The Fabulous Ogden Theater in Denver Colorado
Music Never Stopped> Always one of my favourite GD tunes. Loved when it ended first set. Nice first set opener. Kimock and Weir definitely bringing it.
Easy Answers Although high on my list, well performed, nice non-transition into something also easy:
Easy to Slip The oeuvre of songs that one doesn’t truly like but when well-played transcend preferences was exemplified in this tune. Simply stated, it worked.
Scarlet Begonias A song of spiritual importance to me. Also, my daughter’s favourite GD tune. Nicely played. Channeling Jerry
Don't Let Go> An old Jerry tune that I had not heard in almost 40 years. Brought a fat man’s tear to my eye.
Ashes and Glass Interplay between Chementi and Kimock was fantabulous.
Peggy O (Bobby acoustic) Great start to an even greater second set. Just Bobby, Wasserman and Lane. Oh, by-the-way, just love the way Wasserman beats-his-bass.
St. Stephen> What would be the answer to the answer man?
The Eleven> When Weir played the first notes, he said, “Just like a Swiss watch.” He wasn’t kidding.
The Other One Robyn Sylvester mimicked Phil’s bass bombs and startled the crowd.
Stuff ‘nuff said
Morning Dew> Crescendo narrowly averted then reclaimed. Nice song.
Not Fade Away Built. Loud. Continued after band left stage.
Not Fade Away (reprise) Still going when band returned to stage. Old-timey!
One More Saturday Night Predictable.
Brokedown Palace Made up for predictable and left us appreciating Ratdog. On the way out, someone shouted to the crowd, “What more could you ask of Bobby – Fuckin – Weir.” Answer: nothing. Best Bob Weir show I have ever seen. Hands down. He came. He saw. He conquered. Especially after the week started out with the doubters claiming, “Down goes Bobby.” His handlers excelled last night.
David H. Wollins, Denver
Fantastic show! So many good things.......The sound was very clear and high quality, so I could hear EVERYBODY'S instruments and their voices clearly, which was great since everyone was ON this night. I've never seen Bobby so engaged with the crowd. He really looked and sounded very strong, and seemed to be having a great time playing. Some really high jams happening, and wow Bobby's voice was as good as I've ever heard him sing. Can't wait to see them again. The crowd was great at the oden, people really giving it back to the band just as high as they were giving it to us, great night!!
The Ogden! Haven't been there since Ratdog played the 11/29/95 show. Born and raised in Denver, Colfax Street, which Ogden "graces" was the kind of "wild" and "shady" street" you just didn't visit....or at least visit for too long! A "classic" venue with all of the charm and history that an old theater has, it was "timely" to return to this venue.
A sold out show, people definitely "packed it in" to see Bobby and his band. At one point, I thought to myself, "was this show over sold?" only because there were no walkways cleared, it was a "sardine can"! That's a good thing for this band, for they have been dearly missed... I prefer to sit "stool style" up in the balcony so there's a view and room to breathe. Overall, a very impressive show and heard many comments from various fans that Bobby's voice never sounded better. I have to agree!
The jam out of "Easy to Slip" was interesting and unlike anything I've ever heard come out of that song. Scarlet Begonias was well received and well played and I loved singing to my favorite line from that song, "The sky was yellow and the sun was blue!"
"Don't let go" was hot! It's been days after the show and I keep singing the lines to that song. I've heard the Jerry Garcia band sing that song but I haven't heard Bobby cover this song before. "I love you so!" "Hold me tight and don't let go!"
So glad to hear Ashes and Glass, one of my favorite Ratdog songs..."Come on darlin' we can fly, daddy got a stack of alibis!"
Loved Peggy-O beginning the second set, and I couldn't help but reminisce hearing Bobby sing that at The Denver Botanic Gardens (one of my favorite places).
The version of St. Stephan was also "different" and Kimock rocked it. I enjoyed watching Jeff Chementi play the jam out of that song.
Morning Dew was sweet, poignant and sung with tremendous feeling. What a gorgeous guitar Bobby played with that song....reminded me of a sunset....deep warm tones fading to orange and red. Wow! I wondered if he has ever named that guitar like Jerry named his.
Felt the love with "Not Fade Away" when the entire crowd sang in unison, "You know our love won't fade away"....people wouldn't stop singing it until the band came out to sing their encores.
Brokedown Palace was an endearing way to end the evening. I heard that song covered by a Blues singer on Sirius Radio and I tend to "hear" that song almost as if it was a gospel or "ol spiritual blues song.
A big thank you to Bobby and his band for coming back to the "Mile High City" and bringing the music once again.
Maggie Rose, Louisville Co
Words are difficult in trying to describe this special night of music. Emotion, Passion, Unity, Spirit and Love were fully on display and embodied the Light that we all were shown. This was not just a concert, but a life-affirming celebratory dance that took us all a Mile High Indeed!
I went into the theatre with high hopes, having seen Red Rocks the night before. I've been battling cancer for the better part of 5 years, so I drank in The scenery and the majesty. Magic Happens and on this night in Colorado a HUGE rainbow appeared behind the stage. Touch of Grey ignited a spark of psychic positive energy that could not be denied. "We will get by, we will survive" pays tribute to all our victories over suffering no matter how big or small they may be. Little did I know how big that spark would become at Ogden.
The sound was dialed in and it was evident from the start just how in sync and united they were playing. I remember a saying from the old days "It's not what they play but HOW they play it" and wow, did it ever apply! The celebratory dance began with Music Never Stopped during which Bob knelt down to the floor not once but maybe 4 or 5 times adjusting levels? At the time I speculated that he was either turning up all the other band members, prompting everyone to soar to their maximum potential, or the levels were labeled Emotion, Passion, Unity, Spirit, and Love. Either way we fans were the big winners. United, the jamming deepened with a powerful Easy Answers. There's no easy answers for the big problems we will all eventually have to face, be it cancer, death, disease. You think it'll be easy but you won't know until it hits you personally. This song represents a walk thogh a forest of unanswered questions. Where do you go and what do you do? The answer is to persevere and celebrate what you do have. Honestly, with witnessing such musically tight jamming, a few vocal mix ups showed Bobby's human side and made me appreciate just how fragile we all are at any given moment. Easy to slip gave you the feeling of floating down a gentle stream with the sun setting. Just exactly perfect describes the rest of the set? Scarlet was the first of many examples of taking a great song and turning it into a fire-breathing Ratdog dragon!
Bob Jaeger, Garden City New York
Ogden Magic Part 2
Don't you just love the funky, chunky intro to Don't Let Go? It lead to some incredible interplay between everyone in the band! "Isn't this a Jerry song" I was asked. I couldn't answer for my thought was to recall how Bobby once commented that he would see Jerry out of the corner of his eye on stage. On this night Bobby must've grinned "Ole Jer, why don't throw me some of that supernatural force field of EMOTION that you shared with your audience" because he took it and laid it out for all to see. At several times during the night, he got up real close to the other band members as is to say "hey I really enjoy playing with you guys, let's JAM" It was special to see all band members becoming one and turning into a fire-breathing dragon. The transition into Ashes and Glass was equally sublime as the focus continued on incredibly united playing. Ashes just left me slack jawed as I was in the MOMENT, fully alive and vibrating with an incredible inner joy at the trials and tribulations of being a father. No matter what happens, do your best and be optimistic!! By the end, it was apparent the band had given their all and the dragon had to rest.
(Probably to fill up on emotional gasoline)
Peggy-o was so special. They brought it down to a whisper and you could feel the emotional Jerry rainbow that shined through Bobby.
St.Stephen and the Eleven brought back the fire-breathing Ratdog dragon in full force as the jamming continued to build and build. They focused less on the vocals and much more on being one. Bobby turned to Jay, who was a beast all night, and together they started the beat to The Other One. When he got to Robin and Rob, I don't think anyone had any idea of the sheer power of the bass intro that the dragon spewed forth. It literally shook the theatre and left everyone cheering at the top of their lungs!! WOW is all I can say.
at one point , I saw Jay take a towel and wipe his face because he was giving it his all. They all were and I felt fortunate to be part of this rare experience. During stuff, they improvised and came up with a laid back new orleans type beat that felt hypnotic.
Morning Dew was extremely tender as Bobby poured out his emotion. it was Jerry's spirit through Ratdog. Again, words cannot convey the mood that I ( we) all felt. And the FEELING went on and on.......
Not Fade away was a journey unto itself. Epic is an understatement as it became the simple message that has always been between crowd and audience. But this simple message was delivered through the now cliched Fire-Breathing Ratdog Dragon.....listen for yourself. The way that Bobby validated the crowd by pointing to each side of the theatre as if to say "We're all in this together" and everyone chanted back "You know our love will not fade away" Heard it many many times; tonight it was a masterpiece. Same with Saturday night, it was the dragon breathing fire with some intense jamming. I thought "How much more do they have when they performed as they did tonight" This has to be it, but no, we were delivered a heartfelt goodbye with a Brokedown that left me euphoric and exhausted. It was the sweetest way to put an exclamation point an a celebratory dance that I feel very lucky to be part of. Thank you Ratdog!!!
One final note: To compare this to other Grateful Dead or Phil and Friends or even other Ratdog shows is to miss the point. I walked out of the Ogden Theatre like I walked out of Saratoga 83, Paris 90, 5/1/03 Ziggy's or Beacon 10/25/03. I felt lucky to have caught such a rare performance, feeling fully alive and in the moment. For moments are all we really have.
PS What i didnt know is that I had a health scare after the show and had surgery. My doctor was like "What happened in Denver?" My only reply was "Doc, I went to Denver and got shown the light!!" He asked me if it was worth it . Worth it? I said as the sedatives started to hit I thought of The RATDOG FIRE-BREATHING DRAGON!!!!!
Bob Jaeger, Garden City