Joe Russo’s Almost Dead was back in action on Thursday as the Grateful Dead-inspired rock band welcomed fans to Red Rocks Amphitheatre for their third time headlining Colorado’s scenic outdoor venue. The show on Thursday acted as an unofficial welcome party for many fans in attendance who were in town to attend Phish‘s annual Labor Day concert run at the nearby DICKS Sporting Goods Park throughout the weekend.
Just as the band had done a few weeks ago at Stanford University’s Frost Amphitheatre, JRAD welcomed Stuart Bogie to become an honorary JRAD member for the entire show, as he contributed to numerous songs throughout the night with his various horn instruments.
The opening set started out hot with a cover of The Beatles‘ “Why Don’t We Do It In The Road”, and continued with “Foolish Heart” and “Shakedown Street”. Following “Shakedown”, the band treated attendees to a little preview of the Phish action to take place in Denver all weekend with a tease of the Vermont band’s “First Tube” before moving into a “Terrapin Station” jam. The music kept rocking right into a cover of Chuck Berry‘s “Around and Around” before the band closed the set with “Wharf Rat” and “Hell in a Bucket”.
JRAD returned to the stage to kick off the second half of their performance with “Bird Song” and “Feel Like a Stranger” before turning to the Jerry Garcia Band songbook for a rendition of “Cats Under the Stars”, a nod to the picturesque evening of music under the Colorado sky. The set kept rolling with “Tell Me”, followed by two more covers in Bob Dylan‘s “Momma” and Jane’s Addiction‘s “Mountain Song”.
The set came to a close with a high-energy performance of “I Know You Rider”, leaving the packed outdoor venue wanting more as the band went backstage for a quick regroup. They returned to share a solemn one-song encore performance of “Brokedown Palace”, which acted as a heartfelt musical fare thee well to late guitarist Neal Casal, who died earlier this week.
Watch parts of the band’s Red Rocks performance from Thursday via the videos below.
Joe Russo’s Almost Dead – “First Tube” > “Terrapin jam” > “Around and Around” – 8/29/2019
Joe Russo’s Almost Dead – “Brokedown Palace” – 8/29/2019
The band is off duty until next month when they return to action with a performance at the House of Blues in Dallas, TX on September 12th. Head to the band’s website for tickets and tour info.
Scroll down for a full gallery of photos from Thursday’s performance, courtesy of photographer Bill McAlaine.
Setlist: Joe Russo’s Almost Dead | Red Rocks Amphitheatre | Morrison, CO | 8/29/19
Set One: Why Don’t We Do It In The Road (The Beatles cover), Foolish Heart, Shakedown Street, First Tube* (Phish cover) > Terrapin jam > Around and Around (Chuck Berry cover), Wharf Rat, Hell in a Bucket
Set Two: Bird Song, Feel Like a Stranger, Cats Under the Stars (Jerry Garcia Band cover), Tell Me, Momma (Bob Dylan cover), Mountain Song (Jane’s Addiction cover), I Know You Rider (Traditional cover)
Encore: Brokedown Palace
* “First Tube” tease, not full song