Joe Russo’s Almost Dead Keeps It Simple At First Day Of 2017 Peach Music Festival – Photos & Audio

The 2017 Peach Music Festival began at Montage Mountain in Scranton, Pennsylvania on Thursday. Grateful Dead tribute act Joe Russo’s Almost Dead headlined the action with a pair of sets on the Peach Stage. JRAD worked an original they debuted earlier this year within a batch of beloved classics from the Grateful Dead repertoire. Thursday at Peach ’17 also featured sets from Dopapod Orchestra, Cabinet and Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad.

Almost Dead opened with an adventurous “Alligator” in which they explored plenty of terrain within 16 minutes. JRAD linked “Alligator” to “Scarlet Begonias” which in turn led into a Scott Metzger-sung “Feel Like A Stranger.” The five-piece then served up a spot-on rendition of “King Solomon’s Marbles” followed by “The Eleven.” Up next was “Keeping It Simple,” the first Joe Russo’s Almost Dead original, which was debuted by the band at their 100th show this past March. A strong “Fire On The Mountain” brought the opening stanza to a close.

JRAD kicked off the second set with a short jam that gave way to an impressive “Let It Grow,” which saw the band toy with “Girlfriend Is Better” by Talking Heads. A loping transition into “Jack Straw” developed out of “Let It Grow” and from there the band presented a 20-minute “Dancing In The Streets” that showed off their improvisational prowess. Drummer Joe Russo and his mates ended the second set with “Franklin’s Tower” > “Morning Dew” and encored with “Samson & Delilah.”

Listen to an audience recording taped by Ted Gakidis:

Check out photos from Thursday at Peach ’17 by Bill Grenfell:

Setlist

Set One: Alligator > Scarlet Begonias > Feel Like A Stranger, King Solomon’s Marbles > The Eleven > Keeping It Simple > Fire On The Mountain

Set Two: Jam > Let It Grow > Jack Straw > Dancing In The Streets > Franklin’s Tower > Morning Dew

Encore: Samson & Delilah

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