Joe Russo’s Almost Dead Welcomes Guests At New Haven Finale

A horn section and violinist Katie Jacoby joined the band at Westville Music Bowl.

By Andy Kahn Jun 21, 2021 10:40 am PDT

Joe Russo’s Almost Dead was joined by a horn section and violinist Katie Jacoby last night as they concluded a three-show run in New Haven, Connecticut. The concert was the third of three JRAD played this weekend at Westville Music Bowl.

The horn section, many of whom have affiliation with Antibalas, included saxophonists Stuart Bogie and Cochemea Gastelum, trumpeter Jordan McLean, trombonist Ray Mason and tuba player John Altieri. They welcomed the band to the stage by introducing an “Iko Iko” opener and stuck around for the bulk of the first set. “China Cat Sunflower” came next, but diverged from its common “I Know You Rider” partner for the night’s first of a few deviations from the Grateful Dead’s repertoire, as the extended JRAD transitioned into The Band’s “Ophelia.”

The Dead classic “Operator” followed, leading to a jam that found its way to The Beatles’ “Why Don’t We Do It In The Road,” which then segued into “Hard To Handle.” The horns left for the remaining song of the first set, the rowdy closer “Casey Jones.”

The five members of JRAD – drummer Joe Russo, guitarists Tom Hamilton and Scott Metzger, bassist Dave Dreiwitz and keyboardist Marco Benevento — retook the stage sans guests, opening the second half with “Alabama Getaway.” Bogie then came out to add saxophone to “Feel Like A Stranger” and McLean emerging during the jam that came out of the subsequent “Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodleloo.” The rest of the horns were brought back for the rest of the show, augmenting “Good Lovin,’” “Let It Rock” and “Roadrunner.”

Jacoby, who is Metzger’s partner, joined the collective for a performance of The Band’s “Rag Mama Rag.” JRAD and the horns finished off the set with “Cats Under The Stars” and “C.C. Rider.” The encore saw the band and the horns call upon The Band once more, capping the run in New Haven with “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.”

Check out full show audio recorded by Jeff Travitz and processed by Keith Litzenberger, as well as video highlights below:

monihampton (See 19 videos)
Joe Russo’s Almost Dead (See 347 videos) and Katie Jacoby (See 8 videos)


Joe Russo's Almost Dead at Westville Music Bowl

Set 1
  • Iko Iko  
  • China Cat Sunflower  
  • Ophelia  
  • Operator
  • Why Don't We Do It in the Road?  
  • Hard to Handle  
  • Casey Jones  
Set 2
  • Alabama Getaway  
  • Feel Like a Stranger  
  • Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo  
  • Good Lovin'  
  • Let it Rock
  • Road Runner
  • Rag Mama Rag
  • Cats Under the Stars  
  • C.C. Rider  
  • The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down
  • The Band
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