On Thursday, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead offered up the final Main Stage performance at the opening day of LOCKN’ 2019 following a weather delay. Grateful Dead guitarist Bob Weir appeared for a comical “sit-in” midway through JRAD’s explosive second set.
Joe Russo’s Almost Dead—comprised of Joe Russo (drums), Marco Benevento (keyboards), Dave Dreiwitz (bass), Tom Hamilton (guitar), and Scott Metzger (guitar)—kicked off their first set with a cover of Bob Dylan‘s “A Hard Rain’s A Gonna Fall”, alluding to the powerful storm that swept through the LOCKN’ grounds earlier in the day. JRAD continued on with a pairing of “Ruben & Cherise” into “New Minglewood Blues”, which was followed up by a tender “Peggy-O”.
Moving out of an improvised “jam” section, the quintet offered up an explosive “Playing In The Band” featuring a tease of Irving Berlin‘s “Cheek To Cheek”. Smoothly coasting out of “Playing”, JRAD continued on with a massive “The Other One”, which featured teases of and then continued into a full-on instrumental take of Led Zeppelin‘s “Immigrant Song”. A reprise of “The Other One” brought the explosive first set to a close.
Following a brief setbreak, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead returned to open their second set with “Casey Jones” before moving on with “The Wheel”. “The Wheel” featured a series of “Ruben & Cherise” teases, which was followed up by a jam that eventually coasted into the JRAD debut of American Babies‘ “Jolene”. The five-piece continued on with “Greatest Story Ever Told” and a reprise of “The Wheel”.
The band’s comical gag began during “The Wheel” as LOCKN’s signature rotating stage spun around and revealed an empty couch, lamp, and end table. As the band spun back to the front of stage, Russo led the way into an instrumental, incomplete version of Archie Bell & The Drells‘ “Tighten Up” before sailing into “Eyes Of The World”. Once again, the stage rotated 180 degrees to reveal Bob Weir laying on the previously unoccupied couch, reading a book. The band wrapped their second set with “Uncle John’s Band”, “Morning Dew”, and Hoyt Axton‘s “Never Been To Spain”.
Watch fan-shot footage of Joe Russo’s Almost Dead’s LOCKN’ gag featuring Bob Weir below:
Joe Russo’s Almost Dead – “Eyes Of The World” – 8/22/2019
Next up for JRAD is a performance at Morrison, CO’s iconic Red Rocks Amphitheatre on Thursday, August 29th. Head to Joe Russo’s Almost Dead’s website for a full list of the band’s upcoming tour dates, ticketing, and more information.
Setlist: Joe Russo’s Almost Dead | LOCKN’ | Arrington, VA | 8/22/2019
Set One: Hard Rain > Ruben & Cherise > New Minglewood Blues, Peggy-O, Jam -> Playing in the Band @ -> The Other One # -> Immigrant Song Jam $ -> The Other One Reprise %
Set Two: Casey Jones, The Wheel ^ -> Jam & -> Jolene ^^ -> Jam -> Greatest Story Ever Told && -> The Wheel Reprise * -> Tighten Up Jam + -> Eyes of the world @@ -> Uncle John’s Band ## -> Morning Dew, Never Been To Spain
@ – With a “Cheek to Cheek” (Irving Berlin) Tease (MB)
# – With “Immigrant Song” Teases (DD, TH, MB)
$ – First Time Played by Almost Dead, instrumental, incomplete version of a Led Zeppelin cover, no lyrics were sung
% – With a Ruben & Cherise Tease (TH)
^ – With a “Something” (The Beatles) Tease (TH), Let It Grow Teases (TH & Band) and a “Jolene” (American Babies) Tease (TH)
& – With multiple Let It Grow Teases (Band & TH)
^^ – First Time Played by Almost Dead, American Babies Cover, with an MB/TH duo jam
&& – With multiple Casey Jones Teases (SM, Band, MB, TH) and a The Wheel Tease (TH)
* – Not played by Almost Dead since The Capitol Theatre, Port Chester, NY, a gap of 28 shows, with a “Stage Turn” that revealed an empty couch , lamp & end table, “Jolene” (American Babies) teases (Band), a DD Solo & Eyes Teases (Band)
+ – First Time Played by Almost Dead, instrumental, incomplete version of a Archie Bell & The Drells cover, no lyrics were sung
@@ – With a “Stage Turn” that revealed Bob Weir, sitting on the couch, an unknown tease – will eventually figure it out (MB), a Viola Lee Blues Tease (TH), a The Eleven Tease (TH), a “Jolene” (American Babies) Tease (SM) and a DD Bass Solo
## – With a JR Solo