Full Show Audio: Joe Russo’s Almost Dead Finally Unleashes Red Rocks 2017 Recording

Grateful Dead tribute act Joe Russo’s Almost Dead headlined Red Rocks on August 31, four months later than originally planned. The five-piece’s first attempt to headline the iconic venue in late April was derailed by the threat of bad weather. JRAD made the show worth the wait with the help of bassist Oteil Burbridge, as Dave Dreiwitz was on tour with Ween. Today, an official recording of Almost Dead’s headlining debut at Red Rocks has been unveiled.

Here’s what we wrote about the August 31st show:

The five-piece opened with an at times beautiful and at times wily jam that eventually wound its way into “Here Comes Sunshine.” JRAD threw improv into each and every section of “Sunshine” before launching into “Reuben & Cerise.” Up next was a Scott Metzger-sung “Mama Tried” and the first split “New Speedway Boogie” in the band’s history. Almost Dead fit multiple “The Music Never Stopped” jams and a wild “Dancing In The Streets” within “Speedway.” Burbridge then had his turn on lead vocals for “Box Of Rain” ahead of a “He’s Gone” > “Truckin'” sequence that closed out the set.

Joe Russo’s Almost Dead kicked off the second set with “Jack Straw” and then took “Feel Like A Stranger” deep. The unfinished “Stranger” saw the quintet toy with one of the composed sections of Phish’s “Harry Hood.” A rollicking “China Cat Sunflower” came next and gave way to a fierce “The Eleven.” Almost Dead was still playing in 11 when they began “The Wheel.” The band transitioned into the normal “Wheel” timing after singing the first verse in 11 and keyboardist Marco Benevento threw in a few “Bathtub Gin” teases.

The quintet jammed “The Wheel” into a debut cover of Donovan’s “There Is A Mountain.” Russo sang lead on a few of the choruses of the song that birthed “Mountain Jam” ahead of the requisite “I Know You Rider.” Up next was a standout “Greatest Story Ever Told” complete with a “Night in Tunisia” jam, a “Stash” tease and hints of “Estimated Prophet.” JRAD ended the set with a blistering “Morning Dew” and returned for an a capella “We Bid You Goodnight” encore.

Joe Russo’s Almost Dead will return to headline Red Rocks on August 16. Here’s the official recording from August 31 thanks to Pete Costello and Eric McRoberts:

Setlist (Compiled by Peter Costello)

Set One (7:50PM – 9:45PM): Jam -> Here Comes Sunshine @ > Reuben & Cerise -> Jam -> Mama Tried, New Speedway Boogie # -> Music Never Stopped Reprise -> New Speedway Jam -> Music Never Stopped Jam -> Dancing In The Streets $ -> New Speedway Reprise % -> Box Of Rain ^ (OB), He’s Gone & -> Truckin’ -> Born Cross Eyed Jam

Set Two (10:01PM – 11:27PM): Jack Straw > Feel Like A Stranger * -> Harry Hood Jam + -> China Cat Sunflower -> The Eleven -> The Wheel @@ -> There Is A Mountain ## > I Know You Rider, Greatest Story Ever Told $$, Morning Dew

Encore: We Bid You Goodnight %%

  • @ – With a “Sex Machine” (James Brown) Tease (MB), a “La Di Da Di” (Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick) Tease (MB)
  • # – Unfinished
  • $ – With Music Never Stopped Teases (TH), an unknown Tease (MB), New Speedway Teases & lyrics, a “Memphis Soul Stew” (King Curtis) Tease (OB), “Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough (Michael Jackson) Teases (SM & MB).
  • % – First split New Speedway
  • ^ – With an Uncle John’s Band Tease (Band)
  • & – With Truckin & Tennessee Jed Teases (TH) & a “Humdinger” (WOLF) tease (SM)
  • * – Unfinished
  • + – Instrumental, incomplete version of a Phish Cover (No lyrics were sung), First Time Played By Almost Dead.
  • @@ – First verse sung in 11, with an “In With the In Crowd” (Ramsey Lewis) Jam, a “Bathtub Gin” (Phish) Tease (MB)
  • ## – Donovan Cover, Instrumental with 2 choruses only sung, First Time Played By Almost Dead. Basis for the Allman Bros “Mountain Jam” but closer to the original Donovan version.
  • $$ – With a “Night in Tunisia” (Dizzy Gillespie) Jam, an Estimated Prophet Tease (TH) & an “Stash” (Phish) Tease (SM)
  • %% – A cappella at their positions with vocal mics, not at the front of the stage
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