Saturday, July 07, 2007

Live Review - Ratdog at Summerfest, 7.05.2007

As usual, I had worked myself into a state of high anticipation by the time Ratdog took the stage at Summerfest. I’m always excited to hear what songs get chosen for that night’s setlist. However, there was much more unfolding this evening. Not only was this the first night of Ratdog’s summer tour, but health issues took long-time lead guitar player Mark Karan off-stage just days before. Luckily, Steve Kimock agreed to fill in . . . and amazingly the show did go on! The band came on to a very warm reception and got a litle jam going before breaking into Shakedown Street. (This opening hearkened me right back to one of my most memorable Dead shows... Did you see my "Countdown to Summerfest" post?)

Here was the night's setlist:
Jam > Shakedown Street > Maggie's Farm > Queen Jane Approximately > Crazy Fingers > Brown-Eyed Women, Blackbird, Friend of the Devil, Victim or the Crime, Even So > October Queen > The Deep End > Milestones > Stuff, Standing on the Moon, Sugar Magnolia, Touch of Grey, Ripple (encore)

Bob was in good voice all night (although I thought the vocals could have been a bit higher in the mix). The only weak point in the set for me was the acoustic "Blackbird." I've never been a big fan of the song for one thing, and this performance just seemed too forced. But this was more than made up by a number of personal highlights. For one, this was the first time I'd seen them play "Even So" and it was great fun to hear Bobby howling at the end! "Milestones" was really cool too.

As Kimock fans would guess, Steve did a very fine job fitting in with the Dogs. I really like his clear tone and his leads were tasty. In general, the jams were sweet- and the entire band played their hearts out in a long, single set. (I couldn’t make myself leave, and so will have to wait to catch Spoon at Lollapalooza.)

After the encore performance of Ripple, the band took their bows and sent good vibes to Mark. (Please take a moment to do the same!)

Ratdog will next be in this region at the Aragon Ballroom on July 19th and at 10KLF on July 21st.


Anonymous said...

i am so upset, i think you actually took a picture of me and my friend at this show, but sugar magnolia is my favorite dead song of all time and we had to leave to catch a spot for rusted root and i can't even believe i missed it :(

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