Joe Russo’s Almost Dead ended a series of six shows spread out over two weekends on Saturday night at Brooklyn Bowl in New York City. Bassist Oteil Burbridge covered for Dave Dreiwitz all weekend long as Dreiwitz was in Chicago with Ween. Saturday’s show was a wild affair with tributes, crazy jams and a special guest.
The show started with guitarist Tom Hamilton leading a cover of “Promised Land” in honor of Chuck Berry who had passed away earlier in the day. Next up was “Golden Road” ahead of a “Hell In A Bucket” that gave way to “Here Comes Sunshine.” Oteil had a long tenure in The Allman Brothers Band, so he was no stranger to “In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed.” JRAD played the ABB classic out of “Here Comes Sunshine” marking their first take on the tune since nearly a year prior to the day at the same venue. The five-piece finished “Here Comes Sunshine” following “Liz Reed” and then Joe Russo and Marco Benevento treated the capacity crowd to a bit of a “Duo Jam.” Stuart Bogie emerged at the end of the set to add tenor saxophone to “Reuben & Cerise” and “Viola Lee Blues.”
JRAD’s second set was nearly a seamless affair that began with a jam which eventually led into “Casey Jones.” From there, the band played “Jack-A-Roe” before bringing Bogie back out for “Dancing In The Streets” and “Franklin’s Tower.” Almost Dead and Bogie worked plenty of jams and teases into “Dancing” including “9 To 5,” “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough,” “Shake Your Body” and “I Want A New Drug.” The five-piece hinted at starting “Let It Grow” out of “Franklin’s” but first embarked on a jam based around “That’s The Way” by Led Zeppelin. “Let It Grow” featured a jam on Talking Heads’ “Girlfriend Is Better” and was followed by a set-closing “I Know You Rider.” Joe Russo’s Almost Dead then said farewell with an encore of “Brokedown Palace” and “We Bid You Good Night.”
Setlist (Compiled by Pete Costello)
Public Sound Check (5:30PM – 6:00PM): Such A Night % (MB), Ophelia % (SM), The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down % (TH)
Set One (9:41PM – 10:52PM): Promised Land @ (TH), Golden Road To Unlimited Devotion (TH) > Hell In A Bucket (SM) -> Jam -> Here Comes Sunshine (TH) -> In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed # -> Here Comes Sunshine Reprise $ (TH) -> Duo Jam -> Ruben & Cherise % (TH) -> Viola Lee Blues ^ % (All)
Set Two (11:25PM – 1:09AM): Jam -> Casey Jones & (TH) -> Jack A Roe (TH) -> Dancing In The Streets * % (SM) -> Franklin’s Tower % (TH) -> Let It Grow Jam -> That’s The Way Jam + -> Let It Grow (SM) @@ -> Girlfriend Is Better Jam ## -> Let It Grow Reprise (SM), I Know You Rider (All)
Encore: “Thank You Sean” $$, Brokedown Palace (TH), We Bid You Good Night %% (All)
- @ – Not on the set list as written – for the late great Chuck Berry – RIP. Not played since 2015.10.31 at The Ritz, Raleigh, NC a gap of 52 shows. With a “Never Can Tell” (Chuck Berry) tease (SM)
- # – Allman Brothers Band cover, not played since 2016-03-24 Brooklyn Bowl, Brooklyn, NY, a gap of 36 shows
- $ – Not played by Almost Dead since 2016-02-13 State Theater, Portland, ME, a gap of 38 shows
- % – With Stuart Bogie on Tenor Sax
- ^ – With a China Cat Sunflower Jam
- & – With a “Hoedown” (Aaron Copeland) Tease (MB)
- * – With a “9 to 5” Tease (MB), a “Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough” (Michael Jackson) Tease (MB), a “Shake Your Body” (The Jacksons) Jam, and a “I Want a New Drug” (Huey Lewis & The News) Jam that could become its own track, With Stuart Bogie on Tenor Sax
- + – Led Zeppelin Cover, First Time Played by Almost Dead, instrumental
- @@ – With a “Chest Fever” (The Band) Tease (MB)
- ## – Talking Heads Cover, First Time Played By Almost Dead, Instrumental
- $$ – With Pete Shapiro, honoring Sean Aiken, a long time Brooklyn Bowl manager working his last night.
- %% – Sung a cappella, at the front of the stage, not played since 2015-10-03 Brooklyn Bowl, Brooklyn, NY, a gap of 57 shows
- Upcoming Shows
Celebrate trumpeter/vocalist Jennifer Hartswick’s birthday with audio or video featuring 10 collaborations (out of 27 total) with Umphrey’s McGee.
Guitarist John Mayer showed off his quick wit in the middle of “Your Body Is A Wonderland” when he addressed those in Grateful Dead t-shirts and who want to hear the trio.
Watch the members of Metallica discuss Phish’s repeat-free, 13-show run at Madison Square Garden.
Grateful Dead tribute act Dark Star Orchestra focuses on the Northeast to end 2017.
Read a review and view a photo gallery of Taj Mahal and Keb’ Mo’s recent TajMo performance in Central Park in New York City.
JamBase Editorial Director Scott Bernstein looks back at The Great Went, Phish’s second major festival, which began 20 years ago today.