While Joe Russo’s Almost Dead has grown into a headlining act at festivals, theaters, and amphitheaters across the country, fans still look back fondly on the days when they served as the de facto local Grateful Dead cover band at New York’s Brooklyn Bowl.
On this day in 2015, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead played the second show of a three-night run at Brooklyn Bowl. While the whole show was packed with highlights, fans are still singing the praises of one particular segment four years later: the Marco Benevento piano solo during “Fire On The Mountain”.
The jaw-dropping solo elicited an immediately notable reaction from both the audience and the musicians onstage. After Marco’s solo ended and the band moved into the song’s next verse, Tom Hamilton had to fight through roars of approval—and smiles of his own—to deliver his vocals. With the crowd still in hysterics by the time he finished the ensuing stanza, Hamilton adlibbed an appropriate lyric change: “Gave all you had, when you wanna Marco!”
When the song was finished, a dumbfounded Joe Russo echoed those sentiments: “Marco f*cking Benevento, Jesus Christ… Where did we even find this f*cking guy?”
While we usually stick to the detached third-person point of view, I feel it’s necessary here to insert some personal perspective here. As a Brooklyn resident and a patron of live music, I’ve seen countless bands create countless special moments at Brooklyn Bowl. That’s home court. But I’ve never seen or felt that place explode the way it did for that solo. The fact that it was my first JRAD show may leave me somewhat biased, but judging by the excitement with which fans still remember this moment years down the road, my rose-colored memories seem justified. It really was that special.
Feast your eyes and ears on the whole “Scarlet” > “Fire” from 10/3/15 below, or skip to 19:45 to hear the Marco Benevento solo:
Joe Russo’s Almost Dead – “Scarlet Begonias > Fire On The Mountain” – Brooklyn Bowl – 10/3/15
[Video: JoeRussos AlmostDead]
You can also listen to a full audio recording of the show below:
Joe Russo’s Almost Dead – Brooklyn Bowl – 10/3/15 – Full Audio
Setlist: Joe Russo’s Almost Dead | Brooklyn Bowl | Brooklyn, NY | 10/3/15
Set One (9:25pm – 10:50pm):
02. The Music Never Stopped # (SM & NA) ->
03. Dancin’ In The Streets #@ (SM & NA) >
04. Row Jimmy # (TH & NA) >
05. (The Stranger) Two Souls In Communion # (NA) >
06. The Other One (SM) ->
07. Cryptical Envelopment $% (TH) ->
08. Truckin’ ^ (SM)
Set Two (11:28pm – 1:06am):
01. Scarlet Begonias &(TH) ->
02. Fire on the Mountain (TH)
03. Looks Like Rain $ (SM) ->
04. St. Stephen *(All) ->
05. Tennessee Jed (TH) ->
06. St. Stephen Jam ** ->
07. Tennessee Jed Reprise $ (TH) ->
08. Viola Lee Blues (All) ->
09. Becky ## $ ->
10. Viola Lee Blues Reprise $ (All)
11. Stella Blue (TH)
12. Going Down The Road Feeling Bad # %% ->
13. We Bid You Good Night # $ && (All)
14. encore break/crowd
15. One More Saturday Night (SM)
# With Nicole Atkins on Vocals
@ With an “LA Woman” (The Doors) tease (MB) & “Rainy Day Woman 12 & 35” (Bob Dylan) tease (Band)
$ Almost Dead Debut
% Cryptical was the 2nd half only, starting with the “And when the day had ended, with rainbow colors blended” line.
^ Included a short Cryptical Jam (Band)
& With a “The National Anthem” (Radiohead) Jam (Band) & I think a “Bubblehouse” (Medeski Martin & Wood) tease (MB)
* First 3? verses only
** The Bridge only, but unsung. St. Stephen was unfinished
## Benevento Russo Duo Original, not played by Joe & Marco since the “Bustle Plays Other Shit” show at Brooklyn Bowl on 8.31.13. Included lyrics from Viola Lee Blues
%% Included verses from JR, NA & TH with SM & MB singing on the choruses.
&& Has been played before instrumentally, but this was the first version with lyrics. A cappella, Sung by MB, TH, JR, NA & SM
For a list of upcoming Joe Russo’s Almost Dead tour dates, head here.