It's nice to see Ratdog play some place other then the Riviera or Vic. Ratdog's last stop in Chicago was at the Riv and it was way too tightly packed and uncomfortable.
I was not that familiar with Keller Williams prior to the show, but I was happily suprised. I don't know many of his songs, but what I can tell you is that he opened up with a well done Unbroken Chain. He did a cool little jam of Dave Brubeck's Take 5->a Coltrane style My Favorite Things-> Phish's The Sloth. Also broke out a fun Kinky Reggae that was a lot of fun. He was joined on stage by Bobby for a fun little The Race Is On and a really sweet Bird Song, with KW and Weir trading verses and KW using all of his technology to layer the song with different textures. It may have been my favorite moment of the show.
All in all, I was pretty impressed by KW's one man juke box show and I'm looking forward to seeing him in concert again.
Ratdog opened with a jam into Playing In The Band that began pretty standard but developed nicely. This sequed into a very cool Tomorrow Never Knows which went into Ratdog original Just Like Mama Said, which is not my favorite song by a long shot but it also grew into something pretty excellent. A fun Loose Lucy came next and was followed by a nice Book of Rules and then an exuberant Bertha.
Second set opened with an accoustic The Winners and Masters of War, which while played excellently had its vocals obscured by the Aragon's often muddy sound in spots around the venue, one of which was where I was hanging out. Keller Williams joined the band, along with a saxophonist and trumpet player. Althea came next. At first it was kind of loose but as it progressed it tightened up and became a hell of a thing to hear. Up next was a really incredible Aiko Aiko, with the three horn players just exploding and sending the song into the stratosphere, also standing out on this one was Kimock, who was a presence throughout the show, unlike the Milwaukee show, where he took a little while to get going. Weir and KW left the stage for Stuff, which became a just amazing Sugaree, with the horns and Kimock just really bringing it like no ones buisness. The special guest horns left for Ratdog's Two Jhinn, which was nice but a bit of a let down after the smoking Sugaree that preceded it. The additional horns returned for Not Fade Away, which featured a great Kimock led jam and just blew the roof off the place. The band left the stage while a Love is Real . . . chant had the Aragon's floor bouncing. The band returned, with special guest horns, for a rocking Johnny Be Good.
What a blast. Sure, The Aragon's sound needs improvement and there was an attempted stabbing in the parking lot after the show, but it was realy a fantastic night. I was introduced to a new artist that I really dug and saw a legend live up to his billing. What a great night!
Nice reviewing there Kass..
Thanks for posting..
Nice review Kass....