2021-01-26
Joe Russo’s Almost Dead Plays 2nd Ever Concert On This Date In 2013

Joe Russo’s Almost Dead Plays 2nd Ever Concert On This Date In 2013

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Joe Russo’s Almost Dead performed their second concert ever on this date, December 27, in 2013 at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York. Even at this early stage, the Grateful Dead tribute act showed off their penchant for offering new interpretations of Dead songs while staying true to some classics.

JRAD — drummer Joe Russo, guitarists Scott Metzger and Tom Hamilton, keyboardist Marco Benevento and bassist Dave Dreiwitz — kicked things off with one of the Dead’s earliest songs, “Cream Puff War,” which appears on the band’s 1967 self-titled debut studio album. The band then headed into the American Beauty closer, “Truckin,’” which saw them getting into some jamming including some funky groove sections, all told stretching the American Beauty classic to over 18 minutes before an expert segue into “Dupree’s Diamond Blues.”

Even though it was just the second show, JRAD showed off their knack for taking Dead songs that weren’t necessarily live staples and injecting them with new life. GD debuted “Dupree’s” in early 1969 but wouldn’t return to it live again until 1977 when the Aoxomoxoa cut saw a renaissance in the late 1970s and 1980s before being shelved again with just three plays in the 1990s, as per The Setlist Program. “Cumberland Blues” came next ahead of an interesting section of “Row Jimmy,” “Bertha” and “Easy Wind,” showing off another of the band’s strengths, offering different juxtapositions and interpretations of songs. JRAD closed out the first frame with “Shakedown Street.”

The quintet kept the audience on their toes with a second set opening “Space.” Although they like to offer new Dead pairings, JRAD wasn’t averse to doing classic GD segues, especially in the early days as evidenced with a “Scarlet Begonias” into “Fire On The Mountain” to kick off the second set proper. The “Scarlet/Fire” stretched to nearly 30 minutes before the band got into another Dead jam vehicle, “Playing In The Band,” which headed into “Althea,” yet another interesting juxtaposition. “Turn On Your Love Light” would come ahead of the “Terrapin Suite,” — a fairly ambitious play for the second show ever, speaking to the band’s musical prowess — which closed out the second set. JRAD remerged for an encore of the classic ballad “Brokedown Palace.”

Watch video from JRAD’s second show ever from this date in 2013 at The Capitol Theatre via the JamBase Live Video Archive (JBLVA) below and also check out full show audio via Pete Costello & Bill Mulvey:

Cream Puff War > Truckin’ > Dupree’s Diamond Blues

Row Jimmy

Shakedown Street

Space > Scarlet Begonias > Fire On The Mountain

Playing In The Band

Terrapin Suite

Setlist (via Archive.org)

Set One: Cream Puff War -> Truckin’ -> Dupree’s Diamond Blues, Cumberland Blues, Row Jimmy -> Bertha, Easy Wind -> Shakedown Street

Set Two: Space -> Scarlet Begonias -> Fire On The Mountain, Playin’ In The Band -> Althea -> Turn On Your Levelight, Terrapin Station -> Terrapin Transit/At A Siding/Terrapin Flyer

Encore: Brokedown Palace

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