On Thursday night, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead returned to the stage for their fourth of six nights at the Brooklyn Bowl in NYC. This weekend’s run will feature Oteil Burbridge on bass for all three nights, while Dave Dreiwitz is on tour with Ween. While the seamless energy between Joe Russo, Marco Benevento, Tom Hamilton, Scott Metzger, and Dreiwitz is impossible to deny perfection, Burbridge filled the shoes beautifully – finding his own pockets of creativity and delivering stand-out moments throughout the night. The two-set show also featured Antibalas’ Stuart Bogie on horns and percussion, impressively driving the band to another level of funk-tinged Grateful Dead music.
After a room opening “The Other One,” audience members were pleasantly surprised to see Burbridge step up to the microphone for “Dark Star.” The dark melody presented the opportunity for fans to joke amongst themselves that JRAD “Let Oteil Sing,” before the band went right into a rip-roaring “St. Stephen” to bring the room’s energy to its first high peak. The band debuted “Cinnamon & Lesbians” by Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks before heading into a Hamilton/Russo-led “The Eleven.” Amidst the jam came a huge bass bomb from Burbridge and the stage erupted in what would become one of the funkiest “Shakedown Streets” to date.
In addition to the videos from the band and nugs.tv, you can watch “Shakedown Street” courtesy of LazyLightning55a:
The second set opened with “King Solomon’s Marbles.” When the introductory notes of “Black Throated Wind” began, Benevento found the opportunity to introduce pop favorite “Royals” by Lorde for the first time ever – and the crowd immediately joined in to sing, while the rest of the band let the keys master take charge of the song to our delight. “Black Throated Wind” returned and eventually led to “Jack Straw.” It was obvious the amount of fun that Oteil Burbridge was having while playing this music with these musicians. As if it were a pop quiz, the Dead & Company bassist was a prepared student to receive any hint of what Joe Russo’s Almost Dead might throw.
The second set ended on a complete high note, with a jammed-out “Touch of Grey” that went right into “Playing In The Band.” From “Wharf Rat” into a rip-roaring “Truckin,” the set ended with a “Born Cross Eyed” jam. Fans were not expecting the band to return to the stage with a Bruce Springsteen encore, but they did just that. It was the first time they’d played “Born to Run” since 12/31/15 at The Fillmore, Philadelphia, PA.
Joe Russo’s Almost Dead will return to the Brooklyn Bowl with Oteil Burbridge tonight and tomorrow. Then, the band will be heading to Fool’s Paradise on March 31st and April 1st in St. Augustine, FL, with special guest keyboardist Jeff Chimenti. Oteil Burbridge will also be there, making fans wonder if perhaps there is a Joe Russo’s Almost Dead & Company collaboration in the future. The Grateful Dead enthusiasts will join hosts Lettuce and bands like The Floozies, The Motet, and The Main Squeeze. More information can be found here.
Setlist: Joe Russo’s Almost Dead | Brooklyn Bowl NYC | 3/16/17
Set One (8:45PM – 9:57PM)
Jam @ ->
The Other One @& (SM) ->
Dark Star #& (OB) ->
St Stephen $ & (ALL) ->
Cinnamon & Lesbians %* (JR) ->
The Eleven @ (TH/JR) ->
Shakedown Street #+ (TH)
Set Two (10:31PM – 11:53PM)
King Solomon’s Marbles @
Black Throated Wind Jam % ->
Royals Jam % @@ ->
Black Throated Wind % (SM) ->
Jack Straw Jam ->
Touch Of Grey @ (TH) >
Playing In The Band @ (SM) ->
Wharf Rat ^ & ## (TH) >
Truckin # & (SM) ->
Born Cross Eyed Jam
E: Born To Run @ (TH)
Dave Dreiwitz is on tour with Ween.
Entire show with Oteil Burbridge on Bass & Vocals.
Entire show with Stuart Bogie on horns & percussion.
See below for specifics.
OB is Oteil Burbridge Lead Vox.
@ – With Stuart on Tenor Sax
# – With Stuart on Percussion & Tenor Sax
$ – With Stuart on Tenor Sax, Flute & Bari Sax
% – With Stuart on Bari Sax
^ – With Stuart on Tenor Sax & Flute
& – With Born Cross Eyed Teases (TH) – This may have happened even more.
* – Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks Cover, First Time Played By Almost Dead
+ – With a “Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough” (Michael Jackson) Jam – I think (mostly MB), Dark Star Teases (TH) & Feel Like A Stranger Teases (Band)
@@ – Lorde Cover, First Time Played By Almost Dead (Mostly Marco & Stuart), crowd sung the lyrics
## – Also with Tennessee Jed Teases (TH)
$$ – Bruce Springsteen Cover, Not Played since 2015-12-31 at The Fillmore, Philadelphia, PA, a gap of 44 shows.
[cover photo via @sheradactyl]