Last night I went into Boston to see Rat Dog, and what an interesting might it turned out to be so I decided to share. First off it had been a very odd week. Since last Sunday a feeling had been slowly building, where everything around me just seemed a little out of whack, like my cosmic center had been misaligned. I kept my focus on the Thursday night Rat Dog show I was set to see. My thought process being that perhaps I needed nothing more then to blow the corporate carbon deposits out of my tailpipe by getting exquisitely loose.

So the week went weird, me staying focus on Thursday. I set myself up to work in Peabody that day, so the jog down into Bean town would be shorter. As I'm driving out to Peabody, all of sudden out of nowhere I sense the birth of a head cold, I notice the throats a bit sore, left ear a little sore. Sorta sweaty. Kinda tired. Not good signs. Bad karma, need to be healthy for show tonight. Quick stop for some medical tabs. Weirdness increasing. Work day went amazingly smooth, or the medical tabs were really good, so I left early. Wanted to make a quick stop in Cambridge. A friend of mine from work has been telling me his nephew owns a snow board shop in Harvard Square, he'll hook me up so off I go, do a little shopping.

Kicked the dust of work off my heels and drove into Cambridge and quite literally parked the carh just a block from Harvard yadh. Then spent 30 minutes walking around Harvard Square trying to find the store, no luck. Asked a few shop owners, got strange stares, (like that's a new experience), asked in a bar, got shrugged shoulders, so I sat down and ordered a drink instead. Weird freaking week, weird freaking day. Watched a little college basketball. UMass played their last game of the season this day. I missed it since they played at noon. They lost but came away with a moral victory, took Xavier, nationally ranked 24th and pushed the game into overtime. Moral of the story, moral victories suck, they should have won. Never found the shop, turns out I was in the wrong place, (like that's never happened before). Steve (aka work friend) said I told you it was right behind the tannery, (I actually thought he said it was behind the gap), which it wasn't. So no snow board shopping. As I am headed back to the space ship I pass a candy store. Out of the corner of my eye did I just see "gummy butts"? I did. I did see "gummy butts" So into the candy store I go. They had a whole selection of adult body part gummies. I wasn't sure if I should be buying the girl gummy butts or the boy gummy butts, then got embarrassed and didn't get either and left the store. Weirdness increasing.

So drove over to the Orpheum, and for the very first time ever, I didn't get lost in Boston! Got myself right there. Parked the carh. Went up to the usually pre show meet and greet at Rita's fajita's. The lovely Ms. Kate, Obie's girlfriend, was already there with a bunch of other folks, (see photo). One of which was a friend of hers named Joe. A really kind friendly fellow who I had met once or twice before. He sees me and whips out a 3CD copy of the last Rat Dog show I saw @ the Palladium. Said he remember me talking about the show and thought I would like a copy. He blew me away. Really made my day up to that point. I was pretty pumped. Actually sat there with these CDs in my hand, thinking about how weird everything else had been and for a moment considered blowing off the show, going home and listening to the CD's instead, I so thrilled. That thought didn't last long. Things were starting to look up, better karma was quickly moving into town and the neighborhood was all the better for it. Consumed a few beverages. Popped some more cold tablets. Felt pretty good. Feeling pretty painless.



Then out into the streets, with the whole bunch. Right hand turn up to tremont street, walk two blocks over to Hamilton. Big crowd waiting to get in, everybody getting patted down. It's a new America. So I cheated and cut the line. I have no patience for this sort of thing. As I am headed into the venue, I can hear the band is already playing. That means they started right at 8PM, which was printed on the ticket, so I should have got there a little earlier. But I didn't. So it goes. Turns out I missed very little. Buy a water, inspected the indoor plumbing. Headed for my seat.

This really large tall women, who is very friendly with a great smile and seems to be working every time I visit the Orpheum, is guarding the upramp to the lower section, (I know that sounds weird, the upramp to the lower section, but that is exactly what it is); which is where I am pretty sure I am supposed to be sitting. I say hello, long time no see, she smiles that big happy to see ya sweet smile of hers and lets me in. At the top of the ramp, I hit usher number 2, he points me over toward the other side of the theater, says three rows over. I said, "Thanks Dude," and slip slide along.

I make my way to the other side. The band is playing. The theater is filling up quickly Me, well I'm smiling, good times vibe. I hit usher #3, looks over my ticket and says "Have you been to your seat yet?", I said "I don't think so." (You see I figured I have been at this venue so many times, there is a slight possibility I have sat in the same seat before, so I answered the question to the best of my ability based on the information I had at hand at that moment in time, but as it turned out I was mistaken.) So he says follow me. Down we go toward the stage. Closer and closer we get. I'm thinking, this can't be right. We get to the first row, he says (actually yells this because it's loud), "Your six seats in." I look back at him and I say, "No shit, you sure?" He shakes his head in the affirmative.

I move into the row. I am in the front row, I can lean on the stage. I can stand there and actually lean my elbows on the stage. I can beat the rhythm of the vibe on the stage. I look to my right I am but 5 seats off center. I'm flipping out. I'm right in front of the stage. I haven't been this close to a stage in years. You see I grew out of that years ago, these are middle age white guys I'm going to see. The reality is I am there to hear the music, not see the old white guys. I know what old white guys look like. It's not a pretty sight. So I never really cared were I sat, just as long as I could hear well, (plus not be next to some yahoo who insist on singing the lyrics out loud in the wrong key). Yet here I am, totally unexpected, and totally blown away. There's Bob Weir playing and singing, 6 feet away. I believe we just made eye contact. I turn to the guy on my right, I say "this is so sweet," he gives me this huge "I know exactly what you mean dude" grin. I grin back. I grin at the guy to my right, he's got the same silly expression splashed on his face and eyes.

I grinned all night. What a show. I am right between the two guitarist. This is a huge treat. What a night. It was so great. Tune after tune. Watching the interplay between band members, the little instrument tweaks. My oh my what fun. So here's the 1st Set, which had DJ Logic from the Logic Project sitting in on turntables. They opened with a little Bass/Drums duet which evolved into a jam as all the band members got on stage, then blew into a rip roaring Feel Like A Stranger (which could not have been a better tune given the week I had) > It's All Over Now Baby Blue > New Minglewood Blues > Loser > Matilda Mother (new tune I'm guessing) > Tomorrow Never Knows > Matilda Mother > Lucky Enough > Ramble On Rose > Feel like a Stranger Reprise > Liberty.

Then the break at 9:30 or so. I turn around and hey look, there's Bobstar from Nassau about seven rows back calling my name I wave "Hey Bob look at me - nice seat huh?" We chat, make plans to ski on Sunday. Second set starts 10ish, more of the same stage leaning and eye popping experience followed by many wide grins. My face hurts today from it all the smiling. I didn't know a person could over smile. Hard to explain that to the HMO people. Second set opens with acoustic instruments, no DJ Logic, no sax, no keyboards, they all faded back in during BT Wind. Second set K.C. Moan > Mexicali Blues > Black Throated Wind > Jam (with truckin/smokestack teases) > I Need a Miracle (ended with smokestack/Wang dang doodle teases) > Mississippi Half Step (ended with other1 teases) > Picasso Moon > The Wheel > Bass/Drums/Scratch > Terrapin > Good Lovin (with Little Stars lyrics)

They ran over time. Before the encore Bob gave a Thank You to the Union Crew for letting them play over, but then added they agreed to keep it short, so they tore into a smoking Johnny B Goode.

Shows ends at 11:45ish.
I'm home at 1AM. Milk and cookies, slip between the sheets. Dreamland.

02/2005