On Friday night, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead kicked off a three-night run at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York, marking the group’s first shows of 2018. Though it’s been nearly a month since JRAD last convened—the group’s last shows were in Boston in early December, as they forwent a New Year’s Eve run this year—the band wasted no time showing off their improvisational abilities, opening the show with a laidback and winding jam led in by a steady beat offered by bandleader Joe Russo. As the opening jam built, it eventually segued into “Brown Eyed Women”, kicking off the transition-heavy first set in full.
“Jam” > “Brown Eyed Women”
JRAD’s first set saw the group perform inspired renditions of “Jack Straw” and “The Wheel”, with the latter featuring teases of The Beatles’ “Dear Prudence” and the Portuguese classic “Girl From Ipanema”. After a slow build through “Estimated Prophet” and “The Other One”, the set climaxed with a crowd-energizing cover of the beloved disco-tinged tune “Shakedown Street”. Mirroring the start of the show, the band ended set one with a jam, this time built around 1973’s “Here Comes Sunshine”.
While set one saw the band settling into the space and the performance, set two saw JRAD expanding and taking more of the musical risks the group is known for. Joe Russo’s Almost Dead opened the set with the group’s debut cover of Charlie Monroe’s “Rosa Lee Mcfall”, a number the Grateful Dead recorded and released on 1981’s Reckoning. Following this set-opening debut, the group played a soulful rendition of “Throwing Stones”. Ahead of the tune, Joe Russo took a minute to shout out his sister on her birthday, expressing his love for her before noting that the song was a request from her.
“Rosa Lee Mcfall”
Moving on through the set, the group performed another classic cover, this time of Bruce Springsteen’s “Atlantic City”—marking the first time “Atlantic City” had been performed since April of last year during their show at Denver’s Ogden Theatre ahead of the band’s arena debut at 1st Bank Center. From there, JRAD accelerated to the finish of the show, showing off what they do best by weaving “Slipknot!” across the second half of the second set. Jamming through “Franklin’s Tower” and “Help On The Way” before playing “Slipknot!” in full, the group ended the set with renditions of “Feel Like A Stranger” and “Let It Grow” ahead of an encore of “Touch Of Grey”.
Setlist: Joe Russo’s Almost Dead | The Capitol Theatre | Port Chester, NY | 1/12/2018
Set One: Jam -> Brown Eyed Women -> Jack Straw > Jam -> The Wheel @ -> Estimated Prophet -> The Other One # > Shakedown St $ -> Here Comes Sunshine Jam
Set Two: Rosa Lee Mcfall % (TH), Throwing Stones ^, Atlantic City & -> Slipknot! * -> Franklin’s Tower > Slipknot! * -> Help On The Way -> Slipknot! + -> Feel Like A Stranger @@ > Jam ->Let It Grow
Encore: Touch of Grey
@ – With “Girl From Ipanema” (music by Antônio Carlos Jobim and Portuguese lyrics by Vinicius de Moraes. English lyrics by Norman Gimbel) and “Dear Prudence” (The Beatles) teases (MB)
# – With a Purple Haze Tease (SM) & a variation (a really fast variation) on a Love Supreme (John Coltrane) jam (Band)
$ – With a Brown Eyed Women Tease (SM), and The Wheel, China Cat Sunflower and Here Comes Sunshine Teases (TH)
% – First Time Played by Almost Dead, Charlie Monroe cover
^ – By Request for Joe’s sister on her birthday, with a Brown Eyed Women Tease and a Cats Under the Stars Tease (TH)
& – Not played since Ogden Theater, Denver, CO 2017.04.28, a gap of 29 shows / 8.5 ish months
* – Short snippets…
+ – Full Song
@@ – With a “Your Kiss Is On My List” (Hall & Oates) Tease (MB/Band) (I think. Will try to confirm when I speak with MB)