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  • March 4th, 2014

    reCAP :: Bob Weir and Ratdog :: 2014.03.01

    Written By: Chadbyrne R. Dickens

    “The temperature keeps risin’, everybody gittin’ high; Come the rockin’ stroke of midnite, the whole place gonna fly. Yeh, uhuh one more Saturday night,” – Bob Weir

    A triumphant return to the Cap for Bobby! It’s safe to say that most eyes and ears were ready in anticipation for Weir’s return engagement at the Capitol Theatre, considering his challenging last appearance at the venue as a member of Furthur. However, one held little trepidation as to the outcome because Bobby started on fire and ultimately delivered an exemplary show.

    Weir, along with his cohorts in RatDog: Jay Lane (drums), Robin Sylvester (bass), Jeff Chimenti (keyboards), Rob Wasserman (bass) and Steve Kimock (guitar), shared an exquisite and professional showcase. The set started with a lengthy spacy jam that eventually led into “Hell in a Bucket” which was buoyed by a guitar-driven back beat and heavy rhythm section. Other highlights included the fluid and flowing John Barlow-penned, “Cassidy” which peaked during the chorus, “Let your life proceed by its own design” which segued into a tight and bouncy “Big Railroad Blues.”

    Wearing birkenstocks and Capri pants and with a mustache reminiscent of The Lorax, Weir led us through a second set by beginning with some acoustic tunes including an incendiary, “Bombs Away.” The classic from Weir’s 1978 “Heaven Help the Fool” record fueled the most fan adulation on the night and was an inspired version delivered with a rapid pace. Kimock’s long hair flew up in the air by the onstage breeze as he continually held a guitar pick in his mouth for slide work on “Tomorrow Never Knows.” Kimock showed off masterful guitar work and remains an exemplary addition to this current line-up and adds the proper tone throughout.

    The first man to ever replace Garcia in an incarnation of The Dead, Kimock remains a powerful guitar maestro and he demonstrated this well through his piercing guitar crescendo of “Dear Prudence.” Bobby sang with unbridled passion on the Beatle’s cover in an intense and direct manner before segueing into his signature song, “Sugar Magnolia.” The classic ditty from American Beauty provided the impetus for a punchy dance frenzy as the audience gyrated to the groove with authority as trippy projections adorned the Cap walls.

    With Furthur on hiatus and the future of Grateful Dead related projects in flux due to health and age issues, it was a treat to capture Bob Weir at such an important venue in Grateful Dead lore – the spot where they played so many important shows – including 18 in 1970-1971 alone. Let the 50th anniversary of the Grateful Dead begin! There is no one alive you’d rather hear singing the songs than Mr. Weir. To the fans delight, their hero delivered an impeccable performance.

    Set I: Jam>Bucket, She Belongs to Me, Big River, Money For Gasoline, Dark Star>Cassidy>Big RR Blues

    Set II: KC Moan*, Me & Bobby McGee*>Bombs Away*, She Says, Shakedown Street>Let it Grow>Tomorrow Never Knows, Stuff>Dear Prudence>Sugar Magnolia

    E: One More Saturday Night *acoustic