On Saturday night, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead hit the midway point of their sold-out three-night run at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY. The five-piece act once again showed off their revved-up take on the music of the Grateful Dead at the historic rock palace while continuing to add new songs to their repertoire.
Drummer Joe Russo, guitarists Scott Metzger and Tom Hamilton, keyboardist Marco Benevento and bassist Dave Dreiwitz wasted no time last night as they hit the ground running by jumping straight into “Scarlet Begonias.” The band looked to “Sugaree” next as Benevento provided some gorgeous Hammond B3 organ work and Hamilton delivered a soulful version of the track from Jerry Garcia’s 1972 solo album Garcia. Without missing a beat the jam out of “Sugaree” dropped straight into “Scarlet Begonias” longtime partner “Fire On The Mountain” with Benevento once again shining throughout. Metzger got to show off his vocal-stylings next as he stepped up to the mic for a raucous, sing-along take on The Rascals’ 1966 number one hit “Good Lovin’.” JRAD once again looked to tune that first appeared on a Garcia solo album this time turning to Reflections for “They Love Each Other,” which featured a jam on “Fire On The Mountain” to close a nearly hourlong stretch without a break.
The band’s namesake got a chance to sing lead next as the quintet offered up their debut take on “Pride Of Cucamonga.” The Phil Lesh/Bobby Peterson rarity which first appeared on From The Mars Hotel was never played lived by the Grateful Dead and stayed on the shelf until Lesh finally dusted it off for its inaugural performance in 1999. JRAD brought their third frame of their run to a close with winding, exploratory 19-plus minute version of “Playing In The Band.”
Joe Russo’s Almost Dead continued to look to the Dead’s mid-70s output kicking off their second set of the night with “Row Jimmy.” An open-ended “Jam” sequence followed with Joe Russo & Co. eventually finding its way into a portion of the multi-part “Terrapin Station Suite,” performing the “Lady With A Fan” and “Terrapin Station” parts before segueing straight into “I Need A Miracle” – continuing the trend of 1970s songs. The band threw the crowd a curveball next, delivering a short take on Led Zeppelin’s “Your Time Is Gonna Come” – playing just the first verse and chorus. Hamilton segued straight from the tune’s “you’re time is gonna come” chorus into “Ramble On Rose” capping off a nearly 50 minute seamless run of music.
The set rolled on with a punchy version of “Music Never Stopped,” which featured a very jazzy jam section and a distinct tease of “Fire On The Mountain.” They once again looked to Garcia’s solo work for a take on “Cats Under The Stars” that featured a “Duo Jam” from Benevento and Russo. JRAD closed things out with a pair of traditional tunes pairing up “Going Down The Road Feeling Bad” and “We Bid You Goodnight.” Joe Russo’s Almost Dead returned to the stage as Benevento laid down another gorgeous piece of piano work and provided a free-form rap about music festivals ahead of their third debut of the night with a take on Chuck Berry’s “The Festival.” The deep cut Berry tune features lyrics about a music festival that references a dream lineup with the likes of the Grateful Dead, The Band, The Who, Aretha Franklin, Howlin’ Wolf, Johnny Cash and more. The nearly three-hour show was brought to a close with a spirited take on “I Know You Rider.”
Watch pro-shot video of the openers from both set, fan-shot video captured by Monica Hampton and check out the fully annotated setlist below:
Audio | Taped by nico11104
Setlist (Compiled by Peter Costello)
Set One (9:00PM – 10:19PM): Scarlet Begonias -> Sugaree @ -> Fire On The Mountain # -> Good Lovin $ -> They Love Each Other %, Pride Of Cucamonga ^, Playing In The Band
Set Two (10:54PM – 12:40AM): Row Jimmy -> Jam & -> Lady With A Fan & + -> Terrapin Station & -> I Need A Miracle @@ -> Your Time Is Gonna Come ## -> Ramble On Rose, Music Never Stopped $$, Cats Under The Stars %% -> GDTRFB ^^ -> We Bid You Goodnight &&
Enc: Marco Solo -> The Festival ** -> I Know You Rider ++
@ – With an “I’m The Only One” (Melissa Ethridge) Tease & a Fire On the Mountain Tease (TH)
# – With Sugaree Lyrics (TH)
$ – With a short Fire On the Mountain Jam
% – With a Shakedown Tease (Band)
^ – First Time Played by Almost Dead. JR vocals
& – With Playin & Terrapin Teases (TH)
* – I’m going to start labeling Terrapin part-by-part. “Lady With A Fan” goes from “Let my inspiration flow” to “ but he cannot be bought or sold“ and “Terrapin Station” goes from “Inspiration, move me brightly” to “and the whistle is screaming: TERRAPIN“. On this night, the second part of the “Suite” including “”Terrapin”, “Terrapin Transit”, “At a Siding”, “Terrapin Flyer” & “Refrain” was not played at this show
+ – With a Marco Solo
@@ – with a “Dear Mr. Fantasy” (Traffic) tease (TH)
## – First Time Played by Almost Dead. JR vocals. Partial version of a Led Zeppelin cover, 1st verse & chorus were sung.
$$ – With a Fire On the Mountain Tease (TH)
%% – With a “Duo Jam” and a “Hey Bulldog” (The Beatles) Jam (Band)
^^ – With Mountain Jam Teases (TH & then MB)
&& – Traditional instrumental ending to GDTRFB, with a short Cold Rain & Snow Jam (Band)
** – Chuck Berry cover, First Time Played by Almost Dead. MB vocals http://www.lyricsfreak.com/c/chuck+b…/festival_20202543.html
++ – With a Morning Dew Tease (TH)
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- Live Oak, FL