Hybrids Run Amok

I'm going to suppress my almost medical need to make fun of the hippie noise that is Bob Weir and Ratdog, because it would be in my best interests to stay on the good side of (probable Ratdog fan) Executive Editor Matt Coker. So. Here goes.

Bob Weir formed Ratdog while he was still a rhythm guitarist for the Grateful Dead. Like the Dead, Ratdog has cycled through names and band members, and plays a bazillion shows a year. The performances include covers, primarily Dead songs and the work of perennial faves like Dylan, and the jazzed-up rock of Ratdog originals. This is a seasoned live band, perhaps one of the most experienced still touring. Footage of their act reveals that distinctive old-dude ease, as well as a deep familiarity with the ebb and flow of a live show. Not including a hilario pot reference here is, essentially, killing me. Hope you're happy, hippies.

It seems that even Grateful Dead side projects attract another, more hardcore genre of grownup fanboy. To wit: a quick tour of the Ratdog fansites reveals "Fantasy Ratdog," which basically served to explode my notion that the demise of the Grateful Dead and Phish would wipe out the population of overzealous jam-band hyperventilators. Fantasy Ratdog takes a page from fantasy baseball and apparently "Lets Dog fans test their intuition of Ratdog setlists and have a little fun as the tour moves along." 'Dog fans new to the game would be advised to request good vibes on the Ratdog message board. Best of luck, Coker.

Bob Weir and Ratdog at the Grove of Anaheim, 2200 East Katella Ave., Anaheim, (714) 712-2700; www.thegroveofanaheim.com. Tues., 8 p.m. $35. All Ages.


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