Joe Russo’s Almost Dead Delivers Bust Out & A Trio Of Debuts At Brooklyn Bowl

On Friday night Joe Russo’s Almost Dead hit the midway point of their three-night sold out stand at their personal clubhouse Brooklyn Bowl. As the five-piece band marches toward their 150th show together, which will happen in early May in New Orleans, they continue to add new songs from the Grateful Dead’s repertoire, debuting a trio of tunes last night along with delivering a long-lost bust out.

Drummer Joe Russo, keyboardist Marco Benevento, bassist Dave Dreiwitz and guitarists Scott Metzger and Tom Hamilton got the night going with an jazzy open-ended “Jam” sequence that segued straight into “Eyes Of The World.” The Wake Of The Flood track found the band work in a tease of Marvin Gaye’s socio-political classic “What’s Going On,” along with a gorgeous solo from Benevento that eventually saw him lock in with Drewitz on a jam. Another tune that was co-written by Gaye followed with “Dancing In The Streets.” Martha Reeves & The Vandellas’ Motown classic saw the band include a number of jams on the Benevento-Russo Duo’s signature song “Becky.” The seamless first set rolled on as Metzger stepped up to the mic to deliver “The Music Never Stopped,” with “Tennessee Jed” following.

The band closed out their first frame with their debut take on “Next Time You See Me.” The blues tune from the Pigpen-era was originally recorded by Junior Parker in 1956, and was first played by the Dead in March 1966. While other Pigpen-sung tunes would later be revived by the band, this one remained on the shelf after its final performance in 1972.


Joe Russo & Co. got their fourth set of the run underway with the New Orleans party classic “Iko, Iko,” busting out the tune for the first time since February 16, 2015 – a span of 123 shows. The second “Jam” sequence of the night followed as the band once again showed off their jazz chops, this time by teasing pieces of Ornette Coleman’s “Theme From A Symphony” that eventually morphed into the cosmic trucker song “Black Throated Wind.” The backend of the frame continued with a spirited “Bertha” and “Feel Like A Stranger.”

Hamilton than fronted the band on their second debut of the night as they offered up the traditional folk tune “Peggy-O.” JRAD closed out the night with one more opened-ended “Jam” which segued into “Playing In The Band” ahead of the stage being turned over to Benevento for another gorgeous must-hear solo to bring things to an end. The band returned to the stage for their encore as they served up their third debut of the night as Metzger fronted the band on a take The Rolling Stones via Bobby Womack’s “It’s All Over Now.”


Watch pro-shot and fan-shot video along with the fully annotated setlist below:

[Jam > Eyes Of The World]

[Iko, Iko]


[Dancing In The Streets | Captured by monihampton]

[Playing In The Band Jam | Captured by LazyLightning55a]


Setlist (Compiled by Peter Costello)

Set One (9:27PM – 10:43PM): Jam -> Eyes Of The World @ -> Dancing In The Streets # > The Music Never Stopped > Tennessee Jed > Next Time You See Me $

Set Two (11:24PM – 1:00AM): Iko Iko %, Jam $$ -> Black Throated Wind -> Bertha > Feel Like A Stranger ^, Peggy – O &, Jam * -> Playing in The Band + -> Marco Solo @@

Encore: It’s All Over Now

@ – With a “What’s Going On” (Marvin Gaye) Tease (SM), a Marco Solo which evolved into a Marco / Tommy Duo & a DD Bass Solo

# – With numerous “Becky” (Benevento Russo Duo) Teases & Jams (MB & JR, then Band)

$ – Junior Parker cover (Sung by Pigpen when it was a part of the GD’s repertoire), First Time Played by Almost Dead, sung by SM

% – Not Played by Almost Dead since 2015-02-16 Boulder Theater, Boulder, CO a gap of 123 shows. Preceded by a “Wild Thing” (Tone Loc) Tease (JR)

$$ – With “Theme From A Symphony” (Ornette Coleman) Teases (DD)

^ – With “Sledgehammer” (Peter Gabriel) Teases (Band) and “Poison” (Bell Biv DeVoe) teases (JR)

& – First Time Played by Almost Dead, sung by TH

* – With a Dancing In The Streets Tease (Band) & maybe Dark Star Teases as well?

+ – With Terrapin Suite Teases (TH, MB & JR)

@@ – With a “Borderline” (Madonna) Jam## – Bobby Womack and Shirley Womack/Rolling Stones Cover, (Sung by Bob Weir when it was a part of the GD’s repertoire) First Time Played by Almost Dead, sung by TH, with a Cumberland Blues Tease (MB)

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