Live Review: Ratdog

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Ratdog

Ovens Auditorium

Nov. 8, 2007

The deal: Former Grateful Dead singer Bob Weir brings solo project to town.

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The good: This was the third time I've seen Ratdog this year, and they continue to get better every time I see them. The setlist was strong, Bob's voice was solid and the band was as tight as ever. One song fell into the next with little effort as the band kicked off the night strongly with "Help On the Way" and "Slipknot!" Weir may have had a lyrical miscue once or twice, but it was hard to notice as the whole band appeared to have a great time. The first set wrapped up with "Foolish Heart." The second set overshadowed the first as the crowd sang along for the majority of songs and yelled "Tequila" at all the right times. It's difficult to beat a night that features the classic one-two punch of "China Cat Sunflower" and "I Know You Rider." A rousing encore of "Gloria" capped off the best Ratdog show I've ever seen. The highlight had to be meeting Weir after the show and thanking him for all the music. "The pleasure's been all mine," he said with a grin.

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The bad: Mark Karan wasn't present due to his battle with cancer, but guitarist Steve Kimock did a fantastic job filling in. No complaints.

The verdict: This show was almost as good as Dead shows I saw 15 years ago.

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    Set I

Jam>Help on the Way>Slipknot!

Dark Star> Odessa> Little Red Rooster> Josephine> Loser

She Says> Foolish Heart

    Set II

A Hard Rain's A Gonna Fall

Quinn the Eskimo

Silvio> Tequila> Silvio> Tequila> Silvio> Greatest Story Ever Told> Althea> Stuff> Knockin On Heaven's Door> Dark Star> China Cat Sunflower> I Know You Rider

    Encore

Gloria

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