Drummer Joe Russo put together a band he named Joe Russo’s Almost Dead for what was supposed to be a one-time tribute to the Grateful Dead held at Brooklyn Bowl in New York City on January 26, 2013. The music was so good Russo listened to fans who were asking for more JRAD and over four years later the five-piece played their 100th show last night at the same venue where it all started, Brooklyn Bowl. One of the big surprises at show #100 was the debut of the group’s first ever original.
Russo, keyboardist Marco Benevento, guitarists Scott Metzger and Tom Hamilton and bassist Dave Dreiwitz began the show in fitting style by banging out 100 beats as a lead-in to “Beat It On Down The Line.” Hamilton then led the group on “Bertha” ahead of Metzger belting out “Mama Tried.” Next up was “Help On The Way” > “Slipknot!” but after hinting at “Throwing Stones,” they instead landed on “New Minglewood Blues.” From there, the quintet delivered a powerful “Ramble On Rose” followed by their new original, titled “Keeping It Simple.” Russo wrote the Dead-esque tune with Tom Hamilton which ended the first set.
JRAD came out of the gates with “The Music Never Stopped” to open the second set and worked a jam on Jimi Hendrix’s “Third Stone From The Sun” within the song. A “Row Jimmy” with hints of “Wharf Rat” came next before a Hamilton-sung “Crazy Fingers.” The second set rolled on with “Estimated Prophet” and scorching renditions of “Jack Straw” and “Morning Dew.” Almost Dead ran out of time and didn’t play an encore on Thursday. Russo and his mates return to Brooklyn Bowl on Friday. A webcast is available via nugs.tv.
Setlist (Compiled by Pete Costello)
Set One (8:34PM – 9:41PM): BIODTL @ (SM), Bertha # (TH), Mama Tried (SM) -> Help On The Way (TH) -> Slipknot! -> Throwin’ Stones Jam $ -> New Minglewood Blues % (SM), Ramble On Rose (TH), Keeping It Simple ^ (All)
Set Two (10:16PM – 11:42PM): Music Never Stopped & (SM) -> Third Stone From The Sun Jam * -> Music Never Stopped Reprise + > Row Jimmy @@ (TH) -> Crazy Fingers (TH) -> Estimated Prophet (SM) -> Jack Straw (SM/TH), Morning Dew (TH)
- @ – 100 Beat – Beat It On Down The Line
- # – With a “Shortnin’ Bread” (James Whitcomb Riley) tease (MB)
- $ – First Time Played By Almost Dead
- % – With Throwin’ Stones Teases / Jams (Band)
- ^ – Almost Dead Original, Written by JR & TH, First Time Played
- & – With an “Ode to Billy Joe” (Bobbie Gentry) Tease (SM)
- * – Jimi Hendrix original, First Time Played By Almost Dead
- + – Not played by Almost Dead since Suwannee Hulaween, 10.29.15, a gap of 49 shows
- @@ – Proceeded by a significant Wharf Rat Tease / Jam – may become a separate track based on length. Also with a Throwin’ Stones Tease (SM)
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