HELL pulled it off. I am going to try and go tonight and try and get a really cheap/free ticket, I feel ashamed I've never been that person but I'm still in Philly and it's worth a shot..right? It didn't sell out last night so there's always hope. Anyway Happy Birthday Bobby we all fucking love you, and regardless of how old you are you still know how to jam the FUCK out of a building. Keep up the energy on this tour and I am so looking forward to see what Furthur has to offer.

Cole, Harrisburg, PA
Came on this board to warn people to bring ear plugs for tonight's show. I know they're uncool, but you may save yourself problems down the road. It's now late afternoon after last night's show and everything I hear in my left ear still sounds tinny. I looked forward to hearing this on CD, because I thought it might not have the painful distortion my poor ears were giving me. I've been to many shows over 25 years, and this is the only one that went over the line.

To the soundboard man, one word: lawsuit.

PAUL, Doylestown
This show started strong and I felt that the openers Help on the Way--> Slipknot were a rousing launch for Bobby's birthday show

yes the sound was loud and too loud at times for center aisle row AA but overall it was bearable and no we didn't move back

the Dylan doubleheader in each set showed that the Chief had personally picked the setlist, one that lacked traditional crowdpleasers but obviously contained the chiefpleasers

Actually the first set was sinking a bit at "Youngblood" but the jam at the end of "Crazy Fingers" [the "I will try" JAM] was absolutely superlative and had me grinning standing stretching cheering and wondering where this would lead.....

and lead it did to a half-decent cover of Talking Heads' "Take Me to the River" but followed by a rare crowdpleasing "Brown Eyed Women" and a better than average "Eyes" that ended with a pure jazz jam that smacked of "Milestones" [it wasn't] but seemed like a on-the-spot improvisation without melody.... and so the 1st set closed

the Beatles' "Birthday" blared thru the sound system when the band reappeared around 1015 or so and then Bobby got a HUGE cake and the audience happily sang "happy birthday" but in retrospect I think we should've also sang "Hail to the Chief"

and right into the second set they went with Bob still wearing a native headdress-- and "Blackbird" was real nice --but "Masters of War" was spectacular-- Dylan never did that song justice but Ratdog did last night on a funereal and surreal rendition that blew me away. Hard to top that one, actually.

The rest of the second set was mostly Ratdog originals that obviously were not the songs the audience would have requested right then but this was the chief's night and he wanted to do new stuff so they did. They're the band.

Frankly, for me the second set keeper after "Masters" was without a doubt "Death Don't Have no Mercy" which was a rollicking blues and Bob's voice was perfect, spot on . Jerry was there floating above the stage. The trippy guy next to me saw him up there so that's how I know.

"Franklin's" completed the unbroken circle from the opening HOTW and actually there was a "Slipknot (reprise)" right before Franklin that is omitted form the setlist.

"Ripple" is a beautiful Hunter/Garcia song that Bob sings masterfully and when it's the encore you know it's the end just like when the Dead did "Palace" it was Jerry's way of letting the air out of the balloon before everyone returned to the "real world."

Well I am now getting ready for tonight's show....which I anticipate will be better than last night's..... and we shall see......we shall see....we shall see.....

mike mcleary , Reading PA
Thought I heard a blackbird singin', as I lie perched where the Ice Blue Roses grow.......Waiting to Fly, in the White Sky*

So, between the days.....A Birthday wish for Bobby ~

May the rhythm of your Heart, beat with the Song of your Dream....Sunrise Extreme ~ Ocean Supreme!

Hooterall, Land of the Midnight Sun
Great show tonight ! [Saturday]

Ironically in the cold rain I wore my John Lennon selfportrait sketch hoodie to this show......and the opener was "Tomorrow Never Knows", a Beatles song written by Lennon and the show started psychically charged

and ended equally psychically charged when Bobby closed with "Palace" -- a closer [see my review above] to which i referred in my review of Friday's show BEFORE i left for Saturday's show.... !

Bobby you been reading this ?

More on Saturday at Saturday show post later.....

p.s. was that really you Hooterall in the last post ??

mike mcleary, Reading PA
Glad to see I'm not the only one who thought the show sucked and left early. It's always hit or miss with Bobby, and this one definitely missed the mark for me - by a wide margin. Only good song of the first set was B.E. Women.

More important, the sound was horrible. Way, way too loud. I was sitting 10th row dead center and I had to put my fingers in my ears the entire first set, Stuffed a napkin in them for the beginning of the second set. When they started with Masterpiece (the fourth Dylan song of the night), I had had enough. Off to King of Pizza. As I was leaving the venue, I noticed the sound was actually better (or at least quieter) under the loge.

Was so miserable, I gave away my ticket for Saturday's show.

Mr Steve, Medford NJ
To everyone of you ratdog snoobs....i hate you strokers. Bob Wier is an icon and if you don't like the shows, don't come anymore. I was at both shows and they were fun, that's it, no "it was boring, or just OK", fun. You just wish you could be on stage but just because you play some acoustic doesn't give you the right to critisize Bob. I love you Grateful Dead Family and I got your back Bobby.

joshua, rochester,Ny
So many haters in Upper darby!!!. The show Rocked to say the least. Maggies Farm really got it going in the first set and Frankilins Tower was just flat out apprapoe! Great show guys, my fiance is not the biggest fan but she had a great time both nights and really appreciated the good music. Keep making it happen!

Tim, Schererville, Indiana
I am glad to see other people making their complaints known. That show SUCKED! My ears are still not back to their normal levels. One guy even stuffed NAPKINS in his ears! The "great acoustics" of the Tower Theater were completely destroyed! The volume was so loud I felt like I was dizzy and going to get sick! Now for the record...I LOVE LOUD MUSIC, but I like it at a volume that dosen't totally destroy the seperation of the instruments and damage my hearing! I now have to stop listening to the music for another few days probably to prevent permanent damage to my hearing! What's the point of going to a music concert if you cant listen to music for weeks after the show because of hearing loss! This show was a waste of time and talent as the band seemed to be played great! Too bad I couldn't make out any of the solos, it sounded like one big blur! Who was the ASSHOLE who thought it would be cool to blast everyones eardrums? It ruined the whole show! FUCK YOU SOUNDBOARD MAN! Never let a fat wasted biker run you board again Bobby! That guy was probably deaf. I really hope my hearing goes back to normal. I'll be looking that guy up with an lawyer if it dosen't.

Andrew, PA
to all who thought the sound quality sucked : do me a favor and buy the disc and re-listen to this show in digital recording and tell me how it sounded.....

mike mcleary, Reading PA
Wow I am sorry But I HAVE been seeing The Dead/Jerry/Bobby ect since 1976 and this show was horriable,I did not feel any energy.It was way tooo LOUD at times I could not even hear Bobby Singing
i WOULD LIKE TO SAY that I do Listen to my music Loud But come on,And for the record ,sorry but not every show u see is going to be good that is A fact.aT Least I can admit to this.
I also think Bobby would rather know when they have a sucky night as to people saying yahhh it was great no matter what they do.

Bobby's girl, Drexel Hil
As a young Dog head, i thought it was an amazing show. Me, my Lover, and my younger brother, all had an abosolutly amazing time. I'm new to the whole scene and didnt know most of the songs, but they played some amazing music. i was to the right of the stage and we were dancing so hard the whole time, i will never get over how amazing that crazyfingers jam was. I had a great time and was honored to be a guest at bobby's birthday bash!

Max H, Washington twp, nj
OK....its been a while now....I was the first to review, so I thought I'd book-end these reviews...I guess everyone's ears have settled down and no litigation is happening...LOL!! it was a GREAT show..and a tad loud, but seeing Bobby and Ratdog...IS WORTH IT!!! Happy Birthday Bobby...for everything..many, many years of JOY...Jay, Jeff, Kenny, Robin & Mark...you guys are the BEST and we love you for all you do for us!!! MY last RD show will probably be next Spring..again, here at the Tower..I'm moving to Germany guys (Euro Tour Fall 2010??) and I have a couple of requests after 38 years Bobby... WRS (a personal fav since Wake of The Flood) & BTW and I'll die a happy camper!!! Never heard them live with the GD and PRAY you'll do those 2! ...and as ALWAYS...Thank You...for a REAL good time! Peace

Steve Wojtak, Maple Shade, NJ