Being my first Summer Fest I didn't know what to expect. The festival area was easy to find your way through and the stages were easy to get to, the sad thing was that most of the music that I caught prior to Ratdog wasn't worth finding your way there for.
I've been hearing about Railroad Earth for some time and when I finally got to see them I was bored out of my skull. I know people love these guys but what they produced sounded like music for a ceiling fan commercial. Really born to be mild mid-tempo stuff. It was like they took blue grass and rock and roll, put them in a pot and them boiled away everything that makes those two forms special to make a bland soup. From there we went to see Donna The Buffalo, who I've only heard a little bit of on Sirius' Jam On channel. Maybe I caught them in a bad spot, because they were even more dull then Railroad Earth! I've been more excited about stuff playing on Weather Channel then what they were doing on stage.
Finally, after those snooze fests, I was stoked to see Ratdog with new fill in (hopefully) guitarist Steve Kimock.
I was greatly impressed by how well SK fit right in with Bob and company. He definitely has a different sound from the ailing Mark Karan and I think it really helped bring the music to some different places then a typical RD show. The opening Shakedown Street was well played, though kind of an obvious opener. This was followed up by a fun and funky Maggie's Farm, during which Bobby was hit by a big beach ball. A solid Queen Jane came next and was followed by a nice Crazy Fingers in which SK really began to shine. The momentum picked up in Crazy Fingers followed over to Brown Eyed Woman. Things were rolling along pretty swell when Bob and Co. did a semi-acoustic Black Bird that got a little too noodley in parts, but they righted the boat with a solid Friend of the Devil and a nice simmering Victim or The Crime. A good, though kind of standard Even So came next that went into a stellar October Queen which rolled into a grooving Milestones. The Stuff that followed after Bobby left the stage was fun jazz fusion jaming. Bob returned to stage for a rousing Standing on the Moon and then an incredibly fun Sugar Magnolia. It seemed like that was it for the set but Bob continued to strum his guitar after the Sugar Mag concluded and led the seemingly unsuspecting band into a fun Touch of Gray. For the encore the band returned to the state with a short but sweet Ripple. For the final bow the band and crew held a banner asking for good vibes for Karan.
A great Ratdog show that made me forget the boring tripe I sat through earlier in the day. My only complaing about the festival is that I wish they would have set up the schedule to allowed Ratdog fans to also catch Umphrees Magee, Keller Williams and B.B.King, who were all playing at the same time as RD.
We tried to catch some of the Rusted Root set after RD on another stage, but were too tired and had too long of a drive back home to hang out, though what I did catch sounded decent.
A possiblilty w/ RRE as is the case with other bands ..
Small Venues..Dance Halls..that one can see them play at vs Festivals...
I don't have the time, and frankly, the cash to go see every band that I hear about online etc. Festivals give me a chance to sample a lot of bands at once. I know a lot of other people are in the same boat. My position is you have to bring it every time, regardless of the venue. If you don't, why should I bother giving the band any more of my money? If RRE would have rocked my socks then I would be eagerly waiting for them to come back through. They failed to do this, so I scratch them off the list of things to do. You only get one chance for a first impression. After their's and Donna The Buffalo's luke warm performances at a festival that I paid $8 to get into, why would I drop $20+ to catch them in concert?
Atlanta was a different story it appears. The band as jacked and Kimock hit that "magical note" throughout the nite. Best 1/2 Step post Jerry and I love Phil with any outfit but this gave me chills. Listen to the show when posted.
One complaint, the show as one set and was short but again beautiful.
"It was like they took blue grass and rock and roll, put them in a pot and them boiled away everything that makes those two forms special to make a bland soup."
lol I've not yet seen RRE and the tapes I've heard don't jibe with that evaluation. But that is one GREAT sentence!
I concur with your RRE opinion, yet differ with you on Donna the Buffalo. The Donna is certainly worthy of another chance, even if you are an absolutist and believe in giving a band only one shot to impress you amidst a sea of idiots drinking swill, and lots of it, in a second tier market.
"stellar october queen"
Nice review, Kass.
Thx for sharing.
YMMV. I've heard enough good things about RRE that I won't let your lukewarm review of them dissuade me from catching them if I get the opportunity.
RRE absolutely tore the roof off the place!! We left their show drenched from dancin- along with everyone around us. While Bobby was absolutely the worst I've ever seen him! in well over 25 years I've never walked out on "family"- I had to walk out on this debacle.And I was definatley not the only one.
A debacle? Really? And RRE tore the roof off the place? Hmmmm . . . You must have gone to the bizarro world version of this show. "Am was good! Bizarro no like music that no change tempo!"
What Garyfish said up there: your mileage may vary. Show reviews and impressions are incredibly subjective, depending on mood, setting, people, stage, sound, location.... but it is quite fun to debate!
Not to make excuses, but this gig was Donna the Buffalo's first with someone new on bass, Jay Sanders of Acoustic Syndicate, who is at least filling in for now until the band finds a permanent replacement.
Debacle is as kind a word as I can come up with I've had at least 5 people tell me that this was the worst Bob show and most likely the last for them as well so Bizarro must be gettin' well populated. Not that being in the majority makes you right in any way.I like music that changes tempo just fine.What I don't have time for is a band still trying to work the bugs out ten years or more down the road.Garage band rehearsal quality from a life changing musical hero of mine for decades just don't cut it and saddens me, but at least when it's bad I'm not stupid enough to try to defend it let alone use the word "stellar" in any context of review of that show. Let the tapes tell the tale.
"Me am above personal attacks. Me no take things too personally. Me am no Dreemfreek. Me am no snarky internet hippie. Hello!"
My God- your wit is just blinding -but I should have known that from your original post.
Me must resort to retard talk when me have no inteligible argument or can no accept differing view point when me has no clue at all.ME AM RIGHT, ME AM RIGHT Bobby do no wrong.My opinion the right and only one.
Kind of sad to see where the intelligence level of what were once the smarter musical fans out there has sunk. -Stellar indeed. Don't worry - smarmy pharmy kidz hopefuly grow into big boys and girls one day and actually get beyond frat boy mentality and don't jump to 4th grade forms of dissagreement. keep trying you'll be funny one day soon- I promise. (If you're not a smarmy pharmy then you have no excuse- shame on you)
I never said Bob could do no wrong, Artificial Flowers proves that. You demonstrate your childishness by first calling me "stupid" and then moving on to other name calling. I never called you a name. I was just goofing a little on how vastly apart our experiences were, hence the Bizarro talk.
Also, shame on me? Shame on you for being so closed minded as to refer to what I was doing as "retard talk". Really, the term "retard" is a disgusting term to use for people that are mentally challenged. What other kind of awful slurs do you use to describe people? Refering to people as retards is the same as using the N word to describe somebody.
Why do you get so pissed off when some body goofs around a little bit about something that really doesn't mean anything at all, our different perspective on a rock concert, that you have to make personal attacks and disparage the special needs community? That is pretty disgusting behavior that anybody over the age of 4 should know better then to demonstrate.
Also, what was so intellegent in what you posted that gives you license to be so full of righteous indignation? You cling to this idea that Dead Heads were once this incredibly smart group of people that has some how devolved. What validates this elitist opinion? What are the examples of things dumbing down? People not liking the same things you like? Tell you what, I've been around Dead Heads for most of my life and have been seeing shows for about half my 30 years, nothing in that time has proven to me that Dead Heads were, are or will ever be more intelligent then fans of any other kind of music. That uppity hippy snobbery is just a way for people to feel better about themselves. Just because you like something that is not in the mainstream doesn't make you any smarter then anyone else. It just means you like some thing that is not in the mainstream. I hate marshmallows. Doesn't mean I have better taste then my wife, who loves the things. Means we have different tastes. Same thing with music.
"Me am no Dreemfreek. Me am no resorting to childish name calling. Me am no smartest hippy in all of Bizarro World! Hello!"
What happened to the bass player of Donna the Buffalo?
Fark! How are you. This is Kass, Jahnee's friend. We went to the Vince Herman/Ekoostic Hookah show in Sandusky, OH. with Jahnee, Kelly and my wife, Ellen. Haven't seen you since. Had a good time that trip out to Toledo. Hope you are doing well.
I agree with kass, I strongly disagree with dreamfreek. He's a retard.