The excitement started at the beginning of the day. The band high-stepped into town early. The tour bus made it to the club in the early afternoon. By late afternoon downtown Asheville had a good crowd of people in town for the show. A small shakedown street evolved in a parking lot across from Barley’s. By 7pm., hundreds of kids were in line to get into Asheville’s largest club, The Orange Peel, while others were just enjoying the unseasonably warm autumn night, still others were just making into town from the greater United States. Friends of mine drove in from as far as Florida and New Mexico. 40 years since the Grateful Dead first toured, Bob Weir and his band Ratdog continue the tradition of music and community that has inspired generations of people to live, learn, grow, share, love, dance and make a difference in the world. “You may find a way if your lucky enough” (Weir/Barlow – Lucky Enough, 2000). Defying space and time, Bobby performed his 70th show of the year in Asheville while making his way down the East coast. Not wasting time, the band got the party started on an upbeat with Minglewood Blues. Continuing with another Grateful Dead original, Crazy Fingers, the band then changed course into Weir/Barlow’s well written and composed Lucky Enough . The band went back into Lucky Enough after an extended jam. The club was packed—in a good way. The show sounded clear from in the corners of the club and all points in between. Before stopping for a set break the band busted out a jamin’ New Speedway Boogie (one of my favorites) following with the somber Weir/Barlow tune This Time Forever first played in 1999 and Weir/Barlow’s Shade of Grey and the Grateful Dead’s Hell in a Bucket. The second set covered Blackbird, Bob Dylan’s Masters of War and a tight Black-Throated Wind. Mississippi Half-Step made sure anyone who hadn’t been dancin’ yet—to start. Everybody at the show was having a great time. Far from done, we got to hear The Other One into a jam, Knocking on Heaven’s Door,
China Cat Sunflower, I know You Rider
and encored with another Beatles tune Revolution. It was hard not to hop on tour for a day to the next show in Atlanta but school kept me in town. Singing thank you, for a real good time (Robert Hunter, Loose Lucy).