Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Setlist-Scroll down for newly found reviews

tonite's show-
4/5/2005 (Tue.) House of Blues, Cleveland, OH
I: Jam > Jack Straw > Easy to Slip > Bird Song Jam* > Little Red Rooster*, Josephine* > Lucky Enough* > Greatest Story Ever Told* > Last Time*
II: K.C. Moan@3, City Girls@, Me and My Uncle@5 > I Need a Miracle* > Playin in the Band* > He's Gone* > Jam*+ > Wharf Rat* > Jam* > China Cat Sunflower* > I Know You Rider*
E: Johnny B. Goode*
* -w/ Johnny Polansky (ekoostik hookah percussionist); +-w/ Wilbur Krebs (Alphabet Soup bassist) and without Bob and Mark Previous "Josephine" 5/12/2003 [86 shows]; Previous "Last Time" 11/10/2003 [53 shows]
Thanks Gordon Hensley

while poking round I found this (deadnet)- thought it was interesting....

DaveScott - 03:37pm Apr 5, 2005 PDT (#76 of 76)
On May 1st, remember to ring them bells for Tamanend

Just came from the show and it looks like a barnburner in the works for Cleveland. Ohio fave ekoostik hookah member Johnny "Starrcat" Polanksy will be sitting in with the band on percussion and I was able to exchange a few words with him.
 Always good to make acquaintance with a good artist, something he most certainly is. I was lucky enough to secure a place near the entrance to the facility in time to see the entire band arrive for soundcheck. They'd originally been perched near the Ritz-Carlton near where an evacuation practice took place this afternoon, sending scores of office workers to the street, but they moved their busses to the venue late this afternoon. Weir arrived bespectacled and looking spry as a fox, eagerly signing an onlooker's vinyl copy of Heaven Help The Fool. As I was leaving, fans of the Ratdog were lining the street to the HOB wearing their Spring finery and it did this old head good to see the summer stock of Deadland out and flowing in the cool breeze on this warm afternoon. I ran into my old college roommate and two mutual friends from Columbus, they having just come from purchasing tuxedos to the former's upcoming July wedding. It was really good to see them again, my having been subjected to an isolation from most deadhead circles for some time due to abject seclusion on my part. They asked if I'd like to join them for a pre-show meal and then the show, but my beer wallet cannot currently enjoy such a vintaged experience. It was a very nice offer though and I appreciated it.
It's a sad day when this poster cannot afford seeing the family 'dog in the town in which he lives, but perhaps that time comes to all men.
I was earlier today given the opportunity to hang with two of the bus drivers for an hour or so, one of whom was given charge of the crew bus. That bus in particular belongs to Aerosmith's Joe Perry, who uses the coach to haul his wife and children from town to town. Therefore he is very careful to only allow more mature artists to use it. The driver of that bus was pitching a sleeping bag/comforter into the dumpster because of its wear, but it looked brand new to me, so I intercepted the dumpster toss. Heck, I might need it someday.
Dennis McNally is joining the Ratdog on this portion of the journey and I was eager to congratulate him on his book as he was delivering ice to the busses. He seems a very intelligent individual by the way he carries himself.
Anyhow, perhaps my tenure as DNC fixture has passed, as only those able to hear the bands at their leisure should spend so much time on these groups (methinks at least)...I hope all that attend tonight's festivities enjoy themselves....Spring has seemingly sprung on Lake Erie and Ratdog has come to town to usher in the Sun....


Another interesting slice of show can be found on this Blog

Okay, I give you one more detailed review- yum! From the TOOBoard;

Ratdog 4/4/05 (Review)
Posted by: bcraig (198.190.212.---)
Date: April 5, 2005 10:30AM

Going into the show,I was skeptical given February's tribulations. As he walked out, he looked good. Not much different than the last couple years and better than the summer.

Off to the music...I was hoping for a Jack Straw opener, but the band starts off into a funky jam that can only be Stranger, Shakedown or Easy Answers, the latter becoming more and more obvious. Robin's bass was way up and it sounded funky. You never hope to hear, it but the song took off in a good direction with the deep groove and Bobby sounded good. Voice was crisp, if not aging at least a little. The sold-out crowd responded well to the song, after all this is a RatDog show, not a Dead show. Karan took some good solos, but Brooks and Chimenti, I feel, is what makes this band special, and the groupmind approach of the band versus a featured soloist, is another unique aspect that begin rearing its head. There ain't no easy answers, that's what I'm trying to say...

It's All Over Now Baby Blue...for the Dylan slot, this tickled my fancy, very Queen Jane-ish in the opening, but coming off the Easy jam which was very thick, it was a nice contrast. Bobby's voice sounded good, I believe we got the first flub here, but it did not affect the flow...sax solo was great and Karan took a good a good one. Very nice rendition of the song...waiting still for the show to take off a bit...

Lost Sailor>Saint...ooh I like this one. On of my favorite compositions, you felt the lostness Bobby could have felt belting out the chorus and I believe he repeated the beginning of a verse and then caught the band off guard coming in the bridge a couple measures too soon. But hey, if you are a Bobby fan, the lyrics have always been a labor of love. His voice was very strong and then the crowd started thumping a little, the drums started rolling and Saint hit us. Not as much as I would have liked it, but it got the show rolling faster at least.

Friend of the Devil...a pleasant surprise, and the crowd always seems to like this one more than me, but this is my first exposure to RD's slow version. While I was always opposed to the Grateful Dead's slow version, I think it stems from taking out of context, if I were at a show back then,I think I would have a different appreciation for it. Anyhoo, I enjoyed it to my surprise, I didn't expect it. The slow jams and even a Bobby solo, in a way only Bobby can solo or should I say "solo"...built up to a nice "Got two reasons why I cry..." First hint at Jerry on the night...

Odessa...It's hard not to like this little rocker about a big-legged, loud mouth broad, well maybe that's harsh, but it was upbeat, the crowd began rocking more, what room there was to rock and the vocals were still enduring. This was one of the better versions I have heard of this song. Give her the world, she wouldn't take it on a bet...

A little jam ensured out of Odessa, very bluesy and a little sloppy, then the groove hit, "Woke up this morning..." Nice. Haven't heard this in 8 or 9 years and it was a good, rollicking version. With a nice solo by Jeff and Kenny and then Bobby took another one and Karan accompanied. Bobby's vocals were especially raucous on this little blues number and still enduring. I do think Jeff C's organ is WAY underused and was hoping for a blistering solo on that beast. Bobby was very active on stage, backing up, occasional smirks. He looked good, really. He's aging of course...then I went off on a mental tangent thinking of mortality (I was sober if that sets the stage), I am 26 and thinking about my father who is roughly Bobby's age, and every time I see Dad, I think of him getting older and such...that's aging, there's no lines to read in between, it's life and Bobby is no different, he is not a 30 year old young buck playing the guitar and belting out the lyrics, I don't think he gets enough credit there...then I zone in to the slow jam coming out...

Loser..."If I had a gun..." A nice melodramatic moment in the show. I noticed during this song something that has been brought up about Bobby's phrasing of lyrics, in part because the three guys behind me were singing 1977 versions of the song and Bobby was singing RD's 2005 version. This is not the Dead, Bobby is not Jerry, this is a different take. Bobby has a different approach to singing it. That aside, Jeff finally grinded the organ in what sounded like a madrigal solo. Karan stepped up and threw one out there and then a jam ensued and I thought we were headed for a Truckin'...I was wrong...I did notice though that by this point the band had been on stage for close to 90 minutes and knew this meant a short second set...after that passed it became apparent Bobby's take on Foolish Heart was coming with Jeff's keys pinging the signature rift.

Again the phrasing was different and on two occasions, Bobby's eyes fumbled around the teleprompter for the words, he hit it, but a little late. All in all, it was a joy to hear this song and it built up to a jam that was probably the highlight of the set. His voice was still strong, Karan and Kenny hit solos here and it rounded out a very nice and long set from Bobby.

Short set break, and I called the Victim. I like the whole band being onstage following set break and I love this freaking song. Is there anybody there who needs to know...of course I do, we do. This song rocked and I knew this set would hit a stride the first set never got to. There was a theme in the first set, but it never took off...and in the weirdness that we have come to love as the Victim jam, I knew this was going to be good.

The Weight...holy crap, never saw that coming. Not a whole lot of room to explore musically, but Bobby nailed to lyrics which shocked and amazed me, it's not a terribly difficult task, but more the labor of love thing. The chorus is slightly rearranged and it works as does the ending. The vocals here were awesome and in the final verse, Bobby alters his voice to a soft scratch one, no doubt honoring someone, smiles from the band and the crowd was just treated to a great version of an overly covered song in my opinion, but that was one of the gems of this show.

Then a bouncy jam and it could only be one song...Mississippi Half Step, Bobby has put the Toodeloo back in this song. Karan was somewhat absent here until the coda, but Kenny got it pumping and of course Jeff followed through. The crowd got into this and second verse comes up, and you knew it had to be, most of the flubs have gone unnoticed until now and Bobby in his scared look at the mic and he has absolutely no clue what the words are, luckily the crowd does and without out a whim and 2 lines latter, it comes back to him. The crowd erupted, Bobby smiled and that warm feeling came over you. Bobby, Bobby, Bobby...the chorus treatment to this song is also very nice then as we crossed the Rio Grande-O, we headed into another dark jam, I knew where it was heading, didn't know how it would get there, but it did and...

The Wheel...a nice version. It is nice for this song to being returned to its energizing status, after hearing other versions of this in different Dead outfits, it lost all of its steam and this kept the crowd roaring through. Up to this point, this set has been achieving some nice stature. The reggae breakdown came and then another strange jam ensued, Jay was keeping a nice beat, then started the rhythm that can only be one song...

The Other One...oh yeah. Hit me with it, the jam leading up to the first verse was nice and full of energy, the verse and chorus came and then the jam began to fade and lose some of the momentum, feeling my emotions were being toyed with I tried to stay with it and I am glad I did, the second verse came, "It was cowboy Neil at the wheel, the bus to..." and the outro jam was heated and then Bobby left to go smoke a cigarette, stage left.

Jam...this jam has always entertained me and shows you these guys are no hacks. It amazes me that people around here can say that these guys are mediocre or bad at worst. Whatever. They continued the other one groove along with some Bitches Brew-esque hints...Bobby comes back and it slows and slows and slows...

Black Peter...I was hoping to hear his version. I was prepared for the worst. While Karan could have hopped all over this, he was somewhat restrained as he has been since the opener. I mean he was decent all night, just not great. He needs to take it by the reins, but anyway, Bobby absolutely nailed this song vocal and lyric wise. The energy in the crowd was awesome, people's arms were raised, smiles and a few tears I imagined at least were around. This was the highlight of my night. "and my friends they come around..."

I knew we were coming close to an end and I didn't like that fact, especially since it was so nice to see Bobby and this was the only show I was hitting. Sounded early like a Throwing Stones, but we all know it's a tease and Two Djinn came out. Second set was stellar up til now, to me. Some other closer would have kept it that way. That being said...this song is good and was performed very well, the jams in the middle sound like a distorted slipknot! and 'our strange heroes' have gotten us this far and Bobby gave his nod and the band was off.

Touch of Grey...people can say what they want about this song, but you can't blame the song, blame the people. This is a good song and this was one of the better, more upbeat versions I have heard Bobby do and his voice phrasing was even on point for this popular number. It's an anthem, it's our anthem and that's our Bobby.

All that being said, it is priceless to see Bobby seemingly happy and healthy. Natasha is joining him this tour as she made her rounds to the folk. After seeing Panic the other night, it was refreshing to see 'respect' back in the crowd and a common bond. But mostly it was nice to see Bobby singing some songs and playing some guitar with some buddies. I will take that over any band out there.