Hot off a Red Rocks Amphitheater show last weekend, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead brought the fast-paced Grateful Dead magic to LOCKN’ Music Festival in the beautiful rolling hills of Arrington, VA, for a late night dance party. JRAD’s late night set was preceded by Lettuce and Umphrey’s McGee, who creatively collaborated together on LOCKN’s unique turntable style stage, mixing up the funk and rock like it was nobody’s business.

Joe Russo’s Almost Dead opened things up with a “Jam”, as drummer and bandleader Joe Russo got loose, stretching out his octopus-like arms in preparation for a late night fiasco at one of America’s top jam band festivals. The “Jam” smoothly trickled into “Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion)”, with bassist Dave Dreiwitz locking in with Russo, providing the most tight-knit rhythm section for guitar wizards Scott Metzger and Tom Hamilton to solo over. “Easy Wind”, the Robert Hunter penned tune that the late Ron “Pigpen” McKernan sang with such tenacity, was up next. Hamilton took the lead and melted some faces with his quick-witted guitar work, before a final scorching solo brought it all home.

A solid “Dark Star” tease was sandwiched in between “Easy Wind” and “Row Jimmy” that followed, as fans joined together and sang along to the beloved song. With an absolutely perfect weather forecast for the entire LOCKN’ weekend, the crowd appeared to be in the highest of spirits, with ample energy as the night grew darker. JRAD’s take on the Grateful Dead’s catalog is unique and gutsy every step of the way, as the LOCKN’ crowd saw last night with Russo leading the quintet into deep “Space” territory. Hamilton and Metzger let out some twangy, cosmic sounds, as Russo went to work, delicately commanding the ship through pure improvisation.

“Let It Grow” made way for “Dancing In The Streets”, as LOCKN’ was swingin’ and swayin’ to Joe Russo’s Almost Dead’s perfected takes on everyone’s favorite Grateful Dead songs. Hamilton continued to wow the crowd, as he ripped through tenacious solos, with Metzger firing licks back at him like the two have been playing together for thirty years. Marco Benevento slid into the mix, following along with Hamilton and Metzger’s rising solos. Coming out of an extended “Jam”, Hamilton let out the opening notes to “Estimated Prophet”, with an intent LOCKN’ crowd singing along once again.

Russo invited up longtime friend and frequent collaborator Chris Harford for a cover of Neil Young’s “Hippie Dream”. Joe Russo’s Almost Dead rarely invites up guests, but the setting and song selection for last night’s sit-in was spot on. The JRAD boys brought their red-hot set to a close with “Morning Dew”, leaving everyone with the message, “It doesn’t matter anyway”.

You can watch all of LOCKN’s sets below, with JRAD’s set starting at the 4:55:00 mark.

[Video: Relix]

Joe Russo’s Almost Dead returns to LOCKN’ tonight for a late night set at the Relix Stage, following Widespread Panic’s highly anticipated collaborative set with Margo Price.

For a full list of Joe Russo’s Almost Dead’s upcoming tour dates and ticketing information head to the band’s website.

Setlist: Joe Russo’s Almost Dead | LOCKN’ Music Festival | Arrington, VA | 8/23/2018

Set: Jam> Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion)> Easy Wind, Dark Star tease> Row Jimmy, Space> Let It Grow> Dancing In The Street> Jam> Estimated Prophet> Hippie Dream (feat. Chris Harford)> Morning Dew