Photos And Recap | Joe Russo's Almost Dead | Port Chester

Images and Words by: Andrew Blackstein

Joe Russo's Almost Dead :: 12.27.13 :: Capitol Theatre :: New York, NY

On a late December night in Port Chester, NY, the encore performance from Joe Russo’s Almost Dead had the tough task of living up to the hype that their highly acclaimed debut received at the beginning of 2013. While this night would see a much larger crowd at the Capitol Theater, it was hard to match the exact same magic that the Brooklyn Bowl show had. This is not a knock on what was a incredibly vibrant and beautiful show, but rather an observation that Friday night's performance was a different animal than the band's Brooklyn Bowl debut.

Songs like “Playing In The Band” and the “Scarlet Begonias > Fire On The Mountain” suite showed off an improvisational excellence that was worthy of even the most critical of Grateful Dead fans' appreciation. The late 1970’s classic "Terrapin Station" was also returned to its glory with thick guitar chops that saw Scott Metzger and Tommy Hamilton playing off one another like two wizards inventing a new potion. Layers of elegance and passion came roaring out of the Port Chester PA as Joe Russo and Marco Benevento shared vocal duties on “Turn On Your Lovelight.”

Dave Dreiwitz showed his knack for being able to follow a jam in any direction as "Shakedown Street" was dominated by his backbone of bass notes. As fans got a glimpse of the band's rehearsal sessions, a lava lamp was a theme in what appeared to be an inside joke among the band. For the show's Second Set, the Capitol Crowd not only saw the musicians take the stage, but the Lava Lamp was also placed between Tommy and Dave as it would stay the course in that position. The night's encore, the Jerry Garcia/Robert Hunter ballad “Brokedown Palace,” brought an appropriate silence where one could hear a pin drop as Tommy Hamilton delivered the “Fare thee well my honey, fare thee well my only true one” lyric. The second coming of JRAD proved that lightning can be caught twice, maybe just not the in the same way.

Set One: Cream Puff War -> Truckin' -> Dupree's Diamond Blues -> Cumberland Blues, Row Jimmy, Bertha, Easy Wind -> Shakedown Street

Set Two: Space -> Scarlet Begonias -> Fire On The Mountain, Playin' In The Band, Althea, Lovelight, Terrapin Station Suite

Encore: Brokedown Palace

Watch LazyLightning's video of "Fire On The Mountain":

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[Published on: 12/28/13]

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