Joe Russo’s Almost Dead Receives A Star, Goes Acoustic & Offers Debuts At Capitol Theatre Finale
Watch the five-piece go unplugged and check out the certificate for a star registered in their name.
By Scott Bernstein Jan 30, 2023 • 9:52 am PST
Joe Russo’s Almost Dead had numerous surprises in store to close out a three-night run at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York on Sunday. Venue owner Peter Shapiro gifted the band with a star at the end of a show that featured a first set mostly played acoustic, a pair of cover debuts and plenty of jamming.
The five-piece, who began the weekend with a 10th anniversary show featuring a surprise Bob Weir guest appearance at Brooklyn Bowl, started last night’s show with a spacey interlude that birthed “Lost Sailor.” The often paired “Saint Of Circumstance” followed along with “St. Stephen.” A slow and throbbing exploration led into a high-octane finish to “St. Stephen” while acoustic gear was set up at the front of the stage.
The members of Joe Russo’s Almost Dead put down their electric instruments and went unplugged for the rest of Sunday’s first set.Scott Metzger and Tom Hamilton played acoustic guitars with Marco Benevento on an upright piano, Dave Dreiwitz on upright bass and Joe Russo utilizing a small drum kit. Metzger helmed the Waylon Jennings-popularized “Only Daddy That’ll Walk The Line” to kick off the acoustic portion of the set. Hamilton then handled lead vocals on “Dire Wolf” ahead of an “Uncle John’s Band” that encapsulated a rousing “King Solomon’s Marbles.”
The wild “Uncle John’s Band”/”King’s Solomon’s Marbles” sequence gave way to the JRAD debut cover of “It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry.” Scott Metzger sang the spot-on take on the Bob Dylan tune. Hamilton then fronted the quintet on a gorgeous “Wharf Rat” and rollicking “Jack-A-Roe” to close the acoustic portion of the evening and first set.
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Joe Russo’s Almost Dead launched their final set of the run with a “Scarlet Begonias” that included a memorable piano solo from Marco Benevento as the band was back in electric format. Metzger then delivered the Sunday Sermon of “Samson & Delilah” before the band took it down a notch with an emotion-laden “Mission In The Rain.” From there the ensemble fit “New Speedway Boogie” within “Dancing In The Street” and went on to pair “West L.A. Fadeaway” with their premiere rendition of Traffic’s 1967 hit “Dear Mr. Fantasy.” Metzger was charged with lead vocals on a song the Grateful Dead covered frequently between 1984 and 1990. JRAD built “Dear Mr. Fantasy” to a superfast pace in laying the groundwork for a move into a set-closing “Going Down The Road Feelin’ Bad.”
Peter Shapiro emerged at the start of the encore and explained he wanted to give the band a special gift in honor of their 10th anniversary since The Cap hosted JRAD’s second performance. “You saw tonight there’s a lot of stars on the walls,” Shapiro said in reference to graphics displayed throughout the venue. “There’s a new star now in the galaxy, guys. We went on we registered it, this shit’s real,” Shapiro added. “JRAD 10” is located in the Aquarius Constellation at RA 20.392 with a Declination of -11.45. Russo thanked Shapiro and then the five-piece concluded the weekend with “Bertha.”
Stream an audio recording of last night’s show taped by Cam Keough below:
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Set One: Jam > Lost Sailor > Saint Of Circumstance > Saint Stephen, Only Daddy That’ll Walk The Line@, Dire Wolf@, Uncle John’s Band@ > King Solomon’s Marbles@ > Uncle John’s Band@, It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry@^ > Wharf Rat@, Jack-A-Roe@
Set Two: Fire On The Mountain, Samson & Delilah, Mission In The Rain > Dancing In The Street > New Speedway Boogie > Dancing In The Street > West L.A. Fadeaway > Dear Mr. Fantasy^^ > Going Down The Road Feelin’ Bad
Encore: Pete Shapiro Gifts JRAD A Star, Bertha
- @ – Acoustic
- ^ – First Time Played (Bob Dylan)
- ^^ – First Time Played (Traffic)