Joe Russo’s Almost Dead resumed their seven-date March tour on Wednesday at Penn’s Peak in Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania. The five-piece act worked in a pair of bust outs during their two-set show at the 1,800-capacity venue in the Pocono Mountains.
Drummer Joe Russo, guitarists Tom Hamilton and Scott Metzger along with keyboardist Marco Benevento and bassist Dave Dreiwitz opened things up with an etherial open-ended jam that would wind its way into the folk standard “Peggy-O.” Dreiwitz laid down a funky bass groove as they headed into a tease-filled version of “The Music Never Stopped.” Last night’s exploratory take on the Blues For Allah cut included bits of Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs” and John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme.”
“Loose Lucy” was taken off the shelf for the first time since New Year’s Eve 2016 at the Capitol Theatre next. The bust out was followed by another freeform avant jazz-tinged jam that would melt into a full take on “Weather Report Suite.” JRAD delivered the first part of the song as an instrumental, which they hadn’t done since November 11, 2017, before digging in on fiery “Let It Grow.” A tender “Stella Blue” brought their first frame of the night to a close.
The quintet looked to the calypso classic “Man Smart, Woman Smarter” to get their second stanza off the ground. The Grateful Dead psychedelic-era gem “The Eleven” followed as JRAD would drop in a jam on “Let It Grow” before settling in on “Easy Wind.” The cosmic Americana trucker anthem “Black-Throated Wind” was used a springboard to kick off a seamless run that would take them through the remainder of the set. A rocking “Goin’ Down The Road Feeling Bad” and short sojourn into an instrumental take on “We Bid You Goodnight” followed. The San Francisco funk of “Fire On The Mountain” followed as they dropped into another exploratory jam that included a tease of “Terrapin Station.”
The band was clearly feeling the “Terrapin” vibe has they would segue into the “Lady With A Fan” portion of the song. Marco got a chance to shine next as he delivered a gorgeous solo before they dropped into a set-closing rendering of “Terrapin Station.” Joe Russo’s Almost Dead used “Big Railroad Blues” as their lone encore in Jim Thorpe.
Listen to full show audio taped by Rich Stoler and watch pro-shot video of the second set opener below:
Man Smart, Woman Smarter
Setlist (Compiled by Pete Costello)
Set I: (8:15PM – 9:38PM) Jam -> Peggy-O, The Music Never Stopped @ > Loose Lucy#, Jam -> Weather Report Suite: Prelude / Part One $ -> Let It Grow % Stella Blue
Set II (10:08PM – 11:54PM): Man Smart Woman Smarter > The Eleven -> Let It Grow Jam -> Easy Wind, Black Throated Wind -> Going Down The Road Feeling Bad > We Bid You Goodnight ^ -> Fire On The Mountain -> Jam & -> Lady with a Fan -> Marco Solo * -> Terrapin Station +
Encore: Big Railroad Blues
- @ – With a “War Pigs” (Black Sabbath) Tease (Band) and a “Love Supreme” (John Coltrane) Tease (TH)
- # – Not Played By Almost Dead Since 2016-12-31 Capitol Theatre, Port Chester, NY, a gap of 90 shows
- $ – Instrumental, Not Played By Almost Dead Since 2017-11-09 Teragram Ballroom, Los Angeles, CA, a gap of 57 shows
- % – With a “War Pigs” (Black Sabbath) Tease (TH)
- ^ – Instrumental, With a Fire On The Mountain Tease (TH)
- & – With Terrapin Teases (Band)
- * – With “No Quarter” (Led Zeppelin) Teases (MB
- + – With a “War Pigs” (Black Sabbath) Jam